FAT32 versus NTFS

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by aigle, Apr 30, 2006.

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  1. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Without going into hard theoretical details I will like to know what is the disadvantage if I format my HD in FAT32 instead of NTFS. I will appreciate any replies from you.
    Also will FAT32 be still an option in upcoming Vista?
    Thanks!
     
  2. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

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    fat32 has more fragmentation and is less secure also i believe there is a performance difference.
     
  3. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    NTFS also supports encryption and compression.
     
  4. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    What do u mean by more secure Clansman.
    So no file compression on FAT 32? I have currently NTFS.
     
  5. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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  6. dog

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  7. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Quote from http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314463

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    So if you start out with blank HD or want to reformat etc, then it appears that you can have a volume larger than 32GB, if you use fdisk and/or partition software, before you install XP. You could instead partion several 32GB etc sections during a normal XP install.

    _______________

    Quote from http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;184006

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    That's something i wasn't aware of, and worth noting about the ScanDisk tool !

    Thanks for the link


    StevieO
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2006
  8. IMM

    IMM Spyware Fighter

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    The first biggie is the waste space issue. With FAT32 I've seen people try to load 'databases' made up of many! 10byte or so files (originally from a unix system) and choke the drive completely with almost no data. That said there are other considerations.

    The nature of FAT32 is less 'secure' than ntfs. There aren't the same level of file permissions etc. and fat32 is easier to deal with from 'outside' the system.
    This can be an advantage for those who look at malware etc. One of the things that often happens is that malware will turn permissions on a home system to it's own advantage - they often love them :). If they can be kept out at the perimeter -- fine. If you are trying to fix something or analyze something or recover from an infection - then the permissions and encryption can be your enemy.

    I often run a 'mixed' system with some fat32 on an XP (the boot partition) and some ntfs partitons for data because I like the crippled nature of shares and file perms for what I do.

    Regarding FAT32 on Vista:
    I haven't seen vista (nor has anyone I guess for whatever will be the final release form) but something like this
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/27/schneier_infosec/
    makes me guess that FAT32 won't be there?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  9. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    IMM

    I agree, and precicely why i favour FAT32 over NTFS anyday. Being able to locate and find things that may be Malware of some kind, is a lot easier with FAT32 a partion/s and without those Alternate Data Streams of NTFS, where malware can and does hide from plain view.

    Encryption of all kinds is widely available for FAT32, full/partial disk file/folder etc, and some very high quality Apps are to be had for free, so that's not a problem either !

    To be fair, i don't think many people are going to fill up their HD with 10 byte etc stuff. I've got lots of things on my partions and it's nowhere near capacity, but i do clean up often which all helps.


    StevieO
     
  10. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    One other thing to consider in addition to security and less wasted disk space is that NTFS is a journaling file system. I don't see any reason for using FAT unless you have to, i.e., still using the 9.x's or if you need a data partition that you can access from a Linux system as well. Reading from an NTFS partition in Linux is no problem, writing to it, OTOH, can be risky.
     
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