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Thread: whats the difference between a Fat32 and NTFS HD?

  1. #1
    HeadShot Master N1nja Cybr1d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Boston, MA

    whats the difference between a Fat32 and NTFS HD?

    My hard drive is partitioned. Thats how I got it with the PC. one of the partitions is NTFS and the other one is FAT32. the NTFS hard drive shows me MUCH LESS free space than it should be. There's about 10 gigs out of the 15 gig partition which is shows as being used. and I'm only using about 4.5 gigs of it with my stuff. No clue where the rest of the space is . Please help

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Here are the differences in the MS file systems.


    More than likely the space is being used and you are not looking for it properly. You can search through these forums for assistance as this questions was just asked like last week.

  3. #3
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    You run NT / Win2K / XP ?
    Normally you can edit (with admin priviliges) the HDD partitioning using the NT HDD admin tool,
    'Logical disk management service' under the system admin tools. Here you can edit NTFS partitions.

    Explained very very basic:
    A FAT32 partition is basicly a better FAT16. It allows to use bigger disks and has better cluster management so it safes space and reduces slack.
    NTFS is a completly different filesystem and saves even more space and reduces more slack than FAT32, it allows for better security setup. If you stick with MS, from a security and efficiency point of view, NTFS is the best choice.

    The rest of your space probably shows up in the disk management as a grey field called unused space, you can make a new partition there.
    If you used dynamic pools, but since you ask this question, you probably didn't, you can even expand and restore partitions... or add partitions to the pool. Very cool on a raid-5 server when you have to restore...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    possibility for used space

    If you're using WinXP, one thing that can take up large sections of space on your drive are system restore save points. It defaults to something like 15% of each drive's space, so that'll be just under 2 gigs of your total 15. That's one idea.

    Just do a search for "restore," and look for a folder that is way bigger than the rest. Mine was something like 12 Gigs when I had a problem similar to yours. The folder is hidden by default, in case you can't find it. If you do have system restore on, but want to reduce its save size, go to Start>Programs>accessories>System Tools>System Restore click on settings, and change the percentage to whatever is more resonable to you. If you backup your data regularly, and have a XP restore disk, you can just shut sys resore off altogether.

    Hope this helps


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    The paranoid reaction would be: "Somebody is using a rootkit on my sytem to steal my free space". But the probabilities to this are very (very) poor.

    I would more probably say that Windows is, as usual, hidding some big files (like corndog420 assumed) or that its counting method is not really good.
    It reminds me a friend who had had a similar problem with a new clean install of XP. So, maybe its common. Somebody else had had a similar experience?
    Life is boring. Play NetHack... --more--

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