NTFS : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary
NTFS (New Technology File System). A way of storing data on a disk partition, an
advancement over the older FAT (File Allocation Table) scheme.
- Increased reliability. Less likely to lose information in a crash.
- More efficient storage of small files.
- Option of compressing files and directories.
- Faster access to large random access files (e.g. databases)
- NTFS is
only available with NT, W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32 and W10-64.
The essay on the defragger explains some of the various
system files used by NTFS You can use the fsutil utility to tweak various features of the way
- The main reason not to use NTFS
is if you want to share data with some OS (Operating System)
such as DOS (Disk Operating System) that does not support it. In that case you might
use a small FAT partition for exchange and make your main
- NTFS has
more overhead so is slightly slower, at least for small partitions.
- You can convert FAT to NTFS
with CONVERT C: /FS: NTFS
at the command line, but you can’t
The main pieces of the NTFS file system include:
- MFT (Master File Table) : index by file number to
get 1024 bytes of information about that file. Small
files fit right inside the MFT.
For larger files, the MFT contains the runs/extents where the fragments of
the file start and end.
- Directory : a B-tree, one per directory to look up the file by name.
- $bitmap: tracks which clusters are in-use/free.