<CT> Re: WFWG on FAT32

  • From: BEN09880@xxxxxxx
  • To: <calmira_tips@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 10:58:54 EST

Sorry to burst your bubble... but FAT32 does NOT use SMALLER cluster sizes... 
Actually, it uses LARGER cluster sizes...  

Brief history of hard drives....
FAT16 can read a hard drive larger than 2 gig.  Seriously.  The only problem is 
that the mathmatical formula it uses to determine the addressable portion of 
the disk doesn't allow it to read a hard drive past 2 gigs without having 
allocation errors.  The problem is that the formula itself is flawed.  The 
larger the drive is (past the 2 gig point) the more flawed the formula becomes. 
 Basically, once you hit 2 gig, the formula's variation factor is enough to be 
unrepairable.  Don't try formatting your 10 gig as fat 16 (it IS possible), cuz 
all you'll accomplish is akin to a book where the table of contents is supposed 
to fit on a page, but somewhow get warped and is written in a "random-like" 
pattern on the page (it's trying to fit enough File Allocation Table space to 
fit the extra space on the overall hard drive.)

The advantage to fat 32 is the fact that with a larger cluster size, they can 
use the same formula on a larger drive without having big enough variations to 
cause data loss.  Why else do you think Scandisk is so prominent in the 
Microsoft world?  Fat 32 uses larger cluster sizes, causing small files to use 
more disk space, yet allows the File Allocation Table to hold so much more 
links to files that it is unreal in comparison.  Microsoft figures that you 
won't try to cram that much stuff (a file can be only 4 bytes long) on a 2 gig 
partition.  (a gig is 1,024kilobytes. A kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. So a 2 gig 
hard drive can have 262,144 files... but fat 16 maxes out at like 5,000 entries 
or something).  

In conclusion, I don't think I did a good job of writing this, but if ye want 
more info, I can type a real "thought out, well written" guide to FAT types.  
If anyone is interested in stuff like this, I will write whatever is asked 
for... I am currently a student in a computer electronics class.  I am A+ 
certified, nearly Network+ certified, and I have other lesser certifications to 
back up my knowledge.  BTW, Tuesday I graduate.  Yay!!! 2 Years of my life 
nearly done!

If your files are ?32k? or smaller on average, FAT 32 is NOT a good thing for 
you.  FAT32 uses 64k? (gotta look up for actual numbers) clusters, meaning if 
your file is 2k, 64k of your disk was used for it (loss of 62k of storage 
space, PER FILE)

In reality, you could partition a 10 gig hard drive as one partition, copy 2k 
files until the drive reports full, then do the same thing on a FAT 16 
partition (repartition the drive to 5- 2gig partitons) and you'll see for 
yourself what I mean about the cluster sizes.  Count how many times you copies 
over the file to the different sized drive/partiton set-ups.  The FAT16 
drive/partitions will hold a LOT more copies than the single partitioned FAT32 
drive.

Once again, anyone want some actual documents on this shit and I would be more 
than happy to type some up, quoting books, the whole nine yards. (thinking 
about being a teacher, would be damn good practice :)

Benjamin Rossington
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