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Microsoft Windows File Systems

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Microsoft operating systems support the following files systems. The available file system depends on the version of the operating system, as listed in Table M-1. The structure of volumes formatted by each of these file systems, as well as the way each file system organizes data on the disk, are significantly different. Note that the newest operating systems include support for all previous file systems. Operating system versions that support multiple file systems give users a choice of which version to install. Note that network-oriented file sharing is discussed under "File Sharing" and "File Systems."

Operating System

File System Format of Volume

Windows 2000

NTFS 5, FAT16, and FAT32

Microsoft Windows NT

NTFS and FAT16

Microsoft Windows 95 (release 2) and Microsoft Windows 98

FAT16 and FAT32

Windows 95 prior to Windows 95 (release 2)


Microsoft MS-DOS


Table M-1: Microsoft file system formats

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications."

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