What is FAT32?
FAT32 is a file system used for storage devices, and file systems are ways of organizing storage on devices such as hard drives, SSDs, memory sticks, microSD cards, and so on. FAT32 is also an acronym for File Allocation Table 32, and the 32 part of its name comes from the fact that FAT32 uses 32 bits of data for identifying data clusters on the storage device.
(File Allocation Table32) The 32-bit version of the FAT file system. Employed on Windows PCs prior to the more advanced NTFS file system, the FAT32 format is widely used for USB drives, flash memory cards and external hard drives for compatibility between all platforms. However, the exFAT file system extends the maximum file size from 4GB to virtually unlimited.
What is the purpose of FAT32?
FAT32 is an improvement to the original FAT system, since it uses more bits to identify each cluster on the disk. This helps the computer locate files easier and allows for smaller clusters, which improves the efficiency of your hard disk. FAT32 supports up to 2 terabytes of hard disk storage.
What is FAT32 file format?
FAT32 is the older of the two drive formats. FAT32 is the most common version of the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system created back in 1977 by Microsoft. … FAT had been the standard format for floppy disks and hard drives all through the DOS years, and versions of Windows up to and including Windows 8.
What are the advantages of NTFS over FAT32?
Talking about the NTFS, allows you to control the amount of disk usage on a per user basis. Also, the NTFS handles space management much more efficiently than FAT32. Also, Cluster size determines how much disk space is wasted storing files. Here, NTFS provides smaller cluster sizes and less disk space waste than FAT32.
When was FAT32 invented and by who?
FAT32 is a file system that was first introduced to the world in 1996, by Microsoft, which used it in MS-DOS 7.1 and Windows 95 OSR2. FAT32 is the next in line after FAT16 and FAT. The original FAT file system was initially designed and used way back in 1977. Its purpose was to be used on floppy disks, but with the advance of computing technology, it was soon the default choice for formatting hard drives too.
FAT and its derivatives, including FAT32, were the most popular file systems used by DOS (Disk Operating System) and Windows computers since the 1980s and up until the year 2000. FAT32 began to lose importance in 2001, when Windows XP was launched, which used NTFS rather than FAT32 by default.
FAT32 remains one of the most popular file systems in the world today, as it is still used on a large scale for formatting all kinds of storage devices.
FAT32 is a derivative of the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system that supports drives with over 2GB of storage. Because FAT32 drives can contain more than 65,526 clusters, smaller clusters are used than on large FAT16 drives. This method results in more efficient space allocation on the FAT32 drive.
The largest possible file for a FAT32 drive is 4GB minus 2 bytes.
The FAT32 file system includes four bytes per cluster within the file allocation table. Note that the high 4 bits of the 32-bit values in the FAT32 file allocation table are reserved and are not part of the cluster number.
ADVANTAGES OF FAT 32
The pros of using FAT32
FAT32 had some good things about it, otherwise it would not have managed to live for such a long time. However, the only important advantages of using FAT32 today are:
- It is compatible with a huge variety of devices: smartphones, tablets, computers, digital cameras, gaming consoles, surveillance cameras and so on.
- It is also cross-compatible with almost all operating systems that were launched since 1995 and up until now. FAT32 works with Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10. MacOS and Linux also support it.
There are some serious disadvantages to using FAT32 on your drives:
- FAT32 can only work with files that are less than 4 GB in size.
- FAT32 only works with partitions with a maximum capacity of 8 TB.
- If you have a drive that is formatted in FAT32, you do not get any data protection in case of power loss.
- The FAT32 file system does not include any built-in file compression features.
- FAT32 was not designed to be secure and does not include any built-in encryption features. If you want to encrypt files on a FAT32 formatted drive, you must use third-party tools for that.