Microsoft Windows File Systems
University of Phoenix/POS421
Although there are many different Windows versions that are available not many know the file systems of which they implement. A file system can be likened to the foundation of a house; it’s the starting point where everything else is built upon. Windows has been using two well-known file types over the years that have been come to known as FAT and NTFS. The acronym FAT stands for File Allocation Table and has several variants that have been used over the years. FAT is the older file system that has been traditionally been used in legacy Windows operating systems. NTFS on the other hand stands for New Technology File System and is the current file system used in all current Windows variants both client and server offerings. The differences between FAT and NTFS are extensive and the performance limitations are vast.
The first variant of FAT used in a Microsoft operating system was FAT12 in Microsoft’s offering; MS-DOS. FAT12 as it name may hint assigned 12 bit values for each cluster address on the storage device. The naming convention stayed and each new variant of FAT included the number associated with the bits used to assign each address cluster on which the file system resides. Since the introduction of FAT12 this file system has increased its capability in other variants including FAT16 and FAT 32. FAT12 had a limitation of a maximum of 212 clusters and the largest partition possible was measly 32MB. This may sound like nothing today however this was before the advent of digital media. FAT16 improved over FAT12 after several revisions and first appeared in volume on MS-DOS 3.0 FAT16 increased the number of clusters to a total number of 216 however each cluster volume had a maximum size of 4GB. FAT32 became an answer to the problem brought to light by consumers who needed greater storage capacity. FAT32 increased the number of clusters...