What are the advantages and disadvantages of the FAT32 file system? My present file system is FAT16, and I am also using Linux with Windows Me. Should I make the switch? Do people experience any problems when using FAT32?
FAT32 is best for cross-compatibility with other platforms. There are NTFS file system drivers for Linux, but not really for Windows Me. FAT32, however, can be read more or less transparently by both operating systems.
There is also a slight speed gain in FAT32, but not enough to justify changing over on that basis alone, since the difference is usually more than made up for by today's hardware.
This was first published in March 2002