Home TECHNOLOGY What Is File Allocation Table (FAT)?

What Is File Allocation Table (FAT)?

by Rudresh Ratnaparkhe
File Allocation Table

Are you searching about the file allocation table and what it is? Then you are at the right place. Here I will share with you every piece of information that is related to it. You will come to know about the size, program, advantages, and disadvantages, etc about it. I will explain the file allocation table structure, size, and types. So let us read below about the file allocation table definition.

What Is File Allocation Table?

File Allocation Table (FAT) is a file of the system which is designed for hard drives. FAT is primarily used 12 or 16 bits for the entry of each group in the File Allocation Table program in C drive. It manages the files on hard drives and other computer systems that use the operating system (OS). This is mostly used in flash memory, digital cameras, etc. It stores the information about the file and improves the performance of the hard drive.

File Allocation Table Size

The size of the FAT table file is 4,294,967,295 bytes (4 GiB – 1) with FAT16B and FAT32. It also depends upon the FAT type. So keep reading further to know about the different types of it.

Types Of File Allocation Table

There are several types of FAT table files that we have mentioned in the following:

  • Original 8-bit FAT
  • FAT12
  • Initial FAT16
  • Logical sectored FAT
  • Final FAT16
  • FAT32
  • exFAT

Working Of File Allocation Table

The FAT works as a file system that is based on the FAT Table file. This system identifies the cluster location in which files and directories are stored on the disk. It records the location of each cluster that makes up the file and the order in which it is located. It is important since files are not stored in a consistent location on a hard disk generally. There is disk fragmentation generated because of the creation and deletion of files on the disk hence the FAT file is necessary.

File Allocation Table Example

Below is the example of the fat file allocation table:

file allocation table

File Allocation Table Diagram

Here is the structural diagram of the FAT table is divided into four categories. You can read them below.

  • Boot Sector: It is the reserved sector and it is located in the first area. It has boot loader code, partition table of main boot record, and BIOS parameter block.
  • FAT Table Area: This has two copies for checking and specifying the allocated group.
  • Root Directory: It has information on directories and files.
  • Data Area: It stores the data of the directory and files.

file allocation table example,

File Allocation Table 32

FAT32 is a file system used by storage applications, and file systems to organize the storage on the devices such as hard drives, SSDs, memory sticks, microSD cards, etc. FAT vs FAT32 is not a major difference except for the type. It provides shared permissions to the files and folders. It can be read and written on different operating systems.

File Allocation Table Advantages And Disadvantages

Below we have mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the FAT Table:

  • Advantages

  • It uses the full data block of the disk.
  • In it, successive blocks do not get damaged.
  • It will provide random access, but not too fast.
  • It helps In each file operation 
  • It checks the FAT.
  • Disadvantages

  • Every time in it FAT entry is required for each disk block.
  • In this, the size of the FAT can be very high depending on the number of FAT entries.
  • In it, the number of FAT entries can be decreased if the block size is increased.
  • There may be an increase in internal fragmentation in it.

File Allocation Table Vs NTFS

The difference between FAT vs NTFS is given in the following:

  • The FAT file is a simple file system that has two copies in case of damage. While NTFS has improved security.
  • FAT needs to maintain two different system copies. Whereas, NTFS repairs files and folders automatically.
  • FAT only provides shared permission. However, you will get specific permission to local files and folders in NTFS.

FAQ

Where Is The File Allocation Table Located?

The FAT table file is located at the very first area of the disc. It is called a FAT sector and it is located at sector 0.

Does NTFS Have A File Allocation Table?

No, NTFS does not have a file of FAT Table. It is also a type of file system like FAT for the management of the data.

What Are NTFS And FAT3?

NTFS and FAT32 are the system files, which control and manage the data storage. Below we have differentiated them for you.

  • The FAT file is a simple file system that has two copies in case of damage. While NTFS has improved security.
  • FAT needs to maintain two different system copies. Whereas, NTFS repairs files and folders automatically.
  • FAT only provides shared permission. However, you will get specific permission to local files and folders in NTFS.

What Is Meant By File Allocation?

The file allocation means it is the process that determines how the files are stored in the blocks of the disk. The direct access design of the disks provides consistency in the execution of the files. In some of these situations, separate files or several files are stored on the same disk.

Conclusion

Above you read about the file allocation table. I explained about the FAT in general and in a simple way. You understood about what is meaning of the FAT table, its types, etc. I described every part that was useful for you. Some of the common queries related to the FAT table were answered above. The information we shared pointwise of the file allocation table was helpful for you in better understanding.

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