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  1. Member coody's Avatar
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    Hey, I got an external 120GB hard drive to backup DVD movies. Do you think which file system on the drive should be better to save the backup files, videos and audios, the NTFS or FAT32 and why? The Operating System is Win XP. Thank you for your answer.
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  2. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    If it for XP then use NTFS. More secure, more efficient and faster. If you want to be able to access the files from other machines, including Linux based machines, then FAT32 is probably more compatible.
    Read my blog here.
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    If you choose FAT32, bare in mind there is a 4GB limit on file sizes. (Could be an issue, depending on how you intend to backup DVDs.) NTFS now has read and write support in Linux through NTFS-3G, so even if you're using different OS's it probably won't be a problem to use NTFS. Older Windows versions (9x/ME) can't read NTFS without tweaking though.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Most OS, even older Win98/ME, have patches and drivers that read NTFS now, as long as it's not encrypted NTFS files. (Not sure, but there's bound to be trouble with protected files.)
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
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  5. Banned
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    NTFS exists, bluntly, because FAT32 isn't a very good file system. You should use NTFS unless you have a very compelling reason that you know of to use FAT32. As nonoitall points out, it's very important to keep in mind that 4 GB limit on file sizes in FAT32, which could be important to you.

    Reasons why someone might feel a need to still use FAT32 include:
    Having an ancient version of Norton Ghost that doesn't work well with NTFS. (any recent version of Ghost will not have this problem)
    Wanting to connect your drive via USB to a DVD player or media streamer that can't read devices with NTFS file systems.

    If these don't apply to you, you have no reason to use FAT32 that I can think of.
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    It never cease to amaze me whenever I encounter computers running any newer version of Windows NT still using old crappy FAT32.
    Its too late for Windows 2000, but I still hope one day Microsoft will really get smarter just a notch, and removes that stupid FAT32 option still available on WinXP (last chance to do it in Service Pack 3, I guess).

    That shitty FAT/FAT32 filesystem's legacy is what is crippling and dragging i.e. entire world of portable storage (the whole mess with all the SD cards limits and incompatibilities is in large due to use of FAT/32... )
    I wonder why there is no initiative from i.e. International Standards Org. to get rid of this half a century old filesystem once and for all.
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  7. Member
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    Well, FAT32 does still have a few uses. It's not a journaled FS like NTFS, which makes recovery after an improper unmount a little more time-consuming, but at the same time, makes it a little bit better-suited for flash media where repeated rewrites cause the drive to wear out quicker. Ext2 would be an even better choice though (no weak file size limits), if only Windows natively supported it! Modern flash drives with wear-leveling shouldn't be quite as adversely affected by journaling as older drives, but it still has an effect. But, that doesn't really have anything to do with the OP's question.
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  8. Member coody's Avatar
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    My external hard drive is default of FAT32. I did not reformat it before backup files on it. Since you all said the NTFS is better than the FAT32, is it possible to change the file system from the FAT32 to NTFS directly without loss of the saved DVD movies and transfer of the saved files to the other drive or discs? If so, how to do it?
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  9. Originally Posted by coody
    My external hard drive is default of FAT32. I did not reformat it before backup files on it. Since you all said the NTFS is better than the FAT32, is it possible to change the file system from the FAT32 to NTFS directly without loss of the saved DVD movies and transfer of the saved files to the other drive or discs? If so, how to do it?
    It's easy:
    http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/ntfscvt.php
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  10. Yes. You can buy various applications such as Partition Magic but XP and Vista have a built-in capability to convert to NTFS.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb456984.aspx

    (scroll down to Converting to NTFS Using Convert.exe)

    It might take a while
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  11. Member coody's Avatar
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    Hi! Having tried to convert the external hard drive G from the FAT32 to NTFS file system by typing convert G: /fs:ntfs in the Command Prompt Window and then pressed Enter, it displayed “Enter current volume label for drive G:. What does the “current volume label” mean? How do I know and enter it? I would like to convert the file system directly without moving out the saved the DVD movies from the external hard drive G.
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DereX888
    ... I still hope one day Microsoft will really get smarter just a notch, and removes that stupid FAT32 option still available on WinXP.
    And what kind of penalty would that generate from the Euros for hindering Linux?
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    Originally Posted by DereX888
    ... I still hope one day Microsoft will really get smarter just a notch, and removes that stupid FAT32 option still available on WinXP.
    And what kind of penalty would that generate from the Euros for hindering Linux?
    I don't think it really matters. EU bureaucraps would find something else to extort money from american company anyways (i.e. lack of linux in windoze )
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  14. Originally Posted by coody
    Hi! Having tried to convert the external hard drive G from the FAT32 to NTFS file system by typing convert G: /fs:ntfs in the Command Prompt Window and then pressed Enter, it displayed “Enter current volume label for drive G:. What does the “current volume label” mean? How do I know and enter it? I would like to convert the file system directly without moving out the saved the DVD movies from the external hard drive G.
    Did you read the link I gave you?
    The volume label will popup first in Command Prompt.
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  15. Member coody's Avatar
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    None of articles explained what the volume label for the drive means and how to locate it. I have known it after try. It is the name before the drive letter, that you can see it by pressing My Computer such as “Local Disc” (H: ) etc.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    For XP, you can right click on the drive and choose "rename" to change the Volume Label. It can also be done from Manage - Disk Management
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    For XP, you can right click on the drive and choose "rename" to change the Volume Label. It can also be done from Manage - Disk Management
    thats correct for every windoze since Windows 95 (the right-click on drive in My Computer). not only for XP...
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