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Last Updated February 19, 2008

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Windows XP File Systems

FEATURED ARTICLE:

  • Optimizing NTFS file system performance
    The hard disk can become a bottleneck in system performance. While not much can be done to overcome hardware-related limitations, admins can optimize NTFS to reduce delays. (February 2008)

Where to Start

Limitations of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314463 - This article discusses the limitations of the FAT32 file system in Windows XP. 

Maximum Partition Size Using the FAT16 File System in Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 310561 - This article describes the maximum partition size limit using the FAT16 file system in Microsoft Windows XP.

New Capabilities and Features of the NTFS 3.1File System
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 310749 - Windows XP contains new features that are available only with the NTFS file system. This article outlines the features and advantages of converting to the NTFS file system with Windows XP.

The Free Space That Is Required to Convert FAT to NTFS 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314875 - This article provides a description of the process that Convert.exe uses to convert a disk partition from file allocation table (FAT) to the NTFS file system. The article also discusses the space that is required for conversion. 

How to...
The Default Cluster Size for the NTFS and FAT File Systems 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314878 - This article describes and lists the default values that Windows XP uses to format a volume. The article lists default values for both the NTFS file system and the file allocation table (FAT) file system.

HOW TO: Convert a FAT16 or FAT32 Volume to NTFS
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 307881 - Windows XP supports three file systems for fixed disks: FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS. It is recommended that you use NTFS with Windows XP because of its advanced performance, security, and reliability features. This article describes how to convert a FAT16 or FAT32 volume to NTFS. 

How to Use Convert.exe to Convert a Partition to the NTFS File System 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 214579 - Windows supports two disk file systems: the FAT file system and the NTFS file system. This article explains how to convert a FAT partition into an NTFS partition, and the considerations to take into account. 

HOW TO: Disable the NTFS File System Tracking of Broken Shortcut Links 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 299780 - If you disable a shortcut, the NTFS File System in Windows XP and Windows 2000 automatically attempts to locate the shortcut destination by searching all paths that are associated with the shortcut. This step-by-step article describes how to prevent this behavior from occurring. 

 
"Insufficient Disk Space for Conversion" Error Message When You Convert a Disk from FAT to NTFS in Windows XP
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 323563 - When you try to use the Convert.exe tool to convert a file system from the FAT16 or FAT32 file system to the NTFS file system, you may receive the following error message even though there is plenty of available free disk space:

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