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The abbreviation for NTFS is New Technology File System is the standard file system of Windows NT. NTFS has several improvements over FAT such as improved support for metadata and the use of advanced data structures to improve performance, reliability and disk space utilization plus additional extensions such as security access control lists and file system journaling.
Its main drawback is its very limited support by non-Microsoft. NTFS has five versions: v1.0, v1.1 and v1.2 found in NT 3.51 and NT 4, v3.0 found in Windows 2000 and v3.1 found in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The features of Windows NT’s development are the addition of fields for indexing used by the Active Directory software.
NTFS uses B Trees to index file system data. Although complex to implement, this allows faster access times in some cases. A file system journal is used in order to guarantee the integrity of the file system itself. Systems using NTFS are known to have improved reliability compared to FAT file systems. NTFS Partitions can be read by Linux since Version 2.2.0. Linux 2.6 contains a new driver written by Anton. The creation and deletion of folders is not yet supported.
For historical reasons, the versions of Windows that do not support NTFS all keep internally as local zone time, and therefore so do all file systems other than NTFS that are supported by current versions of Windows. Therefore, NTFS are in GMT/UTC. As a result, especially shortly after one of the days on which local zone time changes, users may observe that some files have timestamps that are incorrect by one hour.
NTFS 5.0 was the third version of NTFS to be introduced to the Windows world by Microsoft. It included several new features: quotas, sparse file support, reparse points, distributed link tracking and the Encrypting File System (EFS) allows files to be associated with more than one data stream. Alternate streams are not detectable in the original file's size but are lost when the original file is deleted, or when the file is copied or moved to a partition that doesn't support ADS. While ADS is a useful feature, it can also easily eat up hard disk space if not detected or forgotten. File system quotas were introduced in NTFS 5.
They allow the administrator of a computer that runs a version of Windows that supports NTFS to set a threshold of disk space that users may utilize. It also allows administrators to keep a track of how much disk space each user is using. An administrator may specify a certain level of disk space that a user may use before they receive a warning, and then deny access to the user once they hit their upper limit of space.
This is called a sparse data set, and most things that generate such data sets are scientific applications, and they can generate very large sparse data sets. Because of this, Microsoft has implemented support for sparse files by only allocating disk space for regions that do not contain blocks of zero data.
An application that reads a sparse file reads it in the normal manner with the file system calculating what data should be returned based upon the file offset. Thus the latest version NTFS 5 provides the NTFS system to be called upon and to be prepared for the latest advancement of the following in the system.
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