View Full Version : NTFS vs. FAT32

A. Jorge Garcia
01-17-2003, 11:56 PM
Just wondering which Windoze is which:



Is that right? Are there other versions of windoze I'm missing?


01-18-2003, 12:29 AM
Hi. I don't believe you can equate versions of windoze with their file systems.

95 only supported Fat-16. 98-se and XP home let the user choose between Fat-16 or Fat-32. NT4, 2000 and XP pro allow a choice between all three.

Also, partitions may be formatted in any of the above. For example, I have two NTFS partitions and a third which is Fat-32, all running on win 2000.

hth... merlin

02-06-2003, 07:32 PM

Please tell me what you used to make the FAT32 partition on your W2K NTFS machine - and did you have to start with an empty HD? Sounds like exactly what I want to do! My HD is already NTFS. I "understand" that Knoppis / Linux can't run from NTFS - is that true?


02-06-2003, 08:15 PM
I used Partition Magic. I re-sized one of my two ntfs partitions to make room for a 7G new one, which I formatted as fat-32.

Knoppix will run on an ntfs system via cd, and can even read the ntfs partitions, although writing to them is definitely not a good idea!

Any linux distro will install into a fat-32 partition, but it will then re-format it for linux (e.g. ext2, ext3). Some distros will even re-size and/or re-format an ntfs partition during installation.



02-23-2003, 12:42 PM
Windows OS's and their supported filesystems

Windows 95- FAT 16
Windows 95b- FAT 16, FAT 32
Windows 98/ME- FAT 16, FAT 32
Windows NT 4- FAT16, NTFS
Windows 2000- FAT16, FAT32, NTFS
Windows XP- FAT16, FAT32, NTFS

Some quick specs:
FAT 16- Up to 4 G volume size
FAT 32- Up to 2TB volume size
NTFS- Up to 2TB volume size, built in security


You dont have to use partition magic or anything special to do any of these. 'FORMAT volume [/FS:file-system]' You can convert FAT16 or FAT32 to NTFS with NT, 2000 or XP using the convert command: 'CONVERT volume /FS:NTFS'. You CANNOT convert back. So if you convert your Win98 partition to NTFS you will no longer be able to access it from 98. NT4 has a few issues with converting but most people wont have to worry about it.

No black magic voodoo going on, no special software required. Most linux distros can mount FAT16 and FAT32 with read/write. With some work you can mount NTFS as read only.

Even if you can I wouldnt reccomend installing Linux on a Windows FS, it will be a kludge at best. HDDs are cheap, just pick up a big one and split it. Or better yet get another cheap box so you can play with networking and such.

A. Jorge Garcia
02-23-2003, 03:41 PM
You dont have to use partition magic or anything special to do any of these. 'FORMAT volume [/FS:file-system]'

How do you resize an existing FAT partition without ruining what's there in order to create a new Linux partition?


02-23-2003, 05:46 PM
You can use fips.


03-15-2003, 06:15 AM
Try BootItNg trial version to resize / move / comvert without having to install the boot manager application itself.

When you first boot with the install floppy you can choose cancel which will get you to maintenace screen from which you can accomplish all these tasks non destructively.

A. Jorge Garcia
03-15-2003, 03:55 PM
Are Bootitng and Fips like partition magic just open source or freeware alternatives? Are these available on the KNOPPIX CD or do I need to get them elsewhere?


03-17-2003, 09:57 AM
If you want to resize NTFS try this one:
It is open source and works fine.