Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Format Disc on NTFS of FAT 32


The NTFS file system provides the following features:

  • Security at the file and folder level This allows you to control access down to the file level.
  • Disk compression This allows you to compress folders, subfolders, and files to increase the amount of file storage, but will slow access to the files.
  • Disk quotas This allows you to limit the amount of disk space used by each user.
  • File encryption Folders, subfolders, and files can be encrypted and decrypted automatically by the operating system.
  • Active Directory This allows domain-based security. (While Active Directory is technically not a feature of NTFS, it is important to note here that you have to be using NTFS to use Active Directory on the files and folders).

With Windows 2000 using NTFS, you can use remote storage, dynamic volumes, and mounting volumes to folders. These features will be discussed later in the book. Partitions that use the NTFS file system can only be accessed by Windows NT and Windows 2000. However, if you use any of the new NTFS features provided by Windows 2000, you will not be able to access it from Windows NT. For example, if a file is encrypted in Windows 2000, the file will not be available for reading in NT. NTFS is the best choice when security is an issue.

You can use important features such as Active Directory and domain-based security only by choosing NTFS as your file system.

FAT and FAT32

The FAT (or FAT16) file system allows access from multiple operating systems, including Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 95/98, MS-DOS, Linux, and OS/2. It is a less-efficient file system with fewer features than NTFS, and does not offer any built-in security. FAT32 enhances the FAT file system by allowing larger partition sizes and smaller cluster sizes. FAT partitions were limited to 4GB. With hard disks commonly larger than 8GB, FAT32 was introduced in Windows 98 to extend the partition sizes. FAT32 is compatible with Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Windows NT cannot use FAT32 partitions.

Many people make the mistake of thinking FAT partitions were limited to 2GB. It is possible to install NT 4 onto a 4 Gig FAT partition. When you are installing NT 4, it will ask you, "where do you want me to install?" it. At that point you can take, for example, two 2GB partitions, and delete one, which will then make a 4GB partition. At that point,, you can format it as FAT, and install NT there.

How do you choose which file system to use on partitions? It depends on how your workstation will be configured. Microsoft recommends the NTFS partition with single boot operating system for computers running Windows 2000. Also, NTFS is the only file system that supports the new Active Directory introduced with Windows 2000. If you want to dual-boot with Windows 2000 and Windows 95/98, then you will need to choose the FAT or FAT32 file system on the first partition. Some new features have been added to NTFS by Windows 2000. For example, if you used the new encryption feature on a file, that file would not be readable when you booted up into Windows NT. When configuring a computer for dual-booting between Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft recommends using a FAT partition (not FAT32, because Windows NT 4.0 does not recognize FAT32). This ensures that when the computer is booted up into Windows NT 4.0, it will have access to all of the files on the computer.
Multiboot Configurations

With many versions of the Windows operating system now available, some users will need to have multiple operating systems installed on the same computer. The user can choose which operating system to load. During installation, you can upgrade an existing Windows operating system to Windows 2000, but when you do, you cannot load the existing operating system. When configuring your computer for multiboot operations, consider the following points:

  • To upgrade an existing Windows operating system to Windows 2000, you must install Windows 2000 in the same directory. To dual-boot with the existing Windows operating system and Windows 2000, you must install Windows 2000 in a different directory so it doesn't overwrite the existing files (Microsoft also recommends that you install to a different partition).
  • When dual-booting Windows 2000 with MS-DOS or Windows 95/98, install Windows 2000 last, because older operating systems overwrite the Master Boot Record and you won't be able to boot into Windows 2000.
  • You cannot install Windows 2000 in a compressed drive that is not compressed with NTFS.
  • All applications must be reinstalled on Windows 2000 when you do not upgrade from the existing operating system. To save disk space, you can install most applications to the same directory in which they are currently installed.
  • With Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 and earlier, NT4 is able to read data on NTFS partitions, but it cannot read files encrypted in Windows 2000.

NTFS partitions, but it cannot read files encrypted in Windows 2000.
Now that we have discussed the different file systems available for Windows 2000, let's test what you have learned so far.

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