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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Logical Structures and File Systems | PC File Systems ]

New Technology File System (NTFS) Version 5.0

With the creation of Windows 2000, Microsoft added several new features to the operating system originally known as Windows NT 5.0. Several of these features are tied closely to the characteristics of the file system, which Microsoft updated at the same time. The new variation of NTFS is called NTFS 5.0. In fact, Windows 2000 relies on the changes that NTFS 5.0 includes so much that NTFS 5.0 is required; the operating system will convert older NTFS volumes to NTFS 5.0, and in some cases NTFS is required to enable key Windows 2000 capabilities.

NTFS 5.0 includes several new and useful features compared to the older NTFS versions used in Windows NT 4.0 and earlier. You can find a full discussion of NTFS in this area of the site, and a discussion of different NTFS versions and their differences here.

NTFS 5.0 was designed for Windows 2000 and that is the only operating system that provides full support for the file system. Windows NT 4.0 can also access NTFS 5.0 partitions if the operating system is updated with service pack #4 (SP4), however, it cannot make use of the new features that NTFS 5.0 facilitates. Much in the way that alternative operating systems have had third-party drivers created for them to allow them to read the older NTFS file systems, I would imagine that similar drivers will be created to allow Linux, BeOS and other operating systems to read NTFS 5.0 partitions, if this has not been done already.

Next: High Performance File System (HPFS)

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