Additional information on NTFS

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope

NTFS is short for NTFS file system and was originally designed for Windows N. Today, it is supported in all versions of Windows, macOS, and Linux. When compared to previous file systems, such as FAT16, NTFS improves on reliability, security, and support for client-server systems.

NTFS uses 5 MB of disk space overhead, therefore we recommend at least a 50 MB partition for NTFS, on at least a 400 MB hard drive.

NTFS keeps track of the contents of a volume in a file called the MFT, or Master File Table, which essentially is the heart of NTFS. MFT is an index of all files on an NTFS volume, containing the file name, a file attributes list, and pointers to the fragments.

Some of the NTFS key features are:

  • NTFS supports long file names.
  • NTFS supports the preservation of case. NTFS is not case-sensitive, however, it does have the capability to preserve case for POSIX compliance.
  • NTFS is a recoverable file system. It uses transaction logging to automatically log all file and directory updates so that in the case of a power outage or system failure, this information can be used to redo failed operations.
  • NTFS supports compression of files and directories to optimize storage space on your hard drive.
  • NTFS supports the maximum size the NTFS 4.0 and below can support, which is 4GIG. Windows NT 4.0 supports up to 16 Exabytes.
  • NTFS provides the user with local security for protecting files and directories.
  • NTFS supports spanning volumes, which means files and directories can be spread out across several physical drives.
  • NTFS is a journaling file system.

Windows 2000 is included with an upgraded version of NTFS, version 5.0. NTFS 5.0 enables the below new features.

  • Disk quotas.
  • Introduces Dynamic Disk support along with the original basic disk (primary and extended partitions).

Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server version of NTFS supports additional features as listed below.

  • Supports larger file sizes, up to 4 GB per file, great feature for users who do video editing.
  • Support for larger sized hard drives.
  • Improved performance, increasing general performance of the drive and the boot time of Windows.

Additional information