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What is meant by NTFS file system?

An important file system NTFS for new versions of Operating System.

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Sam Mike
June 01, 2007

Sam Mike

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Important operating systems like Windows NT, 2000 and XP are based on NTFS file system. The purpose for developing file systems is to administer files, folders and to manage all that information needed to access the files from local or remote computers. Two versions of NTFS have been released up till now- NTFS 4.0 and NTFS 5.0. First version NTFS 4.0 supports Windows NT while NTFS 5.0 with some new exciting features supports windows 2000 and windows XP. Most common features which are found in both of them are listed below

1.      It provides support to Mac files

2.      It helps in compression of files which are readable and writeable while the process is in progress.

3.      NTFS file system can recover the files lost due to power failure or system breakdown.

Some of the salient features of NTFS 5.0 are as under:

  1. It can encrypt or decrypt the data during reading and writing any file from hard disk automatically.
  2. NTFS 5.0 lets you write files of maximum length but only occupies the required and necessary space.
  3. This version of NTFS file system is given with USN journal to keep track of all the changes done on the volume.
  4. By using the facility provided by NTFS 5.0, administrators of the computer can limit storage capacity of a specific volume.
Structure of NTFS File System

NTFS disk is partitioned into two parts, 12% of it constitutes by MFT that doesn’t make to save any thing and remaining 88% is used for the purpose of files storage.

What is MFT?

Every component of the system and information related to operating system is considered to be a file.  The most important file of NTFS is MFT (Master File Table) containing all the necessary files of system.  This table is divided into some fixed size of records of 1 byte. These all records refer to some files and first 16 files are directly linked with operating system and only operating system can access those files.  

The first 16 files are named metafiles which are basically the system files. These files are basically meant for some basic functions of operating system. Such metafiles exist in the root directory of NTFS and can only be searched by appending “$” sign in start of the file. For example if you want to locate log file you have to write $LogFile. 



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