Hi, I have a Dell XPS R400, with two HD a 20Gig and a 10Gig. I currently have a Windows 98 under FAT32 but I'm planning to do a clean install of Windows2000 on my computer. I won't be doing dual boot, I will clear out my computer of everything and ONLY have Windows 2000. Now my question is should I format it with FAT32 or NTFS (version 5 in win2k). I know the main difference between them and all the new features and extra stuff you can do under win2k if I choose NTFS. But where ever I read about this I can't get it clear about compatibilty issue between the two. For example if I have my computer under Win2K NTFS and my friend has a Win2K or Win98 under FAT32--> I save a MS Word file in a disk then can I open this file in my friends computer? Or visa versa?

I read that a file under NTFS in a compressd state is movable throughout NTFS systems but if I move it to a FAT32 the file still remains but just uncompressed? If this is the only case then why not all use the NTFS if it's supposedly more stable? I'm I not getting something? Does the difference between NTFS and FAT32 affect softwares?

Thanks for any help!
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  1. Well, I haven't heard of any "compatibility issues" with NTFS.

    When you copy something from an NTFS hard drive onto a disk, it automatically puts it into the disk's format (FAT16). Then when you copy it from the disk onto, say, a Windows 98 system, it then formats the files to FAT32 for Windows 98. Same thing with CD's, since they have their own filing system as well (I think it's actually called CDFS).

    Basically, the advantages of NTFS are:
    1) It hardly fragments at all. Over the course of a few years, it can eventually get pretty fragmented, but no where near as much as FAT32.
    2) It allows you to set file security. So, if you want to keep people out of your local files based on how they log on to your computer, you can do that with NTFS. FAT32 doesn't have security built in like that.

    As far as performance, I've heard that their is a slight performance hit with NTFS versus FAT32.

    <i>I don't know anything about computers... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night...</i> :lol:
  2. The CD file system is called ISO.
    And you will NEVER have file system compatability problems with multiple computers, only if you're reaing the EXACT same file in the EXACT same location with an OS that can't support that file system.

    Everything rbertino says is correct.

    Apple? Macintosh? What are these strange words you speak?
  3. Thank you guys! Everything is so much more clear now! I will install as NTFS as it seems clearly more better to me. And I will do this just like fatburger suggested in my previous question. But that method is when I install the Windows 2000 in my main HD. How do I format to NTFS in my second HD? Will the Windows 2000 setup also give me an option to format the other drive as well?
  4. Yes, setup will give you that option. But it would be easier to format it from inside Windows. Then you can use the second hard drive to backup any data you might need, copy that over, and then format it to NTFS from Windows.

    Apple? Macintosh? What are these strange words you speak?
  5. ive heard its better performance wise.
    like u said, less fragmentation, larger drive sizes with smaller sector sizes without any noticable performace impact.
    i have a 32gig partition with 4k clusters on NTFS. runs sweet & fast.

    specially useful for editing those pesky 320MB wav files :)

    My Hamster doesnt like sarcasm. He may very well bite you in your hard to reach places!
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