Clean XP Install - FAT or NTFS

January 27, 2007 at 13:40:18
Specs: XP Home, 2.66GHz/1Gb

am about to make the big OS jump next weekend - and noooo, not to Vista - but from ME to XP Home. I will be doing a clean install. Have been reading up on XP Install procedures on the net.

QUESTION: when i come to the part where it says "Format the file system to FAT or NTFS" what do i choose ?

i wont be partitioning the HDD (5yo Western Digital 14Gb). And it wont be a dual OS system. NTFS is more secure apparently ??

there are 6 options to choose from in this procedure and the one i THINK i SHOULD choose is - "Select The Partition Using The NTFS File System (QUICK)". Is this correct ?

thanks for your help

Central Coast
NSW Australia

See More: Clean XP Install - FAT or NTFS

Report •

January 27, 2007 at 13:49:13

Chose NTFS and use the full format.

Report •

January 27, 2007 at 13:58:18

The only time you should consider FAT32 with XP is if you want to access the drive from another OS like 98/ME. As this is not the case then it is NTFS every time, both for security and reliability.


Report •

January 27, 2007 at 15:05:14

Fat drives are faster. MS I think has a decision table on that. Both offer +'s and -'s.

Personally I use ntfs and leave a small fat partition just for read/write to alternate OS's.

I read it wrong and answer it wrong too. So get off my case you goober.

Report •

Related Solutions

January 27, 2007 at 15:06:50

NTFS, forget about the quick.
It will probably be already high lighted on the full.

XP is going to be a great experience for you.

Report •

January 27, 2007 at 15:28:35

I disagree. Use FAT32 on a small drive like that. It will perform better, plus it'll be easier to recover from if you encounter any problems.

Check the chart & look at what's listed for performance:

Report •

January 27, 2007 at 17:02:22

tyvm all for your comments.

ANOTHER QUESTION:(hope its not a dumb one hehe) - my ME is FAT32. i will be backing up data onto CDs (about 1Gb of it) before i say bye bye to ME. IF i then install WinXp and choose NTFS file system, can i then copy my FAT32 backup data onto WinXP NTFS ?

thanks fot the link Jam, and yes looking forward to it.

Rob ;)

Central Coast
NSW Australia

Report •

January 27, 2007 at 17:26:50

Yes you can. The file system makes no difference to the contents on the file.

In fact when you put the files onto the CD it wont be stored using FAT32 but ISO 9660, the standard file system for CDs which is different again.


Report •

January 28, 2007 at 04:46:07

thanks Stuart. i learn something new everyday LOL.

just another quick question before i get my hands on XP next weekend : XP Home CD is bootable. ok. for it to boot (to do a clean install), i think i would have to change my bootup sequence in BIOS ????????

*which is easy enough to do*

1. Floppy
2. HDD
3. CDROM drive

1. CDROM drive
2. Floppy
3. HDD (which will still have ME OS on it)


am leaning towards NTFS file system (full format on install).

thanks again for your comments above

Rob :)

Central Coast
NSW Australia

Report •

January 28, 2007 at 10:07:31

CDROM, Floppy, Hard Disk will work in all circumstance. Once the computer is up and running and there are no disks in the CD Drive of floppy drive, the computer will boot from the hard drive.

The problem with this arrangement is that it will slow down the boot process as the BIOS first determines the CD Rom is empty, then the floppy disk before it gets round to trying the hard disk.

So once the computer is up and running, move the Hard Disk to the top. It will speed up the boot process considerably. Of course when the time comes that you need to boot from something other than the hard disk you will have to back into the BIOS and change the order accordingly.


Report •

January 29, 2007 at 18:29:45

I WOULD SUGGEST BEFORE INSTALLING XP On your Western Digital 14GB HDD, you might better consider going out and purchasing a bigger storage HDD such as a 40BG or heck even a 80GB because you will notice that once you install XP on a 14GB HDD your Programs will not operate properly especially if you don't have enough Memory installed in your PC. #1.BUY A NEW BIGGER HDD, and #2. Add Memory to your PC if you need to XP Requires a Minimum of 128MB.

Report •

February 1, 2007 at 11:23:10

"#1.BUY A NEW BIGGER HDD, and #2. Add Memory to your PC if you need to XP Requires a Minimum of 128MB."

yep, i know what you are getting at but, no i don't need a bigger HDD. 14Gb is more than user files including WinME OS is nooo more than 6GB. And if you notice in my opening post, i am running 1Gb of Ram (DDR). CPU is Celeron 2.66GHz D 330.

if i was to add/alter anything in the way of hardware it would be yes, more RAM (another 1Gb). Have heard that WinXP LOVES Ram lol.


Central Coast
NSW Australia

Report •

February 1, 2007 at 12:46:38

It loves harddrive space even more though.

Report •

Ask Question