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History of NTFS

The FAT file system offered a file system that was fast and simplistic. But, while it was more than enough to fulfill the need of home users, it didn’t offer much to the high-end users such as servers and workstations in a corporate network environment. It lacked features that could provide security, enhanced capacity, and reliability.  Thus, Microsoft worked on a new files system and released NTFS as part of it Windows NT operating the system, providing a competent, flexible, adaptable, secure and reliable file system and also strengthening the position of it Windows NT operating system among  “serious’ operating systems for business and corporate users.

NTFS was Microsoft’s own need as well. In early 1990’s, Microsoft wanted to have a share of the lucrative corporate and business market but its operating system at that time MS-DOS and Windows 3.x did have features to take on serious operating systems such as UNIX which had a large chunk of the market at that time. In order to get a foothold and to stop its Windows NT operating system from crippling, Microsoft worked on creating a new file system which was not based on FAT, and its efforts result in NTFS.

NTFS was not built from the ground up. It borrowed several concepts from the High-Performance File System (HPFS) of OS/2, an operating system resulting from the joint venture of IBM and Microsoft. After the things turned sour between them, Microsoft broke off from the project and made NTFS. It was made with a number of specific goals in mind. Not only it was secure and reliable, it used a much efficient method for space allocation, allowed for long file names and partitions up to 4GB ( as compare to 8+3 filename limit and 2GB partition limit of FAT16 at that time) and facilitated networking on large scale.

Several enhancement and modifications have been made to NTFS since its release with Windows NT3.1. The current version of NTFS, version 5.0, not only support previous versions of NTFS but has also added several new features and capabilities to its previous versions such as the addition of Reparse Points, Encryption, Disk Quotas, Sparse File Support and Disk Defragmenter (Kozierok).

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