5.6 Modern File Systems

Because the FAT file system is used on almost all removable storage (especially USB storage), it is probably the most common file system. However, it is not the only file system. FAT lacks many features that people need in a modern file system. For example:

  • ■   Files are limited to a size of 4 gigabytes or less (except in exFAT format).

  • ■   Smaller FAT systems (FAT 12, FAT 16) can’t recover if drive errors occur in essential locations, like the root directory.

  • ■   The simple, linear directory arrangement makes it very slow to search a really large directory (e.g., one with thousands of files).

  • ■   FAT files don’t identify a file’s owner.

  • ■   FAT files can’t support access restrictions beyond simple flags to indicate ...

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