File Systems

What is File Systems and Kind of file systems

The file systems is standard for organizing data in secondary storage such as hard drives and flash drives. Storage format using this file system to create an environment that is compatible with Secondary Storage for the first time. Depending on the OS and storage drive you use, you may see several File Systems.

  1. FAT
  2. NTFS
  3. exFAT
  4. ext
  5. HFS

Now we will see them about one by one.

FAT – File Allocation Table

FAT File System uses as the main file system for Windows OS from MS-DOS to Windows XP. There are three versions: FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32. Today, the FAT32 File System widely uses for external storage drives, compatible with a wide range of OSes. The FAT32 file system only supports a maximum of 4GB file size and a maximum volume of 16TB.

FAT – Table Layout

NTFS – New Technology File System

NTFS, nowadays the most popular Windows File System, was released by Microsoft in 1993 to overcome the drawbacks of the FAT file system used by Microsoft. This file system supports a file size of 16TB and a volume capacity of 16EB (1EB = 1 000 000TB). NTFS also received File Encryption and File Permission and a Journaling System that prevents file damage in the event of a crash or power failure. After Win 7 requires a formatted drive from the NTFS File System using all Windows OSs. However, this file system is not compatible with older Windows OS and is read-only on older Linux and Mac OSes.

NTFS- Table Layout

exFAT – Extended File Allocation Table

In 2006, Microsoft introduced exFAT as an optimized file system for high-capacity external drives. High-resolution video recording widely uses for SD cards and SSDs, as it supports a maximum file size of 16EB. Ready-Write Compatible for MacOS, Android and Linux Destros in addition to WIndows OS.

ext – Extended File System

In 1992 the ext file system for Linux OS released. The default file system of ext2 Linux distros, released in 1993, was used. In 2001 ext3 introduced a journaling system for Linux, and the ext4 file system released in 2008 is now the default Linux FS. ext4 supports a maximum file size of 16TB and a volume of 1EB. Importantly, no ext format is compatible with Windows or macOS.

 HFS /HFS + – Hierachical File System & APFS -Apple File System

Apple introduced the HFS File System for macOS in 1985. It supports a file size of 2GB and a volume of 2TB. HFS + launched in 1998 with the addition of the journaling system. The APFS File System, released in 2017, has been able to optimize for new SSD technology. None of the file systems HFS, HFS +, or APFS supports Natively for Windows or Linux OS.

File System of the local area

  • To System Drive: NTFS for Windows, ext4 for Linux, APFS for MacOS.
  • USB pen drives, SD cards, FAT32 but 4GB + file transfer if NTFS / exFAT. And when connecting to media players, DVD players, TVs, FAT32 is most compatible.
  • External Hard Disk or SSD: NTFS if only used between WIndows. Cross-Platoform is exFAT or FAT32 himself.


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