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Old 06-29-2004, 02:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windows XP Pro with FAT32?

I will finally be ordering a new custom computer soon with a blank 80 GB Maxtor hard-drive which I would like to install Windows XP Pro on. I would like to also add my current (and nearly FULL) partitioned hard-drive to the new system (also an 80 GB Maxtor).

I have several questions revolving around NTFS and FAT32:

1) Will my current paritioned hard-drive (running Windows 98 first edition now, which I will format clean before installing it into my new system) be compatable with XP Pro even though it's FAT32? Will it still have the supposed "stability" of XP Pro?

2) If NTFS will have better stability, then would I be ok if I simply formated my new hard-drive to NTFS and left my current at FAT32? In other words, is this "improved stability" still available if I'm accessing my FAT32 drive with my OS installed on an NTFS formatted drive?

3) My current hard-drive has one parition in FAT32 that consists of 40 GB. I read somewhere that XP Pro will not parition FAT32 drives over 32 GB. Will it read my over-sized one though?

Thank you and excuse my ignorance of this. I'm not too savvy when it comes to these terms, but I've tried to familiarize myself with them.
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Old 06-29-2004, 02:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do a clean install of XP with NTFS. When you install XP, it will ask you if you want to format using FAT32 or NTFS. Defanitely choose NTFS. Every FAT32 XP computer I've worked with has been slow and unstable. You also don't have any of the security features of XP when you are using FAT32.
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Old 06-29-2004, 02:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BUT, if XP Pro is installed on a NTFS partitioned part of my hard-drive and my files are accessed from a FAT32 drive, what about stability then? Will I have this stability if I mix the two?
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Old 06-29-2004, 02:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats OK, just don't have the XP boot volume be FAT32. Also, you will not have security features on your FAT32 volume even if your boot volume is NTFS.
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Old 06-29-2004, 02:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Basically, I do not want to reformat my current 80 GB filled drive for the reasons that I'd have to backup a ton of data and that it is not easy to return to FAT32 from NTFS if you ever decide to.

I want to use everything FAT32, but if NTFS is best for stability and such, I'll keep the operating system on that portion.
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Old 06-30-2004, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just take your Full partitioned harddrive and convert it to NTFS, that should take care of your problems..
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Old 06-30-2004, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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don't worry about reformatting....you don't have to. You can just convert to NTFS. It's very much worth it. I would also suggest to upgrade that to dynamic volumes which allow you to span logical partitions across physical drives. I've found this very handy in the past.
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Old 06-30-2004, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Both have to be NTFS if u want to access the old HDD
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP Pro with FAT32?

Quote:
Originally posted by Suidakra
1) Will my current paritioned hard-drive (running Windows 98 first edition now, which I will format clean before installing it into my new system) be compatable with XP Pro even though it's FAT32? Will it still have the supposed "stability" of XP Pro?
Absolutely. Although NTFS is the native file system for XP, I haven't read anything on the itnernet that would suggest it will run poorer on a FAT32 hdd. A lot of the benefits of using NTFS is really applicable to networks, businesses or people needing tight security. For the average home user, using FAT32 perfectly fine.

The only time where it might be almost required is in a case like mine where I have a 200 GB hdd. Using FAT32, i knew that going above 8 GB per partition would give me larger than ideal cluster sizes. If i made ea. partition 8 GB, can you imagine how many partitions in my hdd I would have hd to keep track of? More than you can shake a stick at.


Quote:
Originally posted by Suidakra
2) If NTFS will have better stability, then would I be ok if I simply formated my new hard-drive to NTFS and left my current at FAT32? In other words, is this "improved stability" still available if I'm accessing my FAT32 drive with my OS installed on an NTFS formatted drive?
To make life easy, for your current setup, I would keep your current 40 GB as FAT32 - as is. Do not convert it to NTFS because that will just create huge cluster sizes and you definitely dont' need to swallow that pill considering that your 2nd hdd is 80 GB! What you could do for sh*ts & giggles is create a dual-boot situation so that you can have a menu that gives you the optin to boot up to either Win98 or WinXP. For my dual-boot, i have Win98 on a FAT32 hdd and W2K on a NTFS hdd.

If you don't want the dual-boot, and use just XP, that's cool... just install the 80 GB as the master on primary IDE 1 channel on your MB. (the 40 GB can be used as a spare hdd) or if you want to connect it, you can connect it to either ide 1 or 2 dependign on what else you got inside your system)

Make sure you set the jumper settings properly (master/slave) when you reconfigure it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Suidakra
3) My current hard-drive has one parition in FAT32 that consists of 40 GB. I read somewhere that XP Pro will not parition FAT32 drives over 32 GB. Will it read my over-sized one though?
That's incorrect. I assure you the author of that website was smokin crack that day. FAT32 will read a 40 GB perfectly fine (and the 80 gigger for that matter).
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I read every post and took into account whatever could be helpful. Thank you!

I'd like to especially thank Lone Wolf. He answered every question I had one by one and elaborated on them well.

Also, about the 32 and up GB partitions not being able to be read in FAT32... that was my idea, haha. The information I had found did not say that exactly. What it said is that 32 and up GB paritions cannot be MADE in Windows XP if they're in the FAT32 format. Since I read this, my mind automatically popped the question "they cannot be made in XP, but can they be read by XP!?" So that was just something that I wanted to clear up.
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