Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2


Some of the features you can use when you choose NTFS are:

  • Better scalability to large drives. The maximum partition or volume size for NTFS is much greater than that for FAT, and as volume or partition sizes increase, performance with NTFS does not degrade as it does with FAT.

  • Active Directory (and domains, which are part of Active Directory). With Active Directory, you can view and control network resources easily. With domains, you can fine-tune security options while keeping administration simple. Domain controllers and Active Directory require NTFS.

  • Compression features, including the ability to compress or uncompress a drive, a folder, or a specific file. (However, a file cannot be both compressed and encrypted at the same time.)

  • File encryption, which greatly enhances security. (However, a file cannot be both compressed and encrypted at the same time.)

  • Permissions that can be set on individual files rather than just folders.

  • Remote Storage, which provides an extension to your disk space by making removable media such as tapes more accessible.

  • Recovery logging of disk activities, which allows NTFS to restore information quickly in the event of power failure or other system problems.

  • Sparse files. These are very large files created by applications in such a way that only limited disk space is needed. That is, NTFS allocates disk space only to the portions of a file that are written to.

  • Disk quotas, which you can use to monitor and control the amount of disk space used by individual users.

This is only a partial list of the features in NTFS in the Windows ServerĀ 2003 family. For more information about new features, see New Features.

For information about maximum file sizes possible with NTFS, see NTFS compared to FAT and FAT32. For information about converting or reformatting a FAT or FAT32 partition, see Reformatting or converting a partition to use NTFS.