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NTFS Overview

Published: September 25, 2013

Updated: September 25, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2

This topic provides overview and background information for NTFS file system.

NTFS provides performance and reliability, and includes built-in security features, such as file and folder permissions. NTFS also provides support for volumes up to 256 terabytes in size, support for disk quotas and compression, and support for mounted drives. For information on new and changed functionality in NTFS, see What's New in NTFS for Windows Server.

The list below describes some of the practical applications in which NTFS should be used as the file system.

  • Increasing reliability. NTFS uses its log file and checkpoint information to restore the consistency of the file system when the computer is restarted in the event of a system failure. In the event of a bad-sector error, NTFS dynamically remaps the cluster containing the bad sector and allocates a new cluster for the data, as well as marking the cluster as bad and no longer using it. For example, by formatting a POP3 mail server with NTFS, the mail store can offer logging and recovery. In the event of a server crash, NTFS can recover data by replaying its log files.

  • Increasing security. NTFS allows you to set permissions on a file or folder, and specify the groups and users whose access you want to restrict or allow, and then select the type of access.

  • Limited space on a volume. If your organization has limited space on a volume, NTFS provides support for increasing storage on a server with limited disk space.

    • Disk quotas allow you to track and control user disk space usage for NTFS volumes.

    • NTFS supports compression as well as adding unallocated space from the same disk or from another disk to increase the size of an NTFS volume.

    • Mounted volumes allow you to mount a volume at any empty folder on a local NTFS volume if you run out of drive letters or need to create additional space that is accessible from an existing folder.

  • Supporting large volumes. NTFS allows you to create an NTFS volume up to 16 terabytes using the default cluster size (4 KB) for large volumes. You can create NTFS volumes up to 256 terabytes using the maximum cluster size of 64 KB.

The following list provides additional resources on the web about related technologies in Windows Server 2012.

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