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Microsoft Windows: NTFSF or File System File Integrity, Security, and Sharing Features

NTFS is a Microsoft Windows file system that provides volume consistency through the use of transaction log and recovery techniques. NTFS can use your log file and checkpoint information to restore file system consistency.

In Windows 2000 and Windows XP, NTFS also provides advanced features such as file and folder permissions, encryption, disk quotas, and compression.

Unfortunately, volumes are not always configured with NTFS as the file system. For example, the FAT file system, a file system that uses a data structure called the File Allocation Table (FAT) to organize and manage files, is often used as the default file system to ensure compatibility with systems older operating like DOS; IBM OS2; and Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME that may be on the network.

Another file system that can be installed in Windows 2000 or Windows XP is the FAT32 file system. The FAT32 file system is a derivative of the FAT file system. FAT32 supports smaller cluster sizes and larger volumes than FAT, resulting in more efficient space allocation on FAT32 volumes.

Due to the consistency and security features of NTFS, you may want to convert from the FAT or FAT32 file system to NTFS. Microsoft provides a command line utility to do this, appropriately called “Convert”. Note that “convert” is one-way. You won’t be able to restore your volume to FAT or FAT32 without using a third-party utility or reformatting the drive.

To convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS, type “convert DRIVE: / fs: ntfs / X” on the command line where “DRIVE” is the drive letter (for example, convert C: / fs: ntfs / x) .

“convert C:” tells the command to convert the present volume to the specified drive, in this case drive C. “/ fs: ntfs” tells the command to convert to the NTFS file system. The “/ X” “parameter will force the volume to be unmounted first.

If you are trying to convert your primary volume within Windows, convert will not be able to gain exclusive access to your hard drive. In other words, while XP is running, some files on your primary volume are always “in use,” so the conversion must be done the next time Windows starts to load.

On the next reboot, the process will check the drive for errors before continuing with the file system conversion to NTFS.

If the above conversion succeeds, or if you try the instructions above and you get the message “Drive is already NTFS” but you still don’t see the “advanced share” tab and the “security” tab under “folder properties”, try the next :

Open Windows Explorer.

Select the Tools menu.

Select Folder Options.

Select the View tab.

Scroll through the Advanced Settings list to the end.

At this point, you will see the option “Use simple file sharing (recommended)”.

If enabled, clear the check box.

You should now have an “advanced share” tab and a “security” tab in the “folder properties” window.

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