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NTFS and Other File Systems
Many systems that are set up to use the NTFS file system use it exclusively. If you consider the reasons why NTFS is often used, this makes a lot of sense. For example, consider a centralized server implemented in a small manufacturing company. The security features of NTFS would be employed to manage and control access to important company information. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to have some of the data stored in this secure environment and some of it also stored in a more mundane FAT partition where anyone could access it.
However, there are situations where you may wish to set up a PC that has both an NTFS partition and another file system partition, such as FAT16 or FAT32. This is commonly done on systems that use multiple operating systems--so called "dual boot" PCs. There is one particular situation that is worth mentioning. In the 1990s, many dual-boot PCs were set up that used Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2) or Windows 98, and also Windows NT. If you do this and set up Windows 9x on a FAT32 partition and Windows NT on an NTFS partition, you will quickly discover that you have a little problem: neither operating system can read the other one's partition. This means that there is no way to share files between the two operating systems! There are several workarounds for this problem: you can upgrade the Windows NT install to Windows 2000 (which supports FAT32) or you can use FAT16 instead of FAT32. Another common solution is to create an additional, small FAT16 partition that serves as "common ground" between the two operating systems (since both Windows NT and Windows 9x can read and write FAT16 volumes.)
Generally speaking, setting up both NTFS and other file system partitions on the same machine does not cause problems. A computer running an operating system that supports NTFS and another file system like FAT can be set up with one or more of each type of partition. The two will not conflict with each other. Of course, you will only get the benefits and features of NTFS when you are using the NTFS volume.
Next: NTFS vs. FAT