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New Computer hard drive partion

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by sjfrellc, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    I have a new Acer Aspire T160 Sempron 3200, 512k Ram, and 160gig Seagate hard drive.

    The Operating system is Windows XP home but the hard drive was formatted with two FAT32 partitions labeled C:(ACER) and D: (ACERDATA).

    What gives? Why not NTFS and one partition. Should I reformat or change the current setup?
     
  2. Bluzman

    Bluzman

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    I always use 2 or 3 partitions on a new system. I give most to the C partition. I use D for storage and backup. If your OS becomes corrupt you can reformat C and having your backup stuff on D can speed up getting C back to normal. You can also Reformat C to NTFS and leave D as a Fat 32 when your reinstalling XP.
    Just my Opinion. I wouldn't mess with converting C to NTFS for now.
     

  3. vote Republican

    vote Republican White and nerdy Moderator

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    If you reformat make sure you get any acer specific drivers/installers etc off to a cd or something first.
     
  4. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    I did the original suggested backup to 5 cds. A system restore thing.

    I should probably format the C: to NTFS.

    If I leave it as FAT32 do big files just get broken up into smaller files and become less efficient?
     
  5. vote Republican

    vote Republican White and nerdy Moderator

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    http://www.theeldergeek.com/ntfs_or_fat32_file_system.htm

    Which File System to Choose?

    As much as everyone would like for there to be a stock answer to the selection question, there isn't. Different situations and needs will play a large role in the decision of which file system to adopt. There isn't any argument that NTFS offers better security and reliability. Some also say that NTFS is more flexible, but that can get rather subjective depending on the situation and work habits, whereas NTFS superiority in security and reliability is seldom challenged. Listed below are some of the most common factors to consider when deciding between FAT32 and NTFS.

    *
    Security

    FAT32 provides very little security. A user with access to a drive using FAT32 has access to the files on that drive.

    NTFS allows the use of NTFS Permissions. It's much more difficult to implement, but folder and file access can be controlled individually, down to an an extreme degree if necessary. The down side of using NTFS Permissions is the chance for error and screwing up the system is greatly magnified.

    Windows XP Professional supports file encryption.

    *
    Compatibility

    NTFS volumes are not recognized by Windows 95/98/Me. This is only a concern when the system is set up for dual or multi-booting. FAT32 must be be used for any drives that must be accessed when the computer is booted from Windows 95/98 or Windows Me.

    An additional note to the previous statement. Users on the network have access to shared folders no matter what disk format is being used or what version of Windows is installed.

    FAT and FAT32 volumes can be converted to NTFS volumes. NTFS cannot be converted to FAT32 without reformatting.

    *
    Space Efficiency

    NTFS supports disk quotas, allowing you to control the amount of disk usage on a per user basis.

    NTFS supports file compression. FAT32 does not.

    How a volume manages data is outside the scope of this article, but once you pass the 8GB partition size, NTFS handles space management much more efficiently than FAT32. Cluster sizes play an important part in how much disk space is wasted storing files. NTFS provides smaller cluster sizes and less disk space waste than FAT32.

    In Windows XP, the maximum partition size that can be created using FAT32 is 32GB. This increases to 16TB (terabytes) using NTFS. There is a workaround for the 32GB limitation under FAT32, but it is a nuisance especially considering the size of drives currently being manufactured.

    *
    Reliability

    FAT32 drives are much more susceptible to disk errors.

    NTFS volumes have the ability to recover from errors more readily than similar FAT32 volumes.

    Log files are created under NTFS which can be used for automatic file system repairs.

    NTFS supports dynamic cluster remapping for bad sectors and prevent them from being used in the future.

    The Final Choice

    As the prior versions of Windows continue to age and are replaced in the home and workplace there will be no need for the older file systems. Hard drives aren't going to get smaller, networks are likely to get larger and more complex, and security is evolving almost daily as more and more users become connected. For all the innovations that Windows 95 brought to the desktop, it's now a virtual dinosaur. Windows 98 is fast on the way out and that leaves NT and Windows 2000, both well suited to NTFS. To wrap up, there may be compelling reasons why your current situation requires a file system other than NTFS or a combination of different systems for compatibility, but if at all possible go with NTFS. Even if you don't utilize its full scope of features, the stability and reliability it offers make it the hands down choice.
     
  6. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    Thanks for that excellent posting.

    Nice to know that the shared folders can be accessed by other computers on a network.

    It begs the question of why ACER would put two equal partitions on a hard drive and format them both with FAT32 for a Windows XP operating system.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Because its Acer. ;)

    Most Drivers, etc, should be on the Acer rescue CD. I'd probably do exactly as you said, Format the PC, and change the partitions to one big C:. I use my DVD R disks to back up my PC's important stuff. Also, if for some reason your hard drive went out, the stuff on the second partition would be as useless as whats on the primary paritition.

    Good luck
    IGF