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LEAVE YOUR SYSTEM PARTITION IN FAT FORMAT

One efficient way of organizing your hard drive space is to convert all of your partitions to NTFS with the exception of a small (500MB) system partition. Leaving your system partition in FAT format will allow you to boot into another operating system, most usually DOS, and edit the system files NT relies on to boot. If you convert the system partition to NTFS, you won't be able to edit these files if you can't successfully boot NT. By keeping the system partition small and only installing system-related software on it, you can implement the tighter NTFS security on the majority of your data, yet still be able to recover from some common problems.

SYSTEM MAINTENANCE - A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO FAT

Last week we brought you a tip from The Cobb Group on leaving your system partition FAT as a means to edit system files. While this is a very practical solution in some situations, it lacks the tighter security implementation and performance of using NTFS. There is another method that provides much better security, without compromising ease of recovery. This solution is to install a second copy of Windows NT on the same system to provide a "safe boot" functionality. Installing Windows NT twice in separate system directories lets you boot to an alternate OS for maintenance and still provides benefits of using NTFS.

To do this, install your active OS as normal, such as to C:\WINNT, then install a second copy to an alternate directory (e.g. C:\WINNT.ALT). You now have a way to boot to an alternate OS if there is a problem with the active OS version you use for daily work. It also gives you a method to backup the entire active OS directory (C:\WINNT) to a third directory (C:\WINNT.BAK) prior to making any major system changes. This way you can always role back to a working copy of the OS if you encounter any complications.

See also:


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