In Win XP, regarding the File Allocation Table

I was going over some practice questions for an A+ certification test and I came across the question: During Windows XP installation, formatting a 1.85GB disk partition using FAT will:

a) automatically format the partition using FAT16
b) prompt a technician to choose either FAT16 or FAT32
c) automatically format the partition using FAT32
d) fail; Windows XP only supports partitions larger than 2GB in size

I come to find out the answer is C. But, I'm curious as to why that is. Why would Windows automatically format to FAT32? Does it have to do with the size of the partition or is it just the default setting?
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  1. 2GB is the limit for FAT16, I'm guessing XP looks to use FAT32 when the drive is at the limit. Don't you hate these worthless A+ questions? That is something that you will never need to know now.
  2. Best answer
    I would assume the answer would be C because that's what XP supports. It can handle FAT16, but to my knowledge it will never format it as FAT16. Drive size wouldn't matter. To use FAT16 you'd need to grab an old win98 disk.

    But as Nvalhalla points out we almost don't care about this anymore.
  3. Thankyou for the reponses! Though is it not true that FAT is still in use by many devices to this day? and is still supported across all Windows Platforms? or is it just not that relevant any longer?
  4. It is still in use with older OS, but only as FAT32. Even then, NTFS is the default. You would never use FAT16, or a 2GB HDD for that matter.
  5. I think flash drives still use it. But desktops are all on NTFS now.
  6. Smaller flash drives do. Mine are NTFS as FAT32 limits file sizes to 2GB, too small for movies and game files. Advantage for FAT32 is they are safer to just pull out without ejecting.
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