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Which is better FAT32 or NTFS when formatting a hard drive.

by ramairmustang / August 5, 2005 1:09 PM PDT

My aunts computer is a HP Pavilion 6645C with 564MHz Intel Celeron, 320MB of RAM and a 20GB Hard Drive. Now her computer came formatted FAT32. I will be reformatting it for her soon. Non of the HP "original" stuff will be placed back onto her computer. I know quite abit about computers but I do have my weak spots and this is one. Now my questions is this. Will her computer hold NTFS format and which is better to use NTFS or FAT32? Also if one is better than the other what's the reason's? Please only the people who know the answers to my questions for a FACT respond. Im not try'n to sound mean or anything but this needs to be done soon and I dont want to have sort threw a bunch of people bumping heads together over this all.

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NTFS is best, but...

Basically NTFS is Microsoft's replacement for the FAT32 filing system, which offers several advancements including increased security, file encryption, and better compression. The only downside to NTFS is that it is not compatible with older operating systems. Thus, if you plan on having a multi-boot system, or want to network the computer in a mixed OS environment, FAT32 is your best bet. Since this is a standalone computer being setup for your aunt, it doesn't really matter, but I'd still suggest NTFS as it truly is the superior format.

But you don't have to take my word for it...check out this handy Microsoft guide which compares FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems to help decide which one is right for you. Then for a nice table comparing the "specs" of each file system, as well as their limitations, click here. Finally, to satisfy your inner geek (no need to hide're among friends ;)), check out this research paper written by computer science student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Hope this helps,

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by ramairmustang / August 6, 2005 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: NTFS is best, but...

Your right I actually do computer work out of home. Like anyone I have my weak spots but I mostly do install's both hard and soft and my main thing is the removel of spyware, adware, virus's, system errors etc etc. I love what I do and take much pride in it. I've had nothing but very happy customers. I thank you so much for outing me LOL. I guess I did forget I am amongst friends. Thank You very much. MATT K.

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NTFS is best
by Willy / August 5, 2005 9:11 PM PDT

I take it you plan to use XP(or W2K) as the OS??? If so, then go with NTFS and that maybe a given since you have only a 20gb HD for now. If you had a larger HD, you can actually have both NTFS and FAT32 present. The main partition or drive "C" should be NTFS. NTFS provides better security as an OS and handles files better.

FYI - I do have both installed. The main reason to keep various older files and achieved pgms. that troubleshoot best in FAT32. There still a need for NTFS t/s'ing files as well. I've yet to experience a problem due to file system isntalled.

tada -----Willy Happy

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by ramairmustang / August 6, 2005 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: NTFS is best

Thank you very much for you input. I will be useing XP SP2 and will format in NTFS. Again Thank You. MATT K.

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