File Systems in Windows

So why bother? Is it not enough if the computer knows it? Sure it is, and in e.g. Windows, that’s all you need… or have access to. Since 2000, Windows uses a file system called NTFS, which is an acronym for New Technology File System, even though it’s 16 years old, which means Windows is slow to acknowledge its own age (a most narcissistic system if you ask me). Before that, it used FAT file system (and it still does for e.g. USB thumb drives). It does not mean that the file system was overweight though (not with a narcissistic system like that, it would not allow itself to be called fat, even if it really is bloated). FAT stands for File Allocation Table, but let us not go into details. (Google has all the answers anyway.)

So you have these file systems, and when you format a drive, like this:

format C: /u

to get rid of Windows for good (don’t do this at home!!), it will know to format that drive with the NTFS system, and that’s it. After that, you are ready to use it, install another instance of Windows, because you just got rid of the old one “by accident” (although I saw the willingness there), and be happy that it recognises your disks. All very simple.

DO NOT TRY

the above command in any environment, You have to promise me that. It was only a joke. Or if you do, just don't blame me.

Only there are more file systems, some are just as good, and others are (possibly) a lot better than NTFS (although this depends largely on who you ask. True fans of any system will defend it by any means). In what way? That depends on the FS (File system) in question. Some provide easy ways to recover from a crash, or even return your whole computer to a previous state (like snapshots in BTRFS), others are very good at handling large files, still, others might offer superior write to disk speeds, etc. So how can you reap the benefits of these other file systems in Windows? The short and simple answer is: You can’t. The way to go is to install Linux. See, it makes practical sense too.