Learn Windows XP Professional: Administration of Resources (Page 5) Page 5

Well, that's a wrap for this week. On my way out the door I'd like to drop one more table into your lap and a few more bullet points.

Default Cluster Sizes for partitions under Windows XP Professional

Partition Size
FAT16 Cluster Size
FAT32 Cluster Size
NTFS Cluster Size
7 MB-16 MB 2 KB (FAT12) Not supported 512 bytes
17 MB-32 MB 512 bytes Not supported 512 bytes
33 MB-64 MB 1 KB 512 bytes 512 bytes
65 MB-128 MB 2 KB 1 KB 512 bytes
129 MB-256 MB 4 KB 2 KB 512 bytes
257 MB-512 MB 8 KB 4 KB 512 bytes
513 MB-1,024 MB 16 KB 4 KB 1 KB
1,025 MB-2 GB 32 KB 4 KB 2 KB
2 GB-4 GB 64 KB 4 KB 4 KB
4 GB-8 GB Not supported 4 KB 4 KB
8 GB-16 GB Not supported 8 KB 4 KB
16 GB-32 GB Not supported 16 KB 4 KB
32 GB-2 TB Not supported Not supported 4 KB

Quick points and summary tidbits:

  • FAT volumes smaller than 16 megabytes (MB) are formatted as FAT12.

  • FAT12 is used only on floppy disks and on volumes smaller than 16 megabytes

  • FAT16 volumes larger than 2 gigabytes (GB) are not locally accessible from computers running MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition and many other operating systems.

  • FAT32 volumes can theoretically be as large as 2 terabytes, but Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional limit the maximum size FAT32 volume that can be formatted to 32 GB. (Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional can read and write to larger FAT32 volumes formatted locally by other operating systems.)

  • The implementation of FAT32 in Windows 2000 limits the maximum number of clusters on a FAT32 volume that can be mounted by Windows 2000 to 4,177,918. This is the maximum number of clusters on a FAT32 volume that can be formatted by Windows 98.

  • NTFS volumes can theoretically be as large as 16 exabytes (EB), but the practical limit is 2 terabytes.

  • The user can specify the cluster size when an NTFS volume is formatted. However, NTFS compression is not supported for cluster sizes larger than 4 kilobytes (KB).

  • Not supported means "Not supported by Microsoft." In some "chance" cases, you may be able to perform a function that is not normally supported.


In next week's installment I will continue with Implementing and Conducting Administration of Resources of Windows XP Professional by covering monitoring, managing, and troubleshooting access to files and folders.

Until then, best of luck in your studies and please feel free to contact me with any questions on my column and remember,

"A machine is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy."

Jason Zandri


This article was originally published on Jun 3, 2002
Page 5 of 5

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