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FAT System Guide


FAT System Guide

The DOS Zone

My Software


What Is The Aim Of This?

Use this information only if you agree to the terms in my Disclaimer

    Well I decided that information on the FAT file system (FAT12 FAT16 and FAT32) was a little thin on the ground and spread out, so I thought that a detailed explanation of the FAT file system, all in one place, could prove to be quite useful.

Hopefully this will give the advanced user a good understanding of the system but I'm also aiming to provide enough technical detail to enable programmers to implement sector level disk access in their programs. If you fall into the first category and you are a little concerned that this is going to be to technical, it won't (hopefully), each of the following sections is split into non-technical overviews and the technical areas. If you do think that this is too technical then send me an email and I'll see what I can do to improve it.

If you spot any errors, or you have information on other file systems please email me with the details. Now that you've read all that (if you bothered) it's time to go to the first part:

Introduction To Disks.

You should read through these parts in order by the way.

Take note: I'm using the term "disk" to refer to a diskette or a partition on a HDD, not until a later section will I go into greater detail about partitions and the MBR (and before you ask why not use the term "volume" I felt that disk would be easier to understand). In addition I've not mentioned sides/heads or cylinders/tracks until later on. In general I've tried to keep things simple to start with, and in the process I've omitted certain aspects, but I've hopefully addressed these inaccuracies later, so please don't email me about this until you've read the whole thing first, if you still don't feel happy about it then please email me.

Copyright © Jonathan Fox 2000-2002.