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Windows 7: FAT32 versus NTFS?

03 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
FAT32 versus NTFS?

I have 1TB ext drive (partitioned into two drives) that I have been using with my MAC OS 10.5.8 for a few years now, it's hardly ever been used as it was my second back up. I analysed in using Puran and it's pretty tidy. I now want to start using it as a back up hard drive with Win 7 and since I originally formatted it on my MAC as FAT32 it seems to work fine.

My question is, would I be better reformatting it to NTFS now I am using it with Windows 7, or just leave it as it is? Apart from the obvious where I can use it with both platforms what are the advantages and disadvantages?

My main concern is reliability. If it has been pretty much hardly used since I filled it with data would it be better to reformat and resave everything again, or could I just run some disk check on it to test for corrupt data?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Oct 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Generally speaking, if you don't plan on using it with other operating systems, NTFS is a preferred format. Fat32 has the 4GB file size limit issue, and is of course an older standard. If 4GB files is not an issue, the easy answer is leave it as is, but formatting NTFS is easy. If accessing your data is not an issue, no need to reformat and resave. I don't believe you will find any performance or reliability differences between the two. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Well I decided just to keep it as Fat32, seems to work fine if a bit slow. It's handy for moving files between my sony and my old mac. I don't want to set up wireless file transfer, tried it before with Vista and it was a nightmare. I'm sure ti works better now, but still I don't want my Mac OS coming anywhere near my lovely windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Oct 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

If you are going to use it with the Mac, or older Windows then Fat32 is the choice. If no files larger then 4GB, you'll be fine. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

I'd quite like to get my HD copy of 2001 on my vaio, but my usb clip is only 4GB as well.
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 FAT32 versus NTFS?




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