Saturday, February 20, 2010


Difference Between FAT And NTFS | FAT Versus NTFS

File Allocation Table or FAT is a computer file system architecture now widely used on many computer systems and most memory cards, such as those used with digital cameras. FAT file systems are commonly found on floppy disks, flash memory cards, digital cameras, and many other portable devices because of its relative simplicity. Performance of FAT compares poorly to most other file systems as it uses overly simplistic data structures, making file operations time-consuming, and makes poor use of disk space in situations where many small files are present.

NTFS (New Technology File System) is the standard file system of Windows NT, including its later versions Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

NTFS supersedes the FAT file system as the preferred file system for Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. NTFS has several improvements over FAT and HPFS (High Performance File System) such as improved support for metadata and the use of advanced data structures to improve performance, reliability, and disk space utilization, plus additional extensions such as security access control lists (ACL) and file system journaling.

Difference Between FAT And NTFS | FAT Versus NTFS:
Both FAT and NTFS come in several different variations, and in some cases, the type of device you are working with determines which variation is used. With FAT, the number of bits used with the allocation table determines the variant you are working with and the maximum volume size. You’ll find that USB flash devices and MP3 players with 4 GB or less of storage are usually formatted with the 16-bit version of FAT. FAT16, also known simply as FAT, defines its file allocation tables using 16 bits. FAT16 is used because it is the most efficient version of FAT for volume sizes of up to 4 GB.

If you use devices with removable storage that have storage larger than 4 GB, such as a removable hard disk, the device will in most cases use the 32-bit version of FAT, known as FAT32. FAT32 defines its file allocation tables using 32 bits, which allows you to have volumes larger than 32 GB. Devices with removable storage use FAT because it has no security controls, allowing you to access your data on multiple computers simply by connecting your device to those computers.

On the other hand, NTFS allows you to control access to files and folders by assigning permissions. At home, your computer will typically have file access permissions only for accounts configured on the local computer. At the office, your computer will typically have file access permissions for accounts configured on the local computer as well as accounts configured for your network. 

Although NTFS supports just about any volume size you’ll want to work with, you can’t necessarily move devices formatted with NTFS from one computer to another and gain access to all the data on these devices.

You may not be able to do this because NTFS access permissions are set using accounts that are specific to a single computer, to a network, or to both.


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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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