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Best File System (NTFS or FAT32) for USB External Hard Drive


nuzzawuzza's Avatar
nuzzawuzza nuzzawuzza is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
16-Oct-2002, 11:12 AM #1
Best File System (NTFS or FAT32) for USB External Hard Drive
I just bought a Maxtor 5000LE that has 80GB storage capacity and uses USB 1.1/.20 to connect to the PC. It comes formatted with FAT32. I will be storing large .avi files on this (around 700MB each) and wanted to know what would be the best file systems as far as disk storage and performance. I imagine with USB 1.1 or even 2.0 the performance will be poor anyhow. But in terms of making the most out of the 80GB I have to work with is NTFS or FAT32 better? I don't care about file system security and I am not sure if compression would be helpful in this case. Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.
cavp's Avatar
cavp cavp is offline
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16-Oct-2002, 11:43 AM #2
First of all: NO COMPRESSION; it'll make things slower (more CPU time). Now, if you say it will store big video files, my best bet is for FAT32; here's why: For a 80 GB hd, the default cluster size is 32 KB, it means bigger blocks that store data, at the same time faster to read and a bit more difficult to fragment. After copying aall your files, defrag the hd, to gain some speed in file accesing.
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tjsudo tjsudo is offline
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16-Oct-2002, 11:58 AM #3

80GB on NTFS is 8 Sectors/Cluster and cluster size of 4kb.(you can change this.)

On FAT32. It's 64 sectors/Cluster. A cluster is 32kb.(you can't change this.)

It's obvious that NTFS wastes less space compare to FAT32 although they both use same 32bit mapping.

Use NTFS. It offers more than security.


I didn't mean to oppose you, cavp. I took time to calculate and when i posted, your post is there.
monted's Avatar
monted monted is offline
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16-Oct-2002, 12:22 PM #4
the only reason i haven't went NTFS is that i've heard its hard to go back to FAT32 if you want to dual boot the hard drive later
cavp's Avatar
cavp cavp is offline
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16-Oct-2002, 12:34 PM #5
4 KB cluster=less space wasted; BUT ALSO: more fragments in big files=more seek time=lower speed. Remember that nuzzawuzza wants to store BIG video files, so some MB lost (the worst case) per all his files, doesn't make too much sense. Also, nuzzawuzza, I suppose u r using W2k, aren't you?
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