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FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file system

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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January 29, 2002 10:17:03 AM

I have two hard drives.

The first hard drive, I plan to divide into three partitions.

My second hard drive I plan to keep as one partition having a FAT32 file system.

If I partition my first hard drive into drive letter C: (2GB, the maximum) as the first partition using FAT16 file system, drive letter D: (2GB, the maximum) as the second partition using FAT16 file system, and drive letter E: (3GB) as the third partition using NTFS file system, can Windows 98 SE installed in the C: drive using FAT16 file system be able to read and write on the second hard disk drive that uses FAT32 file system.

The reason I ask is because many of my software are Windows 95. Although informed that their compatible with Windows 98, the software has bugs.

I assume Windows 95 software are more comfortable using FAT16 file system, so rather than use FAT32, I decided to install Windows 98 SE and my software using FAT16 file system.

However, the second hard drive (60GB) installed in my computer is using FAT32 file system. I already stored 40GB of data in my second hard drive.

Before I install Windows 98 SE on a C: drive that uses FAT16 file system, I like to make sure Windows 98 SE can access the data stored in my second hard disk drive that uses the FAT32 file system.

Thank you for any assistance you can give me.

More about : fat16 fat32 ntfs file system

January 29, 2002 11:40:53 AM

May I ask a question?

Why are you formatting the third partition on the first hard drive as NTFS? Are you planning on installing a third operating system? Neither Win95 or Win98 will be able to access a NTFS partition.

<font color=green>"I assume Windows 95 software are more comfortable using FAT16 file system, so rather than use FAT32, I decided to install Windows 98 SE and my software using FAT16 file system.</font color=green>

That is not exactly correct. Although you may own software meant for Win95 that is incompatible with Win98 ... the reason is not because of the file system type, but because of the differences between the two operating systems.

Win98 fully supports FAT32, and even if installed in a FAT16 formatted partition, will have no difficulty accessing the second FAT32-formatted hard drive.

If your version of Win95 is OSR2 or better, there is no reason to use a FAT16 file system.

If you must use FAT16 for your version of Win95, I would suggest creating two partitions on the first hard drive. The first as FAT16, and everything else as FAT32. Install Win95 on the first partition, and Win98 on the second.

Or ... purchase a copy of <A HREF="http://www.powerquest.com/products/desktop.html" target="_new">Partition Magic</A>. Install Win95 on the first hard drive with four FAT16 partitions, and Win98 on the second hard drive in a four-five GB partition. Partition Magic will be able to create a second partition on the second hard drive without the loss of your data.

It is always preferable, if possible, to install different operating systems on separate drives.

Toejam31

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