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File Systems

The FAT file system locates the file allocation table near the beginning of the volume. FAT16 was designed for small disks and simple folder structures. FAT32 allowed users to create large volumes on large disks. Two copies of the file allocation table are stored on the volume. In the event that one copy of the file allocation table is corrupted, the other is used. The file allocation table is stored in a byte offset specified in the FAT boot sector's BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) so that the files needed to start the system can be located.

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Note

FAT32 can automatically implement the backup file allocation table if the primary file allocation table is damaged. FAT16 volumes require that a disk repair tool, such as Chkdsk, be used to implement the backup file allocation table.

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