Mixing Fat32 and NTFS drives

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

Just got a leftover Seagate 80 gig drive from my son. My boot drive (WinXP
SP2) is small is formatted with Fat32. The 80 gig drive is formatted with
NTFS. I have read that this file system shouldn't be used on drives smaller
than a couple hundred megs. Should I reformat it to Fat32? Any way to do
that without booting to a Win98 floppy? Will XP recognize the whole drive
as a single volume?

Thanks
7 answers Last reply
More about mixing fat32 ntfs drives
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Yes you can mix Drive formats. NTFS will work just fine with that 80gig
    drive.

    Bob Eyster


    "Lee M." <lmacmil@forget_it.com> wrote in message
    news:DsudnZ2dnZ3hFVL_nZ2dnRIiYt-dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@comcast.com...
    > Just got a leftover Seagate 80 gig drive from my son. My boot drive
    > (WinXP SP2) is small is formatted with Fat32. The 80 gig drive is
    > formatted with NTFS. I have read that this file system shouldn't be used
    > on drives smaller than a couple hundred megs. Should I reformat it to
    > Fat32? Any way to do that without booting to a Win98 floppy? Will XP
    > recognize the whole drive as a single volume?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Your drive is 80,000 megs, so where is the problem?
    --
    Ron Sommer

    "Lee M." <lmacmil@forget_it.com> wrote in message
    news:DsudnZ2dnZ3hFVL_nZ2dnRIiYt-dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@comcast.com...
    > Just got a leftover Seagate 80 gig drive from my son. My boot drive
    > (WinXP SP2) is small is formatted with Fat32. The 80 gig drive is
    > formatted with NTFS. I have read that this file system shouldn't be used
    > on drives smaller than a couple hundred megs. Should I reformat it to
    > Fat32? Any way to do that without booting to a Win98 floppy? Will XP
    > recognize the whole drive as a single volume?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Youve been reading incorrect info.
    NTFS is the native format of winnt based sys, it is more secure than fat32
    and more efficient

    "Lee M." <lmacmil@forget_it.com> wrote in message
    news:DsudnZ2dnZ3hFVL_nZ2dnRIiYt-dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@comcast.com...
    > Just got a leftover Seagate 80 gig drive from my son. My boot drive
    (WinXP
    > SP2) is small is formatted with Fat32. The 80 gig drive is formatted with
    > NTFS. I have read that this file system shouldn't be used on drives
    smaller
    > than a couple hundred megs. Should I reformat it to Fat32? Any way to do
    > that without booting to a Win98 floppy? Will XP recognize the whole drive
    > as a single volume?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 23:44:12 +0100, "DL" <dl@spoofmail> wrote:

    >Youve been reading incorrect info.

    We'll check that later.

    >NTFS is the native format of winnt based sys, it is more secure than fat32
    >and more efficient

    You've just read some typical info on NTFS that is incomplete, if not
    actually incorrect.

    Yes, NTFS is the native format of NT. That doesn't mean you should
    use it, though it may mean you'll be pressured to use it.

    Yes, NTFS is more secure than FAT32. But while "secure" is a great
    feel-good word, it may not even be relevant to the way you use your
    PC. NTFS systems get infected pretty much as easily as FATxx systems,
    and if you have the rights to edit your data, any malware running
    during your logon will have the right to trash it.

    FATxx can be read by and written to by XP, older versions of Windows,
    Linux (both HD-based and CD-booted), and DOS modes of Win9x running
    from boot diskettes. The file system is well-documented and simple,
    and can be maintained from DOS mode Scandisk that will stop and ask
    before it "fixes" anything. And there are tools available that let
    you (or your tech) hand-repair damaged file system structures.

    NTFS can be read and written to by NT such as XP, and only within
    compatibility limits that change as NT gets versioned upwards. XP
    runs off HD only, unless you go the extra mile to build yourself a
    Bart PE CDR that can do the same. There are no interactive repair
    tools like Scandisk, no byte-level documentation on what is a far more
    complex system, and no tools to manually fix anything.

    So you'd better hope NTFS is "more robust", because if it gets barfed,
    there are no tools to manually un-barf it and save your data.

    Then again, no matter how well-designed a file system may be, it's
    still dogmeat to anything that goes wrong below that level of
    abstraction - say, bad RAM, failing hard drive, etc.

    >"Lee M." <lmacmil@forget_it.com> wrote in message

    >> Just got a leftover Seagate 80 gig drive from my son. My boot drive
    >> (WinXP SP2) is small is formatted with Fat32. The 80 gig drive is
    >> formatted with NTFS. I have read that this file system shouldn't be
    >>used on drives smaller than a couple hundred megs.

    Well, an 80G HD isn't smaller than a couple of hundred megs. Or did
    you mean gigs? I don't see any reason to not use NTFS for HD's in the
    2G+ range, if I were considering using it at all. Perhaps it's just
    that NTFS's scalability advantages aren't that relevant there.

    >> Should I reformat it to Fat32? Any way to do that without booting to
    >> a Win98 floppy? Will XP recognize the whole drive as a single volume?

    XP will recognise FAT32 volumes right up to 200G+ (the limit is way
    higher than that) but it's artificially crippled so that it can't
    *format* FAT32 larger than 32G.

    Win98's FDisk has problems of its own; the standard one may well not
    be able to cope with an 80G hard drive. WinME's FDisk will handle 80G
    fine, as will a "fixed" replacement for Win98's FDisk that was
    available from MS as a free download. Both of these FDisks have
    problems above 99G (they can't input or show those numbers properly)
    and no DOS or Win9x is OK over 137G.

    Win98's formatter may "look funny", but will format 80G just fine,
    once something else has partitioned it a la FDisk.

    I don't use any of these tools anymore; I gave up on MS for disk
    management and use BING from www.bootitng.com instead. I don't
    install it (in other words, I Esc the install-to-HD prompt), I just
    use it as a partition manager, a mode it falls through to once you
    decline the offer to install it to disk.


    >-------------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
    Reality is that which, when you stop believing
    in it, does not go away (PKD)
    >-------------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Hi guys

    As a complete 'newbie', still trying to get my head around the whole
    FAT32/NTFS thing.

    Let me run this one by you 'cause I think it's closely related to the
    original question. I am trying to capture dvd video as MPEG. I'm
    running FAT32 at the minute which, I'm led to believe, won't store more
    than 4Gb files (?)

    I know NTFS doesn't have this limitation, so........if I got hold of an
    external HD and formatted/converted it to NTFS, will my XP Pro/FAT32 OS
    be able to read & write from & to it? From the preceding answers I
    would guess yes?

    Thanks


    --
    Tommo1
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Tommo1 wrote:

    > if I got hold of
    > an external HD and formatted/converted it to NTFS, will my XP
    > Pro/FAT32 OS be able to read & write from & to it? From the preceding
    > answers I would guess yes?

    Your guess is correct. Winodws XP can read and write any and all
    combinations of NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, and FAT12, regardless of what file
    system it itself is installed on.

    --
    Ken Blake
    Please Reply to the Newsgroup
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Tommo1 wrote:
    > Hi guys
    >
    > As a complete 'newbie', still trying to get my head around the whole
    > FAT32/NTFS thing.
    >
    > Let me run this one by you 'cause I think it's closely related to the
    > original question. I am trying to capture dvd video as MPEG. I'm
    > running FAT32 at the minute which, I'm led to believe, won't store more
    > than 4Gb files (?)
    >

    If you mean that the maximum size of an individual file is limited to
    4Gb, then you're correct.


    > I know NTFS doesn't have this limitation, so........if I got hold of an
    > external HD and formatted/converted it to NTFS, will my XP Pro/FAT32 OS
    > be able to read & write from & to it? From the preceding answers I
    > would guess yes?
    >


    Yes, it would. WinXP can read FAT12 (the file system used on 3.5"
    diskettes), FAT16, FAT32, CDFS (the file system used on most CDs), and
    NTFS with equal facility. Further, the file system on any one
    disk/partition or diskette has absolutely no affect upon the operating
    system's ability to read other compatible file systems on other
    disks/partitions.

    However, you don't necessarily have to get an external hard drive. You
    can safely convert your current hard drive to NTFS whenever desired,
    without having to format the partition and reinstall everything. As
    always when performing any serious changes, back up any important data
    before proceeding, just in case. A little advance preparation is also
    strongly recommended, so you can avoid any performance hits caused by
    the default cluster size:

    Converting FAT32 to NTFS in Windows
    http://www.aumha.org/a/ntfscvt.htm


    --

    Bruce Chambers

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