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Format question
Old 29th July 2005
  #1
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Format question

Hey what's up people? I have a easy one for you. I just got one of these and I want to know if I should format it as fat32 or ntfs? It will be used to transport audio and session files around.
Old 29th July 2005
  #2
Does anyone still use Fat32?
Old 29th July 2005
  #3
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I'm just asking because it came out of the box as fat32. And I didn't know if one has an advantage over the other with audio. I know that ntfs is the new xp format but I had to ask.
Old 29th July 2005
  #4
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If you do not need NTFS security, encryption, its performance enhancements or support for large disks, then there is no real reason to use it. If you later decide to use NTFS, you can convert FAT32 to NTFS.

Benefits of NTFS

Support for large hard drives in excess of 127GB.

Support for large files. NTFS in Windows XP supports a maximum file size up to the capacity of the disk. FAT32 supports a maximum file size of only 4 GB.

Simple management of single disk partitions. No reboot is required between creating a new partition and formatting it.

Improved performance, optimised for general performance and boot times.

The size of the Master File Table (MFT) and its location are optimised based on the hard drive characteristics.

DISKPART and FORMAT takes about 90 seconds on a large hard drive.

NTFS incorporates advanced file system features such as security, transacted operations, large volumes, and better performance on larger disks. These are not available on either FAT or FAT32 disks.

File compression and encryption. Third-party tools are not required.

Volume shadow copy backup enable backups to be made without rebooting.

A local hard drive can be mounted to a folder on an NTFS volume.

NTFS is a journaling file system. It writes a log of changes being made to the files on disk. This offers significant benefits in cases where a system is susceptible to power loss, experiences an unexpected reboot, or a crash. NTFS can quickly return a disk to a consistent state without running CHKDSK, whereas FAT32 always requires CHKDSK to be run effect recovery if a failure occurs.

CHKDSK can take a very long time to complete on larger FAT32 drives but is very quick on NTFS.

Both FAT and FAT32 have scaling and compatibility limitations that NTFS does not have. An NTFS volume is capable of scaling on very large disk sizes with a single partition and supports software RAID.

go to http://kadaitcha.cx/ntfs.html for more information.



I had a sample drive that was formated as fat32, and as far as I could tell, there was no real difference, however given the file size limitations there could be some issues. however i formated that drive ntfs last time I rebuilt windows.
Old 30th July 2005
  #5
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Thank you for a very thorough reply.
Old 30th July 2005
  #6
If you will be attempting to transfer to and from Macs, stick with FAT32. (The Mac may still need updated drivers. I recently tried using a "Mac-compatible" USB drive on a client's fairly new G5 iMac -- but the iMac refused to recognize it. Since it was a client's machine, I didn't pursue it farther, but I've since been told you have to manually DL the updated driver files that allow the Mac to read the drive.)


NTFS is certainly a more contemporary file system with a a more robust set of network oriented tools and reputedly greater resistance to disk error-- but it is a trifle slower than FAT32. Still, the greater robustness and safety is probably more important, particularly with today's relatively fast drives.

NTFS, of course, will soon (or maybe later, dates/features seem to be slipping again) be deprecated in favor of MS's latest file format...
Old 30th July 2005
  #7
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ntfs is only slower than fat32 when you have indexing enabled, on a small drive with very few platters with a small cache (like 2mb) .. however the mac issue is a very valid point, that deserves some consideration.

if you are using this drive as a sample drive for various soft synth patches, or propriatary sampler data, leave it as fat32, that way application permissions won't be an issue.


tidbit:

you can install win98 on a fat32 formated drive, and it will run on any computer without repairing windows (you will have to reinstall the drivers) however, you have to repair with ntfs, and it doesn't always work...
Old 31st July 2005
  #8
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This drive will be used strictly for transporting audio and session files from one place to another.
Old 31st July 2005
  #9
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I wouldn't bother reformating the drive. especially if the drive will be used strictly for transporting audio and session files from one place to another. I have a USB hd that I use for back-up and data transfer, and on a few occasions I have run into macs, I know it's a consession to integratability, but you never know where you might go or what they might have.

besides... the drive is only 20gig... so unless you are planning on creating files larger than 4gigs, you shouldn't worry about the format

Does anyone know know if Vista will use a different format? maybe ntfs2
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