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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Logical Structures and File Systems | New Technology File System (NTFS) ]

NTFS Versions

Like most file systems, NTFS has gone through some evolutions. Over time, Microsoft has made changes to it, for many different reasons. These include correcting problems with the file system, adding support for newer hardware, and enabling new operating system features. The biggest change to NTFS came with the introduction to the market of Windows 2000. NTFS changes enable some of the most important features of that operating system.

In this section I describe the two versions of NTFS that are commonly used on PCs. I first talk about NTFS 1.1, which is also called NTFS 4.0 (since it is most commonly used with Windows NT version 4.0). I then discuss the newest NTFS version, NTFS 5.0, which is an integral part of Windows 2000. I conclude with a brief discussion of compatibility between NTFS versions.

Note: The NTFS versions discussed here are used by almost all Windows NT and Windows 2000 installations. Apparently, there was also an earlier version of NTFS, called NTFS 1.0 or NTFS 3.1 (or so I believe), which was used on the first version of Windows NT: Windows NT 3.1. I have been unable to find any information about this version and how it differs from NTFS 1.1 / 4.0. Since Windows NT 3.1 is not really widely used, I am limiting my coverage of that older NTFS version to this note. :^) Still, if you know anything about this first version of NTFS, and are willing to share that knowledge with me, I'd appreciate it!

Next: NTFS 1.1 / 4.0

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