What is the purpose of the file allocation table?
A file allocation table (FAT) is a file system developed for hard drives that originally used 12 or 16 bits for each cluster entry into the file allocation table. It is used by the operating system (OS) to manage files on hard drives and other computer systems.
A file allocation table (FAT) is a table that an operating system maintains on a hard disk that provides a map of the clusters (the basic units of logical storage on a hard disk) that a file has been stored in.
- NTFS (NT file system; sometimes New Technology File System) is the file system that the Windows NT operating system uses for storing and retrieving files on a hard disk. NTFS is the Windows NT equivalent of the Windows 95 file allocation table (FAT) and the OS/2 High Performance File System (HPFS).
- File systems are generally operating system dependent. However, since it is the most widely used PC operating system, most other operating systems' file systems are at least read-compatible with Microsoft Windows. The FAT file system was first introduced in the days of MS-DOS way back in 1981.
- New Technology File System
A version of the file allocation table (FAT) available in Windows 95 OSR 2 and Windows 98. FAT32 increases the number of bits used to address clusters and also reduces the size of each cluster. The result is that it can support larger disks (up to 2 terabytes) and better storage efficiency (less slack space).
- FAT32 Systems and 2GB File Size Limit
FAT12 FAT32 Max File Size 32 MB 2GB Max # of Files 4,077 65,517 Max Filename Size 8.3 or 255 characters when using LFNs Max Volume Size 32MB 2GB 4GB with some implementations
- The main difference between exFAT and FAT32 is their maximum capacities. exFAT can theoretically be used for partitions of up to 64ZB but 512TB is the recommended level. In comparison, FAT32 has a maximum theoretical partition size of 16TB with 32GB being the more typical size.
- Connect the USB storage device to the computer.
- Open Disk Utility.
- Click to select the USB storage device in the left panel.
- Click to change to the Erase tab.
- In the Volume Format: selection box, click.
- Click Erase.
- At the confirmation dialog, click the Erase.
- Close the Disk Utility window.
When people say that their disk is NTFS or FAT, it actually refers to the file system that's being used by the computer or more appropriately, the operating system. Today we'll tell you about the differences between FAT32 and NTFS file systems used by Windows operating systems.
- New Technology File System
- You cannot decrease the cluster size on a FAT32 volume so that the size of the FAT is larger than 16 megabytes (MB) minus 64 KB. You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size using the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process.
- If you need the drive for a Windows-only environment, NTFS is the best choice. If you need to exchange files (even occasionally) with a non-Windows system like a Mac or Linux box, then FAT32 will give you less agita, as long as your file sizes are smaller than 4GB.
Updated: 28th November 2019