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formatting HDD

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AlMujtahid, Sep 24, 2003.

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  1. AlMujtahid

    AlMujtahid Thread Starter

    Aug 13, 2001
    I have a PC that is tribooting on one drive. Win 98SE, Win2k Pro, and WinXP Home. I have a nother drive installed that is not formatted yet. I am using just for data. Is it better to format as NTFS or FAT32? If I do NTFS then I wont be able to access it with Win98 correct?

    Is there a limitation with FAT32 in terms of data storage? Can I only store certain types of data or file sizes?

    Also, should I just format by right clicking on drive and selecting format or should I use partition magic?
  2. Aaron.W


    May 8, 2003
    There are NTFS drivers for Win98, and I think they are free or at least very inexpensive.

    Nevertheless, FAT32 works fine and you are quite unlikely to hit it's limits. I think the file size limit was 4 gigs. ;]

    The relative benefits between the two are:

    FAT32 is a tiny bit faster in normal operations and defrags more easily. I tend to put permanent swap files on a FAT32 partition on a second drive for performance. Given your triboot setup, I'd use FAT32 for bulk storage of things like archives, music and movies. On a second drive it also is an excellent place for temp files like CD images while burning a disk.

    NTFS is more sophisticated and efficient. It has file compression, better security, and is less likely to lose files when a disk error occurs. It's the better choice for large collections of little files, or those you want to keep safe.
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