Microsoft KB Archive/253845

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New Capabilities and Features of the NTFS 3.0 File System

Article ID: 253845

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

This article was previously published under Q253845


Windows 2000 contains new features that are available only with the NTFS file system. This article outlines the features and advantages of converting to the NTFS file system with Windows 2000.

These features require on-disk data structures that make these volumes unavailable to Windows NT 4.0-based computers. In anticipation of dual- boot scenarios, upgrade Windows NT 4.0 to SP4 before starting the Windows 2000 installation. The version of NTFS included with Windows 2000 cannot be interpreted correctly by Windows NT 4.0. However, there is an updated Ntfs.sys driver in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 that enables Windows NT 4.0 to read from and write to NTFS volumes in Windows 2000.


New features of the NTFS 3.0 file system include:

  • Disk quotas. Administrators can limit the amount of disk space users can consume on a per-volume basis. The three quota levels are: Off, Tracking, and Enforced.
  • Encryption. The NTFS 3.0 file system can automatically encrypt and decrypt file data as it is read and written to the disk.
  • Reparse points. Programs can trap open operations against objects in the file system and run their own code before returning file data. This feature can be used to extend file system features such as mount points, which you can use to redirect data read and written from a folder to another volume or physical disk.
  • Sparse files. This feature allows programs to create very large files, but to consume disk space only as needed.
  • USN Journal. This feature provides a persistent log of all changes made to files on the volume. This feature is one of the reasons that Windows 2000 domain controller must use an NTFS 3.0 partition as the system volume.

Additional query words: 5.00 sysvol

Keywords: kbinfo KB253845