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Difference Between NTFS and FAT32 File System


You may come cross the terms FAT32 and NTFS when you're choosing hard drives. These acronyms describe the way the data is stored inside the disk. FAT32 is a relatively old standard with a couple of drawbacks - the main one being that you can't use it to store single files larger than 4GB. While this should be enough for most people, it's not ideal considering a single hour of HD video requires 2-10GB depending on quality . NTFS has no restrictions on the file size. Also, FAT32 only maintains a single copy of the file, while NTFS keeps two copies to help you recover deleted or corrupted files.

On the plus size, FAT32 can be used on both windows and Mac computers, while NTFS can only be used with Windows. Most hard drives we've tested can be used on PC or MAC platforms, though you'll need to format them accordingly.
  •  If you use Windows, format the disk into NTFS for best results. Mac users should format the drive to HFS+, though HFS+ disks won't be detected by a window PC.
  • If you want your drive to work properly in both operating systems, you may want to opt for FAT32 (or FAT64, which has better features), or have two different partitions - FAT32 and NTFS format.
LaCie drives have a set-up program that only needs to run the first time you plug the drive into your computer. It allows you to set the size of the two partitions - one FAT32 and other NTFS.

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