Converting to FAT32 on Win98
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Thread: Converting to FAT32 on Win98

  1. #1
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    Converting to FAT32 on Win98

    Greeting's people. I was thinking ever since the other thread in the General Tech. forum's about converting to the FAT32 file system, I was wondering if I should do it on my Win98 system. However, I didn't know if I would benefit much from it and what exactly it would do. Now there are some positive/negative aspect's to it and the positive aspect's is that it stores data more efficiently, creating up to several hundred MB of extra disk space on the drive. In addition, programs run faster and your computer uses fewer system resources. However, there tend to be quite a number of negative aspect's as well such as:

    -- Once you convert your hard drive to FAT32 format using Drive Converter, you cannot return to using the FAT16 format unless you repartition and reformat the FAT32 drive. If you converted the drive on which Windows 98 is installed, then you must reinstall Windows 98 after repartitioning the drive.

    -- Most disk compression software is not compatible with FAT32. If your drive is compressed, you may not be able to convert.

    -- If you convert a removable disk and use the disk with other operating systems that are not FAT32-compatible, you cannot access the disks when running the other operating system.

    -- If your computer has a hibernate feature, the conversion may turn off this feature.

    -- Because previous versions of Windows are not compatible with FAT32, you cannot uninstall Windows 98 after converting.

    -- Although most programs are not affected by the conversion from FAT16 to FAT32, some disk utilities that depend on FAT16 do not work with FAT32 drives. You will be prompted if you are running one of these utilities.

    Now those are from Window's Help (as is the positive aspect I mentioned atop). Now, my question (and I'd like some opinion's) is, is it worth it and do you benefit more if you convert to FAT32? I'm not entirely sure if I should go along and do it, because to me it seem's as if the negative option's out weigh the positive one's. However, I'd like some other opinion's on the matter and some other "ordeals and experience's" with it as well. Any comment's, etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Space For Rent.. =]

  2. #2
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    -- Once you convert your hard drive to FAT32 format using Drive Converter, you cannot return to using the FAT16 format unless you repartition and reformat the FAT32 drive. If you converted the drive on which Windows 98 is installed, then you must reinstall Windows 98 after repartitioning the drive.
    I can't think of a reason why you would want to go back to using fat16.

    -- Most disk compression software is not compatible with FAT32. If your drive is compressed, you may not be able to convert.
    If you are upgrading to fat32 to increase the speed of your system than you would not want to use any disk compression software as even the best compression software on the market is still incredibly slow when compared to disk access times of an uncompressed volume. You will probably also find that most disk compression software now supports fat32. When that help file was written, that wasn't the case.

    -- If you convert a removable disk and use the disk with other operating systems that are not FAT32-compatible, you cannot access the disks when running the other operating system.
    So just convert your fixed disks to fat32 and do not convert any of your removable media to fat32 if you still use any win95 or earlier systems.

    -- If your computer has a hibernate feature, the conversion may turn off this feature.
    Wouldn't you be able to turn it back on? I've never heard of a problem using fat32 and hibernate together. I've used the hibernate function on my toshiba laptop with both Win98(fat32) and Win2k(NTFS.)

    -- Because previous versions of Windows are not compatible with FAT32, you cannot uninstall Windows 98 after converting.
    This would only be a problem is you had upgraded from a previous version. If you had done a clean install you wouldn't be able to uninstall to a previous operating system anyway. And would you really want to run Win95 again?

    -- Although most programs are not affected by the conversion from FAT16 to FAT32, some disk utilities that depend on FAT16 do not work with FAT32 drives. You will be prompted if you are running one of these utilities.
    This is only the case with older software. Given that Fat16 has not been the prominent FAT file system for quit a few years you should be able to find new versions of any software that will support fat32 if the version you have doesn't.


    I would say that you should upgrade with little fear that you are going to break something that can't be fixed without a software upgrade. That help file you were reading is probably 5 years old.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well,

    If you are running Win98 and not DOS, you should be using FAT32.

    Utilities that (might) not work, will be DOS ones, but many, if not most will.

    Win98 uses the FAT 32 system naturally................

    What "previous versions of windows" could you be thinking of?....................none that you would want to go back to, I hope!

    Watch out for disk compression and DOS "saves"............they are usually losses or "own goals"

    I have seen compressed drives where the decompression key became damaged..............total loss

    I have seen "saved" diskettes.............can't find thae right DOS tool................total loss.

    At least with FAT32 you might have a chance of finding a tool that will work?

    just my 0.02
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    I can't think of a reason why you would want to go back to using fat16.
    While that's true, I don't like the "you can't" go back idea of it. You understand what I mean? Like, I have the option to go there, but not back? Catch my drift?

    If you are upgrading to fat32 to increase the speed of your system than you would not want to us any disk compression software as even the best compression software on the market is still incredibly slow when compared to disk access times of an uncompressed volume.
    Excellent point.

    This would only be a problem is you had upgraded from a previous version. If you had done a clean install you wouldn't be able to uninstall to a previous operating system anyway. And would you really want to run Win95 again?
    Yeah, I had a clean install of Win98, and I wouldn't want Win95 so I agree.

    Given that Fat16 has not been the prominent FAT file system for quit a few years you should be able to find new versions of any software that will support fat32 if the version you have doesn't.
    Again, excellent point. Thanks for the information and advice. And the helpfile is the Window's helpfile that you can read before converting. I just read it for the hell of it, but if it's old and everything. Again, thanks for the advice. Make's me feel alot better about it.
    Space For Rent.. =]

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