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

Windows 2000

Windows NT was very successful for Microsoft through the 1990s, but the software giant didn't rest on its laurels. As Windows NT 4.0 began to age, certain flaws began to show, including a lack of support for the latest hardware and other limitations. From a file systems perspective, the most important was the lack of support for FAT32. Microsoft addressed some of these through the use of service packs, but mostly concentrated on the next version of the operating system. It had been unofficially called "Windows NT 5.0" for some time, but Microsoft instead called the new operating system Windows 2000.

Windows 2000 builds upon Windows NT 4.0 in most respects, and differs from the older operating system in two ways when it comes to file systems. The first is the addition of support for FAT32, as I hinted at in the preceding paragraph. :^) This was a much-desired change, especially with FAT32 all but replacing FAT16 in newer Windows 9x/ME systems. The other was that NTFS under Windows 2000 was enhanced, through the creation of the NTFS 5.0 version of that file system. Windows 2000 will still read older NTFS partitions, but it must be installed on an NTFS 5.0 partition; NTFS 5.0 is Windows 2000's "preferred" file system.

Note: For a full discussion of NTFS, see this section of the site. For more on NTFS versions, see here.

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