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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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FAT32 vs NTFS? Which is better for large video files?

I am building a new video editing machine which will have two 250G SATA drives dedicated to video storage.

NTFS or FAT32? Any other advice?
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #2
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Well Fat32 has a 4gig file size limit.

NTFS doesn't... it's got one I'm sure but it's big enough not to give you a problem ;)

Only reason I see going with Fat32 is for Mac/PC compatibility (or linux).
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #3
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Well that decides it, thanks!
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #4
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FAT32 or NTFS

Tom,

I just had a friend bring his 300 gig HD to my office to transfer large video files from a shoot I did and his drive crapped out. It said the disk was full even though most of the disk was empty. It was formatted in FAT32.

He exchanged that drive with another one and formatted it NTFS. No problems. This is a long way of saying "NTFS" for large files.

All the best,

Terry
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:41 AM   #5
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in case you need to make a fat32 partition:

i've only been able to make fat32 partitions up to about 200 gigs using partition magic in windows xp. (win2k/xp won't let you make fat32 partitions above 32 GB). another operating system will probably also work (for example, using a live linux dvd).

I only use fat32 for compatability for transferring files between mysterious systems. there's a reason why usb keys are usually fat32.
----
use ntfs
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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Yeah, I would almost bet your buddy might have only had a 32 gig partition as that is all 2k/XP will do. and that would certainly fill up fast ;)
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Old August 8th, 2006, 02:54 AM   #7
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The only thing I have that is FAT32 is flash memory cards. If I should happen to need to transfer something to an old system that is what I would use (if that old system even supported USB - if not I would use a CDRW).
NTFS is better in several ways. There is practically no reason to use FAT32 on a hard drive anymore unless you like to play old games that won't work on NTFS.

BTW I've formatted 80 gig hard drives to FAT32. There are ways to get around that 32gb limitation. XP artificially forced people into that limitation in order to drive people to NTFS. Essentially if you boot with a Win98 OS you can format a drive to much larger sizes than 32gb then use the drive in XP. I used to do this back in the days I still wanted to run old 16 bit games on my computer. I can't see much of a reason to use FAT32 other than that.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 02:59 AM   #8
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fat32 is actually a faster performing file system... it's just not as stable and has limitations. There are more reasons than just old programs.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #9
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No one has mentioned the security problems of FAT32 compared to NTFS. BTW there are people who say NTFS is faster but I don't know where they get that. FAT32 will be faster but only by a small margin.

At any rate the one thing that made me switch to NTFS was the file size limitation of FAT32. If you want to deal with large video files there really is only one choice. That's the reason I said there is only one good reason to stick with FAT32. I don't believe the speed issue is significant enough to make anyone put up with the file size limitation. There are some people who want to continue to play old games though. Those are the only people I know of that are still using FAT32.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #10
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I agree... I run NTFS all day with the exception of a section of a external for use between me and my biz partner's mac.

I only mention the performance issue to be "technically" accurate. Which is a good reason to bring up the security issue but I imagine most of us don't worry about security of our files on our own personal networks. It's more of an issue in a corporate enviroment when you don't want employees access files they shouldn't (budget/accounting stuff). It's also more stable and less prone to needing to be error checked, if you recall fat32 would tell you it needed to run scan disc every other boot! With NFTS you rarely see that happening, honestly that had me sold on NTFS even before I got into video :)
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Old August 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #11
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I used to repair computers on a daily basis, and FAT 32 was often the cause of many problems. Basicly FAT 32 can become corrupted much easier, causing mis allocated sectors, cross linked files, un marked files, and all sorts of other nasty problems. Scandisk was designed to detect, and repair these problems, but corrupted data cannot always be fixed.

NTFS is much safer if you want to be sure your data doesn't get corrupted. As others have mentioned it does also have the larger size limitations, and security features.

In addition you can do some really cool stuff with NTFS that FAT won't do. It can make more than one drive appear as one, or make mirrored partitions for redundancy in case a drive fails. XP home won't let you do all the best tricks though, you need XP pro to use what microsoft calls "Dynamic" disks.

The advanced disk stuff is best left to a professional computer person though, because there are allot of implications involved for each type of setup. You can sacrifice performance, or make a situation where a drive failure would ruin all your data on multiple drives.

Anyway, NTFS is the best file system unless you have specific reasons not to use it.
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