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Thread: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

  1. #1

    Default NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    OK everyone, before I get started here, I have already gone back and read some of the previous posts on this similar topic, but I am still somewhat confused,(which is common for me). I don't want to get a long, technical thread started, just a simple(?) answer (I hope)...

    HERE IS THE PROBLEM:

    I have Windows XP which uses NTFS...from what I've read it's supposed to be more stable and intelligent than FAT ?

    I have had my system (a Dell computer) for 7 months and defrag once a month, but until a couple of days ago, had not thought to do a disk check. Just on a whim I decided to do one, no particular reason, everything was working with no problems... Upon starting the CHKDSK, "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer"... After checking everything I knew to check, and verifying that all my programs on my desktop were still there and working properly (especially all my train-sim stuff) I made the dreaded customer support call to Dell this morning.

    I was on the phone for almost an hour with the tech support person, trying all sorts of "fixes" including doing a "system restore" back to April 1st.. Nothing worked, I still could not do a CHKDSK. Finally, I asked to speak to his supervisor.

    The supervisor said there was a "known issue" between the NTFS and the Santa Cruz sound card (that I have) that would not let Windows XP do a CHKDSK and that MS was working on a "fix"...

    Now he says NTFS is really more for business apps especially giant database applications, while FAT is more suited for home apps especially video, games, and sound... His suggestion was that I do a complete re-install of Windows XP and set it up with FAT partitions, which of course would mean backing everything up and having to re-install train-sim and all my other programs afterwards... I told I would not even consider doing that at this time..

    HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS:

    So, Which is better for train-sim, NTFS or FAT ?
    Would a call to MS tech support to verify this "known issue" be worth the effort ?
    Since all programs appear to be working correctly and I have not experienced any problems, do I really need to be concerned about not being able to do a CHKDSK right now ?

    BTW..I did another system restore and got everything back to the way it was on June 16th, right before I first tried to do the CHKDSK, so I haven't lost anything and it all works the way it's supposed to...

    Any help, advice, or reassurance is always appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Keeter

  2. #2
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    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    Since XP is an NT platform, using NTFS facilitates using better folder options and security. If you are the only user of the computer, or basically the "lone" user, then FAT32 would be OK. You really don't lose much in not having NTFS. There are a few programs including CHKDSK that have problems "cyphering" data on NTFS. Unfortunately, we cannot revert back to FAT32 once we have formated into NTFS. We mush FDISK (option) and reformat back to FAT32. In my case, there are 3 other users on my system, so therefore I opted for NTFS. Better folder and desktop security for each user. My other HD is set at FAT32, only because I use them for Paging file sources and scratch disks. One partition (40gig) is used soley as backups for saved data. MSTS runs well (it does for me anyway) on either type. However, I do get an occasional crash from defragging and chkdsk'ing. Im my case I have a motherboard that does not suit my HD needs (IDE controller fault there) very well. Most XP users will recommend using NTFS, but ONLY if there are more than 1 user and you want folder options and security. If you are alone in this, then FAT32 will suffice. There are other iussues concerning the FAT32/NTFS situation that I won't get into because it really gets "deep".

  3. #3
    rrlyon Guest

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    If you are using XP Home Edition most of the security enhancements do not exist for that version, only for the Professional version. If you have NTFS and need to convert you can get Partition Magic from PowerQuest. It can do conversions in the partitions that the OS can not do. One of them is FAT32 to NTFS and back to FAT32. If you do not require the data on the existing partition then do the rebuild and setup using FAT32.

    Richard
    Bellevue, WA

    [Link Expired]


  4. #4

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    Keeter, are you using the most recent Santa Cruz drivers? I know there was an issue with CHKDSK on Windows 2000 and XP, but I think that was take care of a while back.

    I have a Dell system, about 7 or 8 months old, running Windows XP with a Santa Cruz card. I have no trouble running CHKDSK. I just tried it and it worked fine.

    NTFS *is* a better file system than FAT32. I'm the only user of my primary system, but wouldn't dream of using FAT32 if I have the option of using NTFS.


  5. #5
    dgauci Guest

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    NTFS is by far, superior and more robust to FAT32 in everyway, and is Microsoft's officialy recommended file system for Win2000 and WinXP.

    It is very easy to change from FAT32 to NTFS and back again using PowerQuests Partition Magic, with no risk of loss of any data.


  6. #6
    railwaysoftware1 Guest

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-20-02 AT 05:30AM (EDT)[/font][p]No loss of data when converting from FAT to NTFS ?

    I don't think so !! x(

    btw, Partition Magic is a nice utility, but abandones you when you need it most, I've seen too many problems with the file system being corrupted after using PM. I'm not saying that it's a bad piece of software, on the contrary, I am impressed with what it can do, but it's not 100% safe to use it. Although I am a Unix sys admin, once in while I have to completely rebuild file systems on Microsoft servers or workstations because the MS filesystems are notoriously corrupted, sometimes by inexperienced users, but more often as a result of the bad fs architecture that's implemented in whatever version of Windows.
    NTFS is only useful for home users when security is an issue...if not..stick with FAT32.
    Remember that FAT32 can be brought up again after a (boot sector) crash with a rescue disk. With NTFS it's a problem, average home users cannot repair a corrupted harddisk file system without the essential knowledge and the proper tools.
    So, my advice: stick with FAT32 !


    Ron
    www.railwaysoftware.com


    Fight against terrorism, corruption and the Route Editor !

  7. #7
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    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    >Since XP is an NT platform, using NTFS facilitates using better
    >folder options and security. If you are the only user
    >of the computer, or basically the "lone" user, then FAT32
    >would be OK. You really don't lose much in not
    >having NTFS. There are a few programs including CHKDSK that
    >have problems "cyphering" data on NTFS.

    Poppycock
    Chkdsk is the native program for checking NTFS partitions and it has NO trouble with deciphering data on NTFS.

    >Most XP users will recommend using NTFS, but ONLY if

    poppycock again, most XP users would not recommend anything like this

    >there are more than 1 user and you want folder
    >options and security. If you are alone in this, then
    >FAT32 will suffice. There are other iussues concerning the >>>>>FAT32/NTFS situation that I won't get into because it >>>>>>really gets "deep".

    Please enlighten me, I am most interested.

    Derek

    Cheers
    Derek

  8. #8
    dgauci Guest

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    >No loss of data when converting
    >from FAT to NTFS ?
    >
    >I don't think so !! x(

    You don't think so based on what. Have you ever tried it, I have. You will lose NTFS extended file properties, but no data loss converting from NTFS to FAT32, but converting from FAT32 to NTFS is completely seamless.

    The rest of your message sounds more like you have a grudge with Microsoft Operating Systems. I work in a large corporate IS structure using Partition Magic for years and I haven't experienced the kind of rampant file system failures your discussing, but I have experienced first hand the benefits of NTFS over FAT32. NTFS is proven to be more robust, secure and efficient than FAT32, why stick with FAT32? Home users can venture out, the world is not flat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    IMHO The most immediately apparent advantage of using NTFS instead of FAT32 for home users is the recovery of slack space on very large partitions... This is because FAT type file systems have a fixed block size that is fairly large due to cluster count limitations in the FAT itself!
    The rest is gravy on top of that.... And yes it is light years more stable than FAT/FAT32 file systems.... I am aware of no problems using any of the MS supplied FS utilities with NTFS like checkdisk....
    IIRC and For the benefit of the Unix leaning among us (and anti MS bigots LOL!) NTFS is very similar in concept and execution to Veritas VXFS and is a true JFS (Journaled File System)....
    ------Chuck Schneider---------
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    Chuck Schneider
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  10. #10
    railwaysoftware1 Guest

    Default RE: NTFS partitions vs FAT partions

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-20-02 AT 01:08PM (EDT)[/font][p]dgauci,

    I don't want to start a flame war but if you work in a large corporate IS structure using Partition Magic for years there is something seriously wrong with the system administration implementation there. A properly setup structure doesn't need or want unstable tools like PM. I myself work as a sysadmin ( one of many ) at the ICT department of one of the largest banking companies in the world and if I even give a hint on using an application like that on the servers or workstations in the corporate network I will be shot on site... ( figure of speech of course ;-) )
    And if you want to know on which I base my previous remark, it's based on a 12 year experience in the ICT field. If you doubt the truth of my remark, ask your question in a sys admin newsgroup, you'll be surprised !
    I agree with you on the security and efficiency issues of NTFS if you compare it with FAT32, but more robust ? Nah ! MS filesystems are notoriously prone to malfunctions compared with Novell, Unix or Mainframe filesystems....
    But these are not ment for home users anyway...
    Have you ever seen a Microsoft server which didn't need to be rebooted for 6 months ? Sure, maybe a server which doesn't have a descent load average and which doesn't have much database traffic, but a relatively heavily used NT or W2000 server just isn't stable enough to rely on, many causes can be found for this and one of them is the architecture of the MS filesystem.
    Another one is the TCP/IP stack designed by Microsoft which is as leaky as a tablecloth. The reason that MS operating systems are so widely implemented throughout the world is not because they are so reliable that everyone wants to use it, no..MS has a superior marketing technique that leaves all other companies far behind...
    I could go on for hours about this, but this forum isn't designed for these issues.
    Well, we just have a different view on this, let it be so..



    Ron
    www.railwaysoftware.com

    Fight against terrorism, corruption and the Route Editor !

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