FAT or NTFS?

Several readers have asked whether it's better to install Windows 2000

Professional using an NTFS partition, or a FAT32 partition. It all

depends on what you need to do. If you're using a relatively small hard

disk, FAT32 may well prove faster than NTFS; this is true whether you

use Windows NT 4.0 Workstation or Windows 2000 Professional. However,

since large hard disks are the rule these days, this is probably not a

factor for you.

If you decided to use FAT32 to make dual booting with Windows 9x

easier, remember that you will lose the increased security that NTFS

offers. You can't create volume extensions, striped volumes, etc....

unless you use NTFS. We suggest that you use NTFS on any hard disk

above 2 GB. You probably lose any speed advantage from FAT32 even

before you reach the 2 GB mark.

If you want to dual boot between Windows 2000 Professional and Windows

9x, use NTFS anyway. You can see the Windows 9x FAT32 partition from

Windows 2000 Professional, and you can arrange your partitions to

accommodate files that you need to share. We run Windows 2000

Professional on the first partition of Drive 0 and Windows 98 on the

second partition. On Drive 1, we run Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on the

first partition (using BootIt NG) and format the second partition using

FAT32. This allows us to use all these folders from either Windows 2000

Professional or Windows 98.

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