Author Topic: File Systems  (Read 8839 times)

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Offline Lisandro

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File Systems
« on: March 18, 2004, 02:55:27 AM »
File Systems (By Mohammad Yousef):

What is a file system? You might've noticed it in your drives' properties. A file system is an operating system's overall structure in which files are named, stored, and organized. If you're a Windows XP user, you've got 3 choices for a file system: NTFS, FAT, and FAT32. But what's the difference between them? Read on as I give you a detailed review of the file systems and tell you (what I think is) your best choice.

Following are Microsoft's Windows Glossary definitions for each of the 3 file systems:

File Allocation Table (FAT): A file system used by MS-DOS and other Windows-based operating systems to organize and manage files. The file allocation table (FAT) is a data structure that Windows creates when you format a volume by using the FAT or FAT32 file systems. Windows stores information about each file in the FAT so that it can retrieve the file later.
FAT32: A derivative of the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system. FAT32 supports smaller cluster sizes and larger volumes than FAT, which results in more efficient space allocation on FAT32 volumes.
NTFS: An advanced file system that provides performance, security, reliability, and advanced features that are not found in any version of FAT. For example, NTFS guarantees volume consistency by using standard transaction logging and recovery techniques. If a system fails, NTFS uses its log file and checkpoint information to restore the consistency of the file system. In Windows 2000 and Windows XP, NTFS also provides advanced features such as file and folder permissions, encryption, disk quotas, and compression.

As it might seem obvious from the definitions, NTFS is your best option. Wait for the sequence of this thread... You'll see if NTFS is apt for you.  ;)
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2004, 07:06:36 PM »
NTFS is the best file system for large drives. Unlike FAT and FAT32, performance with NTFS isn't corrupted as drive size increases.
One of the major security features in NTFS is encryption or, in other words, the process of disguising a message or data in such a way as to hide its substance.
Another feature in NTFS is disk quotas. It gives you the ability to monitor and control the amount of disk space used by each user.
Using NTFS, you can keep access control on files and folders and support limited accounts. In FAT and FAT32, all files and folders are accessible by all users no matter what their account type is.
Domains can be used to tweak security options while keeping administration simple.
Compression available in NTFS enables you to compress files, folders, or whole drives when you're running out of disk space.
Removable media (such as tapes) are made more accessible through the Remote Storage feature.
Recovery logging helps you restore information quickly if power failures or other system problems occur.
However, there are 2 drawbacks for NTFS. Old software might not run on NTFS properly. Secondly, if you're going to run an earlier version of Windows along with Windows XP, you'll need to have a FAT or FAT32 as the start-up partition. The reason is that most (not all) earlier versions of Windows can't access a partition with the latest version of NTFS.

So now, you should have enough knowledge regarding file systems to know whether you want to opt for NTFS or not. If you're interested in switching your file system to NTFS, stay tuned for the third and last part in which I'll guide you to convert your file system to NTFS.

(by Mohammad Yousef)
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bbfi

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2004, 07:38:56 PM »
One more thing to mention.  There is one slight downside to NTFS.  NTFS drives are slightly slower than FAT32 ones.   :-\

Offline RejZoR

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2004, 08:42:08 PM »
No they're not. NTFS has lower fragmentation ratio. I'm using NTFS partition which is compressed with lossless filesystem compression and i see only little slowdown (because its compressed). If it's not compressed,than speed is the same as on FAT32.
Also NTFS has less Slack Space (lost free space).
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bbfi

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2004, 09:29:41 PM »
PC Pitstop
Quote
One or more partitions are using the NTFS file system. Although this file system offers many good features such as encryption, security, and improved reliability, it is often slower than the FAT32 file system. However, we do not advise switching back to FAT32 just to increase disk performance scores.

My results from test -

Cached speed -
NTFS - 100.03 MB/s
FAT32 - 75.49 MB/s

Uncached speed -
NTFS - 0.96 MB/s
FAT32 - 2.9 MB/s

So, it appears that the NTFS is faster when cached, but slower when uncached.  :o

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2004, 11:51:42 PM »
and HFS+ has an even lower fragmentation rate
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2004, 04:22:09 AM »
I have to agree with bbfi... I don't measure the rates but same system with same software installed works faster the FAT32 than the NTFS...
NTFS brings a lot of 'restore' problems too... Posting the text above does not means that I agree with it  ;D
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Offline RejZoR

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2004, 11:40:43 PM »
Restore problems? As far as i know NTFS is much better for restoring and recovering anything. You even don't have to watch stupid CHKDSK after hard reset anymore :P
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2004, 02:30:08 AM »
Restore problems? As far as i know NTFS is much better for restoring and recovering anything. You even don't have to watch stupid CHKDSK after hard reset anymore :P

If you have big problems with access denied, policy files corrupt... you can be in a jail with NTFS... But I respect your opinion. Just my headaches to recover some systems just turn me more cautious with NTFS.
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Re:File Systems
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2004, 08:03:36 AM »
Oh yeah if you play with different account types (admin,user,guest),and other policy stuff you might lock yourself out hehe.

I'm using NTFS only as filesystem without any security extras.
Also i like Filesystem compression because i have very small disk and this saved me around 5 GB of disk space.
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2004, 01:17:08 PM »
File Systems - Part III - By Mohammad Yousef

Welcome to the last part of my trilogy. If you've read the first and second parts and you've decided NTFS is for you, I'm going to tell you all you need to know to carry out the conversion. Please note that this article applies only to Windows XP systems.

You've got two options: either format a drive with NTFS or use the 'convert' command. The first way is recommended because all data on the partition will be erased - consequently, you'll be starting with a 'clean' drive. Use this method only if you don't need to keep your files intact. But most of us would want to keep our files, and to do this you've got two options:

Back up all your data before formatting
So you want to start with a 'clean' drive but can't afford losing your precious files? Very simple. All you need to do is back up your files to an external hard-drive or a partition other than the one you want to convert or burn the data onto CDs. After you're done you can format a drive with NTFS.
Use the convert command from command prompt
This way, you don't need to back up. All files are preserved as they are. However, I recommend a backup. You don't know what might go wrong and besides what would you lose if you did back-up. When I converted to NTFS using convert.exe, everything went smooth. Chances are your conversion will be equally smooth.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a one-way conversion. Once you've converted to NTFS, you can't go back to FAT or FAT32 unless you format the drive.

Open Command Prompt
Start / All Programs / Accessories / Command Prompt
OR
Start / Run / type "cmd" without quotes / OK
In the window, type convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs and press Enter
e.g. Type "convert C: /fs:ntfs" without quotes if you want to convert drive C
If you're asked whether you want to dismount the drive, agree.
To find more information about convert.exe type "help convert" without quotes in Command Prompt and press Enter.
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2004, 03:53:20 AM »
From FAT32 to NTFS

Windows XP supports both FAT32 and NTFS. Since the NTFS file system has many more features and benefits than FAT32 - such as increased stability and a higher level of security - it makes much more sense to format your partitions with NTFS. When you installed the operating system, you may have opted to (or mistakenly) use FAT32. Not a huge problem, since there is a one-time conversion from FAT32 to NTFS. And you can do so without losing any of your data!

There are two ways you can convert a volume to NTFS. One method is to use the Computer Management console. Or, you can do so from the command prompt window using the convert command. For example, if you have a volume "d" on your computer and you want to convert it to NTFS, simply open the command prompt and type the following command:

Convert d: /fs:ntfs

After you press Enter, the process will start unless if your drive is currently in use (prime example: you are trying to convert your system volume), you can opt to have the conversion take place the next time the computer is restarted. Just to reiterate, this is a one time conversion which means there isn't any going back from NTFS to FAT32 unless you format the volume or find a third party utility that can perform this task.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2004, 03:52:19 AM by Technical »
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Offline bob3160

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2004, 05:23:10 AM »
Technical,
Once you hit enter to start the procedure you will be asked to reboot because the operation needs to have total access to all of the files on your drive and the actual procedure is done in basic after a restart.
Depending on the size of your drive, this might take some time.
So if your in a hurry, don't start this procedure because once started, it has to run till the conversion is made.
I just finished doing this to one of my hard drives..... ;D
I guess you also receive Lockergnome which by the way is an excelent
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:File Systems
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2004, 05:06:28 AM »
Thanks bob. I've changed (corrected) that post.
I really like Lockergnome. Sometimes, when the information could be useful, I posted it here. I tryed to be fare: I quoted the author  ;D
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Re:File Systems
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2004, 02:29:22 PM »
Technical,
I know you did and it should be that way. But the nice thing is that the info was passed on to a lot of people not just those of us that receive lockergnome.
I like your new avatar...... ;D
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