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File System Functionality Comparison

The following tables list functionality and feature support comparisons for the four main Windows file systems, NTFS, exFAT, UDF, and FAT32:

Functionality

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Creation time stamps

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Last access time stamps

No (see note below)

Yes

Yes

Yes (date only)

Last change time stamps

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Last archive time stamps

No

No

No

No

Case-sensitive

Yes (option)

No

Yes

No

Case-preserving

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hard links

Yes

No

Yes

No

Soft links

Yes

No

No

No

Sparse files

Yes

No

Yes

No

Named streams

Yes

No

Yes

No

Oplocks

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Extended attributes

Yes

No

Yes (on-disk only)

No

Alternate data streams

Yes

No

Yes

No

Mount points

Yes

No

No

No

 

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP:  The NTFS last access time stamp field is updated.

Limits

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Maximum file name length

255 Unicode characters

255 Unicode characters

127 Unicode or 254 ASCII characters

255 Unicode characters

Maximum path name length

32,760 Unicode characters with each path component no more than 255 characters

32,760 Unicode characters with each path component no more than 255 characters

32,760 Unicode characters with each path component no more than 255 characters

32,760 Unicode characters with each path component no more than 255 characters

Maximum file size

2^64–1 bytes

2^64–1 bytes

2^64–1 bytes

4 GiB

Maximum volume size

16 TB (4 KB Cluster Size) or 256TB (64 KB Cluster Size)

2^32–1 clusters (Maximum cluster size = 2^25 –1)

2^32 blocks

2^32 blocks

 

Journaling and Change Log

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Metadata-only journaling

Yes

No

No

No

File change log

Yes

No

No

No

 

Block Allocation Features

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Tail packing

Yes (small files are made resident in the MFT stream descriptor)

No

No

No

Extents

Yes

No

Yes

No

Variable block size

No (set by the volume)

No

No

No

 

Security

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Track file owner

Yes

No

No

No

POSIX file permissions

No (available in POSIX subsystem feature)

No

Yes

No

Access control lists

Yes

No

No

No

File system –level encryption

Yes

No

No

No

Checksum/ECC

No

Metadata

Metadata

No

 

Compression

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

Built-in compression

Yes

No

No

No

 

Quotas

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

User-level disk space

Yes

No

No

No

Directory-level disk space

No (see note below)

No

No

No

 

Note  The directory-level disk space quotas feature on NTFS is available through the File Server Resource Manager.

Single-Instance Store

FeatureNTFSexFATUDFFAT32

File level

No (see note below)

No

No

No

 

Note  Single-instance store for NTFS is available as part of the Single Instance Storage feature in Windows Server.

Related topics

About File Management
Single-Instance Store and SIS Backup

 

 

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