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In this post i am going to teach you about various types of file system and formating used in computers. So lets start.

The file system dictates how information is organized on the disk.  For example, the file system determines hjow large the allocation unit, or storage unit, the file is.

 The following sections introduce the different file systems available and the os’ s that support them.

The FAT FILE SYSTEM– the file allocation table (fat) file system has been the most popular file system up until the last few years.  The file system is designed for the small disk and simple folder structures.

 it resides in the beginning of the system. It keeps two copies of the data in its table as back up so that if any copies become corrupted it can cure that corruption. 

The file allocation table along with the root folder should be kept on fixed position so that boot files can be perfectly located.  The file allocation table (fat) file system has been the most popular file system up until the last few years. 

Although the fat file system is the most common  as it can be used by all operating system, it  is losing competitive edge against it successor fat32 because of its age and limitations.

The fat file system was the file system used by dos ,  windows 3.1 and windows 9.x  and is supported by  windows vista.

THE FAT32 FILE SYSTEM – after the retail release of windows 95, an update to the os was created, known as windows 95 osr2(oem service release 2).

 windows 95 osr2 introduced an updated fat file system called fat32.   One of the apparent benefits of fat32 was that the maximum partition size was increased from 2gb to 2tb.

  although fat32 has the capability to have partitions of 2tb in size. Microsoft has limited the size of fat32 partition in windows 2000/xp operating system to 32 gb when creating partitions.

The other major beneifit to fat32 isthat it dramatically decreases the cluster size to make better use of disk space.

NTFS -   STARTING WITH WINDOWS NT, MICROSOFT IMPLEMENTED A new file system:  new technology file system (ntfs).  Ntfs makes the better use of space available on the particular disk by the cluster size (the same size as a sector). 

This means that you waste even less space on a ntfs file system than on fat32 file system.  The original version of ntfs supported a number of features that made it more attractive than fat version of the file systems.  

 with ntfs you could configure permission who could access or see what is inside the files.  You could also take advantages of features such as compression auditing and encryption.  Ntfs uses 4 kb of cluster size for partition of 2 tb in size.

CDFS – stand for “compact disc file system” .  Cdfs is a file system used for storing data on cds.  It is a standard published by the international organization for standardization and is also known as “iso 9660”.

  disc that store data using the iso 9660 standard can be recognized by multiple platforms,  including windows ,  macintosh and linux system.

The cdfs standard is useful for burning discs that will be shared between multiple computers. Because cdfs is not specific to a single operating system, a disc burned on a macintosh using the compact disc file system can be read on windows or linux based computer.

Disc images can also be safe using the cdfs standard which may be used to burniso 9660 discs.  These files are typically saved with an .iso file extension.

Cdfs specifies several disc properties, including volume attributes, file attributes and file placement.  It also specifies the over all data structure of a cd, such as header size and the data storage area of the disc.

While cdfs is already designed for read only single session disc, an extension of the standard allows multiple session writing to cd-r discs .  These means multiple volumes may be stored on a single cd.

FULL FORMAT – choosing the full format feature is better suited for a computer preferbly which uses ntfs over fat.  A full format completely wipes your hard drive.  After a full format, there should not be any recovarable data left that a program could take out.

A full format also checks the hard drive for bad sectors and it will attempt to fix it.  A successful fix means that your hard drive is once again fully functional and all space on it can be used.  Finally, the tables of the new file system are carefully constructed on the hard drive and checked before the actual installation begins.

QUICK FORMAT a quick format is completely opposite of full format.  A quick format will only delete the journalling part of the file system.  This means that a journal is kept in order to keep track of what files even exist and where they can be located on the hard drive.

  a quick format simply wipes this journal, and lays a new, simple and blank file system on the top.  It doesn’t really build the file system, it doesn’t scan for bad sectors.

  and it doesn’t delete the data that’s on there .  Therefore, assuming that no new data has been writtten back onto the hard drive to overwrite the hidden old data one could use a file recovery program to find and re save virtually every file that was on the hard drive before the quick format.

Hope you liked it thank you for reading.


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