NTFS/FAT32 in dual boot



Hi All,

Questions on dualboot and FAT32/NTFS please.

After I buy a 40GB to R&R my about-filled 10GB OS boot drive, I’ll end up with following setup:

Master – 40GB OS boot drive, partitioned:
C:/ Win98Me
D:/ W2K
E:/ applications/data
Slave – ZIP

Master – CDRW
Slave – CDROM

FastTrak ATA 100 RAID card
Controller 1:
Master – 45GB A/V drive
Slave – 45GB A/V drive
Controller 2:
Master – my old 10GB drive (FAT32)
Slave – empty (unless I do get Doug’s old 10GB drive; FAT32)

Currently Win98Me.
PIII800MHz/512MB RAM/ Matrox RT2000 for video

My main use of the PC is for video editing (family uses it for the usual stuff)

I’m up in the air about two things:
1. Going straight to W2K, deleting W98Me, or using dualboot
2. Using FAT32 vs. NTFS

1. Dual boot advantages I’ve read (for a video editing PC) were:
- I can fall back on 98Me if I have to, if W2K has problems
- I could segregate my internet connection from my RT2000/video setup

Are there other advantages/disadvantages? If I go to W2K only, will I be missing anything in existing software I might have, or even in peripherals that would require me to have 98Me?

I also assume I’d need to contact all my hardware vendors sites and download latest drivers…..or in theory would W2K contain all the latest drivers for me?

My understanding is that, I can set up a dual boot so I don’t have to load two actual cys of software. For example, say with three partitions, put 98Me on C:/ but load the software onto E:/, then load W2K onto D:/, and reload all software, directing it’s location to E:/ also, so both OS’s point to same place and use same actual cy of software, ie, all software other than the OS’s is located on E:/.
I assume then, that just to be sure I’d have all software available to both OS’s and for simplicity, I’ll always load any and all software twice?

What about hardware being available under either OS, e.g., fax modem, printer, scanner; do I load all drivers and hardware software twice also? I would want the printer, scanner, CDRW, CDROM available for both OS’s, but the modem just on the 98Me OS.

If dual boot ends up being way to go, then the next question becomes, what about having FAT32 under 98Me and NTFS on W2K. I read that only the OS’s care what file system they’re under, not the apps software, so I assume that I’d have to make the E:/ drive (data/apps partition) FAT32 so it could be accessed by both OS’s, correct?

I assume with this setup I still wouldn't have to load two cys of all the software.

What about the RAID drives? If my intent is strictly to use them under W2K for video editing, would I make them NTFS or FAT32?

I’ve read that FAT32 drives are a little bit faster than NTFS. So, if I don’t really care about the better security etc of NTFS, is there another reason why, for video editing, NTFS would actually benefit me? I did read something stating that, as the number of files increases it doesn’t slow NTFS drives down. Maybe that is an advantage, since it seems I also read that when a drive gets around 50% full it slows down because of seek times. And, I also read that NTFS is fairly inefficient on volumes under 3GB (I assume a volume is a partition?)

So, in summation, dualboot or not, NTFS or not? And, if NTFS, on which drives?




Aug 16, 2001
i did run a dual boot a while back, but i stopped playing games (and browsing the net) for the most part. win2000 will serve you great. yes you will have to get different drivers, but that isn't anything more than going to each manufacturer's website and downloading them, take all of 10min tops. the apps should be fine to share between the two OS'es (if you do end up dualbooting) as long as the partition w/ apps is fat32. and for ntfs vs. fat32. videoguys did some tests with that. fat32 performed slightly better, will you see this performance increase? probably not, but maybe. with win2000 you cannot have a fat32 partition over 32gigs, that is something to consider. for me i think ntfs is better than fat32. a run a 40gb for os/apps and 2x 60gb for a/v on a fasttrak100 tx2. everything is ntfs.

[insert philosophical statement here]