FAT32 ( File Allocation Table 32 )
Q: What is this FAT32 I keep hearing about?
A: FAT32 is a new feature introduced by Microsoft to reduce wasted cluster
space. You can find FAT 32 in the OSR2 version of Windows 95.
Q: What is the difference between FAT16 & FAT32?
A: Inside every hard drive, there are clusters. The larger the partition,
the bigger the cluster size. Many people resort to partition their hard
drive into smaller partitions to reclaim wasted cluster disk space. FAT32
reduces the cluster size so you don't have to partition your hard drive to
save disk space. The table below shows the difference:
||< 260 MB
||260 MB - 8 GB
||8 GB - 16 GB
||16 GB - 32 GB
As you can see, the maximum partition size under FAT16
is only 2 GB while FAT32 supports up to 32GB. And also, the cluster size
for a 2GB partition is 32 KB while a partition between 260 MB to 16 GB (
for home or personal use range ) 's cluster size is 4 KB, saving nearly 8
times less cluster space than a partition that is under FAT16.
Q: Does that means that I will have FAT32 installed
if I have OSR2?
A: Yes and no. It depends on how your OSR2 was installed. If installed
from the setup disk ( included in your package ) then setup will format
your hard drive leaving you with a FAT32 hard drive. But if OSR2 is
installed from DOS or the earlier version of Windows 95, then you will be
using the old FAT16.
Q: I have a copy of OSR2. What is the most common way
to convert my hard drive to support FAT32?
A: The most common way is to format the whole hard drive. Boot to command
prompt and run setup from the OSR2 CD. Go along setup until you
are prompted to make a boot disk. Insert an empty disk and label it OSR2
boot disk. Then, cancel setup. Now boot your PC from the boot disk. Format
the hard drive from the boot disk using the format command. (Note:
Do not use the /q switch as it will just erase all data. Use full
format.) After your hard drive is formatted, it will support FAT32.
Q: Is there any other way I can convert FAT16 to
FAT32 without formatting my hard drive?
A: Yes, by using some third party software or utilities.
Q: What are the utilities that can convert FAT16 to
A: Microsoft has released one that is currently available at the
Microsoft site. Powerquest also have developed one as part of Partition
Magic. We believe there are also other FAT32 conversion utilities on
the Internet written by shareware of freeware authors. Also, Windows
98 ships with a FAT32 converter.
Q: Can I install OSR2 on a FAT16 partition/drive?
A: OSR2 does not need FAT32 to be installed. OSR2 will run happily on any
FAT16 partition / drive.
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