issc456 discussion response


I need two responses of at least 150 words each for the below students discussions for this week. Also in the bold below are the questions the students at answering.

1) Using course resources and the Internet, please explain the following Windows and DOS File Systems:

a. FAT12
b. FAT16
c. FAT32

Be sure to cite your sources, the post must contain at least three sources.

Student one:

Using course resources and the Internet, please explain the following Windows and DOS File Systems:

a. FAT12 – The first widely used version of the FAT file system, FAT12, was introduced in 1980, right along with the first versions of DOS. The FAT12 is the file system on a floppy disk. The number “12” is derived from the fact that the FAT consists of 12-bit entries. The storage space on a floppy disk is divided into units called sectors. In larger storage devices, a bunch of sectors form a cluster. However, for the floppy disk, the number of sectors in a cluster is one. Also, the size of a sector (and hence a cluster) is 512 bytes for a floppy disk.

b. FAT16 – First introduced in 1984 in PC DOS 3.0 and MS-DOS 3.0. Depending on the operating system and the cluster size used, the maximum drive size a FAT16-formatted drive can be ranges from 2 GB up to 16 GB, the latter only in Windows NT 4 with 256 KB clusters. File sizes on FAT16 drives max out at 4 GB with Large File Support enabled, or 2 GB without it. The maximum number of files that can be held on a FAT16 volume is 65,536.

c. FAT32 – FAT32 is an extension which means that data is stored in chunks of 32 bits. This is an older type of file system. It isn’t commonly used these days. FAT32 is the latest version of the FAT file system. It was introduced in 1996 for Windows 95 OSR2 / MS-DOS 7.1 users and was the primary file system for consumer Windows versions through Windows ME. FAT32 supports basic drive sizes up to 2 TB or even as high as 16 TB with 64 KB clusters. Up to 268,173,300 files can be contained on a FAT32 volume, so long as it’s using 32 KB clusters.

d. NTFS – First introduced by Microsoft in 1993 with the release of Windows NT 3.1. The file system that the Windows NT operating system uses for storing and retrieving files on a hard disk. NTFS is the Windows NT equivalent of the Windows 95 file allocation table (FAT) and the OS/2 High Performance File System (HPFS).




Student two:

In the world of technology, nothing is more important than data. All of the different types of information ranging from pictures and videos to the various types of software utilized by devices. All of that data need to be properly managed, without a good system of management all of the data stored inside of a given medium would just be a huge piece of information with no way to see where anything stops or begins. Thankfully, computers have different kinds of file systems available to them to help designate exactly where a given piece of information stops and starts. Allowing people to see their hundreds of individual pictures. And to look at whichever one they wish. (Brouwer)

There are four main windows and DOS file systems used. At the bottom of the barrel is FAT (File Allocation Table) 12, a file system originally designed for use with floppy disks. Every entry in a floppy’s column is 12 bits, overall supporting up to storage sizes of 16MB. FAT16 is a solid step up, with the capability to efficiently support storage up to 32MB utilizing 64KB allocation units. Overall it is still quite limited due to its restrictions in naming, file extensions, and total size making it limited is use. (Arnes)

FAT32 was a large step forward with the capability to support drives with a storage of 2 TB efficiently. It utilizes a 32-bit system of smaller clusters providing a more efficient system. It also has the capability to change the root directory to access backup copies instead of defaults, and can resize partitions as needed. NTFS (New Technology File System) is a different animal unrelated to the FAT systems. It is capable of performing operations at much faster speeds while also providing additional security features like encryption, and can compress files as needed. (Intellipaper)

Gavin R Davidson


Årnes, André. ( © 2018). Digital forensics. [Books24x7 version]

Brouwer, Andries. (2002) The FAT filesystem, retrieved from

Intellipaper, L. (2013). Electronic storage devices, programming methods, and device manufacturing methods. Retrieved from…


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