Windows Legacy OS forum

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question about FORMATTING the hard drive

by Purewinners / May 30, 2005 3:53 PM PDT

I had xp on my computer and it crashed because of some stupid virus program that i installed...i want to format the hard drive and re-innstall xp...

but i am not sure if i should choose fat or fat 32 or ntsf for file system....

which one should i choose? thanks.

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Format options
by Merl Priester / May 30, 2005 4:23 PM PDT

1: Fat - you cannot event use this DOS and Win95
2: Fat32 XP will limit the drive to 32 GIGs
and it is not as stable as NTFS
3: NTFS is the native format to use, use this one.

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FAT v. NTFS
by Yew / May 30, 2005 9:03 PM PDT

FAT would be ever so slightly faster because of lower overhead, but it lacks the security and efficiency in terms of disk utilization that NTFS has.

So, unless you have some specific reason for using FAT, use NTFS.

BTW, FAT no more or less stable than NTFS. If anything, it's more stable, since the original, FAT12, was created way back when so that DOS could access floppy disks. Since then the basic structure of FAT hasn't changed, it's just been altered to be able to use larger and larger disks. NTFS didn't exist until NT came into being, and by that point, FAT had already been around for around 10 years. FAT is also far less complex than NTFS, since it doesn't support permissions like NTFS, and now NTFS also supports transparent compression and encryption, which FAT doesn't. Still, despite all that, NTFS is the better choice. Just wanted to correct the other responder, and was too lazy to make another post.

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FAT is unstable.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 30, 2005 9:13 PM PDT
In reply to: FAT v. NTFS

With FAT32 you see machines constantly running chkdsk on startup due to limititions in that file system. You see lost clusters and it can lose a file.

NTFS has an error resistant design.

At over 10 years old, this FAT issue was never addressed. Why? It's from another era.

Bob

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That's not unstable
by Yew / May 30, 2005 10:45 PM PDT
In reply to: FAT is unstable.

That's unreliable, which is a totally different problem. And NTFS's "error resistance" is often greatly exagerated. It's only does about half of what a typical journaled filesystem does. Better than FAT to be sure, but still your typical half-assed job from MS.

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Just one question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 30, 2005 11:32 PM PDT
In reply to: That's not unstable

Why would you use this?

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Who is it that was "too lazy"
by Merl Priester / May 31, 2005 3:54 AM PDT
In reply to: FAT v. NTFS

And why did another post need to be made?

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