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File Systems Explained – Part III

May 17th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content


This is the final installment of my write-ups explaining the file systems. In this one, I’ll explain FAT, NTFS and HFS+.


File Allocation Table; more popular by its abbreviation FAT, is one of the most common file systems in the computing world. This file system, developed by Microsoft, has been in existence for quite a while and has seen  a few updates along the way as well, in form of FAT16 and FAT32. According to me, this is the simplest file system of all and supports file size up to 4 GB. A linked list structure is used by this and removable Medias such as SD cards and USB drives use this more often, rather than a general hard drive.

File Systems - 1


New Technology File System is a product of Microsoft and is often termed as the next generation file system. The structure is more complex compared to FAT and starting from Windows XP, Microsoft incorporated this file system into their operating systems as well. It keeps records of all the operations and hence is known to be a journaling file system. It easily detects errors and knows the relevant recovery process as well. Some errors it can easily recover from are: Power Outage and Drive Failure. Each file size can be as much as 16 TB with NTFS, the maximum volume size being 256 TB. NTFS is not universal as FAT, however most of the operating systems provide support for this. Unlike FAT, this is suitable for the hard drives, but not for the removable Medias.

File Systems - 2


This has been developed by Apple for the MACs. Just like NTFS, this is a journaling file system as well and it supports easy recovery in case of serious issues. Both Linux and MAC OS X operating systems are compatible with HFS+, but not Windows.

With this, I finish my 3-part series on file systems here. I hope it was entertaining and informative. If anyone reading these articles has any questions for me, feel free to shoot them through the comments section.

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