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Old 01-02-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
twelvenine
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fat32 or fat32(lba) partition type


I want to make a fat32 drive that I can easily access from linux and windows and fat32 seems to be the best option. I am trying to figure out which partition type to use: win95 fat32 or win95 fat32(LBA).

I'm not really sure what the difference is. this site says that fat32(lba) is just an extended-int13 version of win95 fat32. if that's true, then do they both use LBA or LBA mapping or whatever? i tried to read the wikipedia article on LBA and it was way over my head, but LBA addressing sounds like it might be a nice feature.

the same site also says some stuff about possible data loss with lba and int13 extensions. It also says Windows NT does not recognize the four W95 types: 0b, 0c, 0e, 0f(0b is w95 fat32 and 0c is w95 fat32(LBA)). i'm assuming this information is dated because i've been using these partition types with winxp and vista, which are winNT based.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
Mega Man X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvenine View Post
I want to make a fat32 drive that I can easily access from linux and windows and fat32 seems to be the best option.
Sorry to answer a question with another question, but, why do you believe that fat32 is better to exchange data between Linux and Windows? That was true a few years ago, but any recent distribution should have NTFS support enabled on the kernel and it is stable as well (reading, writing and etc). I can think of several reasons not to use FAT32. The first would be how easy data can get corrupted on FAT32 and the file size limit it has. If I remember correctly, you can't have a file bigger than 4GB in FAT32, so if you ever download a DVD-iso, you won't be able to save the file to your disk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvenine View Post
I am trying to figure out which partition type to use: win95 fat32 or win95 fat32(LBA).
I'm not really sure what the difference is.
This is yet another guess, but I don't really think it matters these days. LBA was used back in the days when you had disks bigger than 8GB. Without LBA, some BIOS could not address disks bigger than 8GB.

Don't know, I myself would not use FAT32 these days, unless you have some very specific use for that (say, you still use win98 or something ). I would use either NTFS or EXT3 for data exchange Windows/Linux. You can access ext2/ext3 partitions from Windows easily as well. Just google for it

Last edited by Mega Man X; 01-02-2009 at 11:02 AM.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
digitelle
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Another couple probing questions for you to consider are these.
Are you using a flash drive, an external hd or a partition on an internal hd?

I agree with Mega Man X if it is a flash drive or external/internal hd with more than 4GB of space, use ext2/3 or NTFS.

If it's a flash drive that's 4GB or smaller, you'd want to format it in Windows with FAT32. Linux will recognize it by default.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:24 AM   #4
jiml8
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FAT is well past its "sell by" date. It is primitive, insecure, and unreliable. Given that Linux now provides read/write support for NTFS, and that there is a very decent ext2/3 driver available for Windows, there is no reason to have it.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
twelvenine
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so it's safe to write to an ntfs filesystem from linux now? i've been mounting my windows drives read-only because there used to be problems with the linux ntfs driver(it was experimental or something) that could damage the filesystem or cause data loss or something.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
David the H.
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FAT might still be a better choice than NTFS if the drive is a small usb stick or flash card, because NTFS imposes a sizable overhead. It could eat up as much as 20% of the drive if its small enough. For larger drives though, NTFS is the way to go. OR ext3, if you use one of the 3rd-party Windows drivers for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvenine View Post
so it's safe to write to an ntfs filesystem from linux now? i've been mounting my windows drives read-only because there used to be problems with the linux ntfs driver(it was experimental or something) that could damage the filesystem or cause data loss or something.
This was, and still is, true of the standard kernel driver. It's only good for reading. But these days everybody uses the user-space ntfs-3g driver, which appears to be quite safe. I've never heard of anybody having data problems with it.
 
Old 03-06-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
AugustM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml8 View Post
FAT is well past its "sell by" date. ..., there is no reason to have it.
There may be no rhyme or reason for it, but FAT is still the fall-back, lowest-common-denominator "standard".

My New Philips DVD player has a USB port that will allow it to connect to an external hard drive and it will play DivX/XviD files, AVI files, and JPGs from that drive. It's a bit brain-dead, 13-character filename limit, very poor navigation (five entries visible at one time), etc. but it does work. But it only can read FAT file systems. I bought an external USB 250G drive that came preformatted with an FAT FS and the DVD player will read it fine. It's been nice to have that many DivX files available from the couch instead of having to go to my computer and copy them one or two at a time onto a thumb drive.

But the power connector for that 250G drive broke and to format another drive for the same purpose does require being able to format more than 32GB as FAT. NT/XP/Vista won't do that, it's either install Win98 somewhere or use Linux. My preference is Linux.

So to say that there is "no reason to have" FAT is a little narrow. For my purposes, the OP's question is quite relevant. In an ideal world, manufacturers would be smarter and would not rely on a FAT-driver-on-a-chip for their product design check-off list, but I'm not willing to wait for that blessed day.

I hope this helps,
August
 
Old 01-12-2011, 09:36 PM   #8
skipdashu
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FAT32 facts

BTW, The VOLUME SIZE limit for FAT32 will have a MINIMUM drive size limit of 32GB (Win2K and XP installation program limits only). A 64GB limit for Win98/ME's original FDisk utility and for other things a ~135GB theoretical limit.

The 2GB, 4GB and 8GB limits are a mix of pre-FAT32 (FAT12, FAT16) and single file size limits.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 01:47 AM   #9
EDDY1
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This is an old thread
 
Old 01-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #10
skipdashu
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old thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
This is an old thread
That's OK so am I.
 
  


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