there is the usual risk of starting a FAT32 vs. NTFS flamewar , I never did benchmarks comparing them on newer OS's, but the noticeable difference should be on 2K and not that much on XP, or at least this was the case for (slowish) USB devices:
Traditionally the difference in speed is connected with filesize, cache, and fragmentation level, this article is still valid:
you could turn off (but this is a "global" setting) Last access time:
and as said try with Mb aligned partition (which might produce a slight improvement).
Personally, you will need to pry NTFS out of my dead hand , if not for anything else (like sparse files and hard links/mountpoints ), for the speed of filesearching through the $MFT , but of course you are very welcome to use FAT32, though as in the source of the already linked to "method" to have Vista installed on a FAT32 filesystem:
it is not that bad, after all.
Problems (as you may read between the lines or outside of them ), are - as I see it:
- that tutorial was made with Vista 32 bit (and NOT 64 bit) so even if that is tested and confirmed, may (or may not) appy to the 64 bit version
- a Vista install uses hardlinks, which are probably part of the issues in point #4.) of that tutorial
- you are basically using a 64 bit system in order to gain access to more RAM (or there are other reasons that I am no aware of?) BUT you won't be able to have hyberfil.sys and pagefile.sys bigger than 4 Gb (unless you place them on another volume, NTFS formatted)
- the final scope of that experiment was to produce a smallish (limited) Vista to be installed on USB flash
- 7 (seven) years have passed since, and there is no evidence that any later SP or KB/update has not introduced some further limitations and/or that a number of programs won't "like" to be on FAT32
So - and I know you didn't ask for my opinion (but I will provide it nonetheless), if you do that as an experiment, it is a nice one, if you do that as a "solution" for increasing disk speed on a "production system" it is "pure folly" .
I certainly appreciate your opinion. I'm not one of those who acts like, "Who Asked You?" I hate that when people say that; it's second place to when you ask someone a question and they say, "Google is your friend!" I hate that! LOL.
( a ) First off I always disable Indexing. I know Vista onwards makes more use of it in the start menu for that "Search Here" feature, but I don't mind slower searching (since my mindset is already set to "searching for something"). I would rather have the Indexing off and have those resources for unadultered speed of disk access or caching. I'd rather not have my system slower so that occasional searches are faster.
( b ) Next, with as much as 7 GB of RAM in my system, I turn paging off with XPx64, so I hope to do the same with Vista. Also I run an HP Workstation so I do not utilize Hibernation.or power saving features that store images to the HDD.
( c ) I would have to disagree (albeit with anecdotal evidence) that FAT32 performance benefits are nothing more than "pure folly". There is documentation supporting better speed of FAT32 on small drives < 120 GB. I will have to find that for you, but the speed increase is quite real I assure you.
( d ) The NTFS features that you cite not being able to live without (ie. sparse files and hard links/mountpoints) are not features I want. I just want to have a straight ahead file system. I don't even need permissions.
Just a couple partially unrelated things, but they do illuminate my mindset towards operating systems. I hate this idea that for new OS interfaces to be popular, it's believed that I have to be able to hover my mouse pointer over an icon, and have it tell me five things at once via tool tips (ie, author, filesize, size on disk, version number, blah, blah, blah!). If I want the filesize, or any other info, I will right-click and choose Properties.
I am somewhat saddened to move to Vista and upwards, because I am going to miss how lightweight Windows XP was (my truue favourite was Windows 2000). But to stay up to date, there are no "lightweight" options. Why can't Microsoft make an OS revision that will complement older hardware or even simpler hardware?
Thanks for listening.
Edited by JodyThornton, 30 November 2013 - 02:36 PM.