NTFS stands for New Technology File System. In the year 1993, Microsoft introduced NTFS. It replaces FAT and is the primary file system for various Microsoft’s operating systems like Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and other Windows Servers versions. It is one of the most preferred file systems in modern systems. The files storage, organization and naming is controlled by the NTFS.

First release of NTFS was version 1.0, followed by version 1.1, version 1.2 (Windows NT 4), version 3.0 (Windows 2000), version 3.1 (Windows XP) and version 6.0 (Windows Vista). NTFS has MFT (Master File Table) like FAT (File Allocation Table) in FAT32 file system. Unused space in the sparse file is converted to free space by NTFS. Most of them prefer to convert from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS. Converting from NTFS to FAT32 without reformatting is not possible.

On system failure, NTFS restores the consistency of the file system by using the information from the log file. NTFS marks Bad sectors as ‘Bad’ preventing further damage by avoiding the accessibility to it. It also prevents unauthorized access of files and directories. It supports Encrypting File System (EFS) technology to store critical data as encrypted. Volumes can be spanned i.e., spreading of files and directories across disks.

NTFS supports disk quotas i.e., per user disk space.  NTFS supports compression at both file and directory level. Cluster size ranges from 4KB to 64KB and hence supports large volumes up to 256TB. Less cluster size reduces hard disk space wastage. NTFS volumes recover easily from errors than compared to FAT32.

NTFS has

  • A log file, which records metadata changes made to the volume
  • Alternate Data Streams (ADS) – it uses a filename format “filename:streamname” and allows association of more than one data stream with a filename
  • Sparse files – file segments are stored across the disks i.e., at different file offsets
  • File compression, which is done using LZNT1 algorithm
  • Encrypting File System (EFS), which uses a symmetric key to encrypt a file
  • Disk quotas, which was introduced in version 3 and deals with per user disk space
  • Volume mount points, in which the root of another file system is attached to a directory and are similar to Unix mount points


There are many advantages of using NTFS. Some are mentioned below which a NTFS user enjoys:

  • Provides high performance
  • Supports large storage or volumes
  • Provides file-level security and file compression
  • Supports RAID mechanism
  • Ability to encrypt files, thereby providing security
  • More reliable compared to FAT
  • Supports disk quotas
  • Supports long Unicode file names
  • Efficient hard disk space utilization (cluster size 4KB)
  • Provides fault tolerance and faster accessibility
  • Supports active directory domain names and long filenames

Related Information

Recover Data from Missing or Corrupt NTFS Partition
The NTFS file system can support and manage more files per volume. When NTFS file system of any drive / partition is damaged, data stored on that storage unit cannot be accessed. If your Windows NTFS partition is corrupted or missing, read the article to resolve the data loss problem.

Disk Recovery Tool
A user might delete file using Shift + Delete key combination. Such Windows NTFS files bypasses Windows Recycle Bin so cannot be restored from it. Remo Recover (Windows) Basic Edition is the software to recover mistankenly deleted Windows NTFS files.

Safe and Secure
Safe and Secure