NTFS File System

NTFS stands for New Technology File System, is a file system introduced in 1993 by Windows as they introduced the Windows NT 3.1.

This is the primary file system used in every Windows version operating system. The server line of Windows also use NTFS file system as primary file systems.

NTFS File System

NTFS File System

How to See If a Drive Is Formatted as NTFS

You can check that in several ways if a hard drive is formatted with NTFS or any other file system.

Using Disk Management

Knowing the file system with Disk management is pretty easy. You can simply right click on the drive in question, either opening the File Explorer or Windows Explorer, it can be different depending on Windows version you are using.

Next, choose properties and the drop-down menu shows the file systems and from there you can go in generals to know the current file system you have in your computer. If it’s NTFS it will read File system: NTFS.

Using Command Prompt

Another simple way to check your file system is using command-line interface. You can use the command fsutil fsinfo voluinfo drive_letter to see all the drives available in your file system.

For instance, you can use fautil fsinfo volumeinfo C: command to check the file system for C drive.

NTFS File System Features

The NTFS file system is capable to support hard drive of 16 Exabytes. Individual file size is capped at under 256 GB, specially in Windows 8, 10 and Windows servers.

NTFS supports all disk usage quotas. An administrator deals with disk quotas to restrict amount of disk space for each user. This is used to control all the storage space across a shared disk space or in a network.

File attributes in Windows OS, are indexed attributes like the compressed attribute, are seen in NTFS-formatted drives.

Encryption File System (EFS) is a commonly used feature by NTFS. EFS provides file-level encryption which makes each file and folder encrypted. It’s not like full-disk encryption, which encrypts the complete disk.

NTFS is journaling file system, that writes everything like a log, before happening the changes. Through this, file system can revert to the well-working conditions if any failure occurs.

Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is another useful feature of this file system which is used by online backup service programs and many backup tools to take files backup which are in use currently by Windows.

This file system has transactional NTFS feature which allows the developers to build applications which will be success or failure. Programs using this feature don’t run the risk of applying a few changes which sometimes works and sometimes don’t.

This feature is interesting and has lot of discussions about it in Microsoft and Wikipedia.

Similarly, there are many other features like hard links, sparse files, and repase points.

NTFS alternatives

The other common alternative to NTFS is FAT which is older but have been used a lot to find drives formatted using it instead of NTFS.

The exFAT file system is a newer file system which is totally designed where NTFS doesn’t works.

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