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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

Will someone please explain the current state of play with file systems on Windows XP Home Edition.

I understand that in Windows XP, Microsoft brought the kernel of "toy" Windows (the 9n / ME series) up-to-date by incorporating the full 32 bit kernel from "professional" Windows (NT and its line). What happened to file system support? Does Windows XP Home Edition support NTFS? If not, what's the support for long filenames in XP Home Edition (is it the VFAT "kludge" or is there proper support?) What about file system security -- is there any in Home Edition?
10 REPLIES
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WinXP Home

Hi,

I did my MCSE back in 2001 and as far as my understanding goes windowsXP home does contain & support a full NTFS filing system as well as giving the user an option to install Fat32 file system at install.

XP home is not radically different from the Pro version it is if you like a cut down version which means it doesnt give the home user ALL the corporate functionality or feature set. But as far as I am aware the core or kernal is the same as NT (in win2k) and WindowsXP Pro.

I think the XP home has more emphasis on mutimedia, images,video,sound and the visual interface,etc.

Best Regards Ivan
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Re: WinXP Home

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I did my MCSE back in 2001 and as far as my understanding goes windowsXP home does contain & support a full NTFS filing system as well as giving the user an option to install Fat32 file system at install.


Thanks for the response.

If XP Home Edition does, indeed, provide NTFS support, it is a better product than I had expected. I found the marketing sites for it were suspiciously quiet on this issue, though, which is why I have my doubts. I would like to know for sure; there must be a user of XP Home Edition who knows!

Can someone also clarify something about FAT32. My understanding is that FAT32 was devised to overcome the cluster size problems of FAT16 when large partitions are involved, and the space-wasting associated with those large sized clusters. Does FAT32 introduce anything new regarding long filename support - in terms of properly supporting long filenames as a design criterion - or does it still rely on the VFAT "technique"?
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Replying

Hi,

OK lets see how to best answer this, Microsoft introduced long file name support with the introduction of windows98 I think (if my memory serves me) and that this was done to provide some form of backward compatibility for those users that still had MSDOS based programs & games. Yes! FAT32 does give support for larger sized hard disk drives because of the cluster size.

MS with windows2000 and windowsXP have finally created an operating system that completely dumps any true MSDOS code in the product. Which is as far as I understand what Microsoft has been trying to achieve for several years now but they realised early on that this could only be done through several stages bye bringing out different versions of windows, and each one would move that bit more away from DOS (otherwise they would have alienated many users and lost huge amounts of money in the process).

Windows2000 & XP have something called VDM or Virtual Dos Machine which isnt actaully dos at all but an emulated DOS type enviroment. And which is said to behave better than true dos but I would know about that myself.

NTFS is the new technology file system and intrduces a whole range of features such as Yes! long file names, file compression built-in, encryption, very detailled (whats termed GRANULAR) file & folder permissions, disk quotas and so forth. NTFS is very good but it is complex too as one would expect with all those features built into it.

**So dont confuse FAT32 & NTFS as being better or worse, its more just a question of being different and providing newer features. The question is do these newer NTFS features provide benefits for you as a user or make life more complex. Hope that makes sense?

Ivan
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

With XP Home edition, I'm certain that NTFS is provided, although EFS (Encrypted File System) is not. I believe that NTFS is provide with all 4 versions of XP (Professional, Home, Tablet and Media Center) as it's a core component of the OS. See this Microsoft page and scroll to the bit about choosing a file system.

You may find that the OEM has opted to use FAT32 file systems, but this can be changed using the 'CONVERT <Drive letter>: /FS:NTFS' command to change file system types on a volume (drive).

It's been a while since I looked at XP Home, but I think that XP Home lacks some of the user interface options for setting security on the file system. If this is a major concern for you (as well as the lack of EFS) then I'd suggest getting (or upgrading to) XP Pro instead.

Neil
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

Neil is 100% correct. I have XP Home if you want to ask any questions

Darren
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

Hi.

XP Home does offer FULL support of NTFS, however, one of the major differences in XP Home v XP Pro, is that you don't see the Security tab in HOME, to set the NTFS permissions. Instead, you get a Sharing tab, and you set the security using the shared folders system, rather than at File level.

HOME also offers full long filename support as of 2000 and above, this is no different at all to the Pro version.

Finally, networking is another difference between the two XP versions. XP Pro, can belong to a workgroup or a Domain, but HOME can only be a member of a Workgroup, it physically cannot join a domain, hence the name HOME version.

Hope this helps.

NB: Personal opinion, XP is the best OS that MS have EVER produced...
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

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Finally, networking is another difference between the two XP versions. XP Pro, can belong to a workgroup or a Domain, but HOME can only be a member of a Workgroup, it physically cannot join a domain, hence the name HOME version.


I've been reading in the Samba documentation, the Using Samba online book, in fact, (I have the O'Reilly printed version, and wanted to see what had changed) and they say something quite startling about XP Home and networking:

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Chapter 4[/url], someone"]You have our condolences if you are trying to use the Home edition of Windows XP in a domain environment! Microsoft has omitted support for Windows NT domains from Windows XP Home, resulting in a product that is ill-suited for use in a domain-based network.

On the client side, Windows XP Home users cannot log on to a Windows NT domain. Although it is still possible to access domain resources, a username and password must be supplied each time the user connects to a resource, rather than the "single signon" of a domain logon. Domain features such as logon scripts and roaming profiles are not supported.

As a server, Windows XP Home cannot join a Windows NT domain as a domain member server. It can serve files and printers, but only using share-mode ("workgroup") security. It can't even use user-mode security, as Windows 95/98/Me can.

Considering these limitations, we do not recommend Windows XP Home for any kind of local area network computing.


Pretty damning, don't you think! It can't do things 95/98/Me can? What!

Particularly surprising in the light of what the Using Samba authors say near the beginning of the same chapter:

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... Microsoft is developing Windows in the direction of increased use of domains and is intending that eventually Windows networks be composed solely of Active Directory domains.


So they're saying XP Home cannot log on to a Windows NT domain, but that MS is developing Windows in the direction of increased use of domains. Am I missing some logic here?
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

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So they're saying XP Home cannot log on to a Windows NT domain, but that MS is developing Windows in the direction of increased use of domains. Am I missing some logic here?


OK, not really defending M$ here, but look at the product targeting:

XP Home = Consumer version

XP Professional = Business / Networking version

How many people in the Consumer bracket would typically want to logon to a domain?

Neil
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

Businesses which buy XP Home because it's cheaper!
Was that a penny I just heard dropping?

And home punters, of course, playing with Samba as a PDC on a Linux system.
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Windows XP Home Edition File Systems

You should be able to set XP Home to run in a workgroup - if you set the workgroup name the same as the Domain name and have logged onto the XP Home box with a username and password that is the same as the domain account, then theoretically, pass-thru authentication would be used - i.e. the XP Home box should automaticelly present your user account to the domain resource for authentication first.

Neil