Microsoft NTFS File System -Everything You Need to Know

Updated on June 17, 2021


New Technology File System or NTFS is a prime file system released by Windows in 1993. It is the prime file system used in Microsoft Windows NT and all the contemporary Windows file systems. The NTFS file system is also supported by another operating system such as Linux.

New Technology File System is equivalent to the File Allocation Table FAT and the OS/2 High-Performance File System HPFS. However, NTFS has managed to improve a lot overtime mainly in terms of security system, performance reliability, and extendibility.

Some of the Features of NTFS: 

  • New Technology File System keeps track of your file collection using the b-tree directory scheme. 
  • NTFS supports extremely large files approximately up to 16 billion bytes in size.
  • It also allows name-based searches as on Unicode.
  • NTFS also allows administrator control as of Access Control List ACL which limits the control and only allowed persons can access files.
  • NTFS provides data security on both disks, i.e. removable and fixed ones. 
  • NTFS also incorporates self-healing functions, it runs CHKDSK to eliminate all the errors and dysfunctionality in the disk without manually running the check.
  • NTFS also allows file compression which as a result provides you more available disk space by compressing large files. 
  • NTFS underpins disk usage quotas. These quotas are set by a director to confine the sum of disk space that a client can use. It’s utilized primarily to control the sum of shared space somebody can utilize, more often than not on an organized drive.

Versions of NTFS File System:

NTFS v1.0: The very first version of NTFS released by Windows NT 3.1.

NTFS v1.2: The second NTFS file system released by Windows NT3.51. This version incorporates the significant function of Access Control List ACL.

NTFS v3.0: The third version of the NTFS file system introduced by Windows 2000. It came up with many significant features as Update Sequence Number, Disk Quotas, Sparse File, and Encryption File System.

NTFS v3.1: The latest version of the NTFS file system released by Windows XP, announced some of the cool features of Master File Table or MFT which allows you to access or recover damaged files.

How NTFS File System Works?

The hard disk is divided into different partitions or divisions of the total space when the hard disk is formatted initialized. Each partition is being tracked by the operating system of all the files stored specifically by that operating system. The hard disk stores each file in one or more clusters of pre-defined size which accounts for 512 bytes or 64 kilobytes of the size range. For any given drive size, Windows NT recommends the default size for each cluster.  

The determination of the cluster size could be compromised between effective utilization of disk space and the number of disks gets to require getting to a record. In common, utilizing NTFS, the larger the hard disk the bigger the default cluster measure since it’s assumed that a framework client will lean toward extending performance (less disk gets to) at the cost of a certain amount of space ineffectual.

Master File Table or MFT records the special file created using the NTFS file system. This record is used to track the viable scattered clusters. New Technology File System tries to find adjacent available storage that can hold the entire file and each file along with its data holds a description of its features which is known as Metadata.

Major Issues of NTFS File System:

Despite having some significant features as of self-healing features, New Technology File System have some noticeable flaws. Accidental deletions of the file are required to go through the process of backup to be restored which is also a major issue in NTFS. Loss of data can also occur through malware which on its own delete files. Hard disk failure and abrupt power loss can also result in the loss of data. 

If data gets misplaced, degenerate, or gotten to be blocked off, at that point client must recuperate the misplaced information from the backup. In a few cases, there’s no backup at that point clients can recuperate their information by Windows NTFS Record Restore Program. It can recoup all erased, undermined, or blocked off records and folders.

What’s more, macOS does not support write access to Windows-formatted NTFS volumes. NTFS drives remain read-only unless you modify the Kernel extension in macOS through Terminal commands. If you are a Mac user, the most efficient and safest way to enable writing on macOS is to use a third party NTFS for Mac app.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.