Reading Fat 32 in NTFS

December 27, 2007 at 00:28:50
Specs: winxp, p4/512
Hi, I'm currently using Windows 98 but plan to install WInXP on another computer. I'm using FAT32 with Win98 and will be using NTFS with WinXP. Can the computer using NTFS read FAT32 partitions?
I only want to be able to transfer files from FAT32 partitioned hds to the NTFS partitioned hd. I will probably be using an external usb cord or enclosure to transfer files to WinXP. Thanks.

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December 27, 2007 at 00:44:00
Pete20033, I did the same sort of thing when I switched from ME (Fat 32) to XP (NTFS). I kept my old ME HD as a slave (archive) and XP has no problem reading it or tranfering files from it to the XP HD. It has a problem with write operations as the two formats don't play well with each other, but it reads fine. It can't load/run .exe files from the old, they must first be copied to the new.
Ed in Texas.

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December 27, 2007 at 03:04:31
Ii is not the source or destination files system that you should be concerned about but the Operating System controlling them.

Windows XP will read, create and modify NTFS and Fat32. Win98 will only do Fat32. The two file system do not have to interact with each other.

>> It can't load/run .exe files from the old, they must first be copied to the new.
HTH. <<

Not true. You can run an .exe file on a FAT32 partition using Windows XP installed on NTFS. What does need to be done though is that files need to be properly installed. Any failure for the file to work on an slaved FAT32 partition is more likely to be because of the change in the drive letter, nothing at all to do with the file system.

It is possible to install Windows XP on a FAT32 partition and it will still read and write NTFS partitions.


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December 27, 2007 at 08:16:35
"I'm currently using Windows 98 but plan to install WInXP on another computer."

The above posted comments reflect rules dealing with local access like in the case of a multiboot machine.

In your case, networked that is, the local file system DOES NOT MATTER. That is the cool thing about networking, it makes the remote file system transparent. Windows 98 can read and write to any networked drive it has access and rights to. Same is true with XP.

Network the two and you are good to go.

Are you ready for where Microsoft wants you to go today?

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December 27, 2007 at 08:36:45
Yes,as Wanderer says, if the two computers are networked the file system is irrelevant. You can copy files from one to the other over the network and it makes no difference at which file system they came from or are going to.

However, if you are using a USB enclosure then the file system has to be compatible with the operating system the drive is plugged into, that is FAT32 if you want Win98 to read it. FAT32 or NTFS for Win XP. Copying from FAT32 to NTFS should present no problems at all.


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December 27, 2007 at 23:38:23
When installing XP you should be able to get it to upgrade your hard disk over to the NT file system. This should keep all your files exactly as they were.


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