Stands for "New Technology File System." NTFS is a file system introduced by Microsoft with Windows NT and is supported by subsequent versions of Windows, such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP. NTFS has a number of advantages over the previous file system, named FAT32 (File Allocation Table). One major advantage of NTFS is that it includes features to improve reliablity. For exmaple, the new technology file system includes fault tolerance, which automatically repairs hard drive errors without displaying error messages. It also keeps detailed transaction logs, which tracks hard drive errors. This can help prevent hard disk failures and makes it possible to recover files if the hard drive does fail.
NTFS also allows permissions (such as read, write, and execute) to be set for individual directories and files. It even supports spanning volumes, which allows directories of files to be spread across multiple hard drives. The only reason why you would not want to select NTFS when formatting your hard drive is if you like slow, outdated technology or you need to run an older operating system such as Windows 95 or MS-DOS. Of course, if you are running DOS, there is a good chance you really do like outdated technology.
Updated: May 12, 2008