File Systems

Essay by hdenisUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2010

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Running head: File Systems

File Systems


A file system is a method of storing and organizing computer files and that the files are easy to access and find. File systems use hard disk for storage and involve maintaining physical location of the files. Three main file systems to store and retrieve data are FAT, HPFS, and NTFS. Complexity, speed, and ability make the differences between these file systems.

The FAT (File Allocation Table) originated in the early 1980s by Bill Gates and Marc McDonald to manage Microsoft's Basic and it was the only system supported by DOS. Three types of FAT systems are: FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32. The numbers at the end of FAT means a size of that system. FAT uses a table to organize and describe the area in which files are stored and they are called clusters. A cluster is a group of a sector on a disk.

The FAT file system that would allow a number of table elements in a cluster was measured by a certain number of bits. As the size of hard disk increased over a period, so has the bit size that FAT uses to identify these clusters. The FAT32 is the most used these days. FAT32 can be found on portable media (flash drives, floppy disks, etc). (TechTerms, 2005)

The creation of the HPFS (High Performance File System) file system started between Microsoft and IBM 1989. HPFS file system offered better benefits than FAT file system and one of them was that it added automatic sorting to file directories. Directory entries also held more information in HPFS than in the FAT systems. The following improvements included: more efficient use of disk space, better performance, and less fragmentation of the file system. Extended file names were also introduced in...