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FAT Full Form

What Is The Full Form Of FAT?

The full form of FAT is File Allocation Table.

FAT is the name of a computer file system developed for hard drives that fundamentally used 16 or 12 bits for every cluster entry.It is primarily usedby the OS (Operating System)to store and managefiles on hard drives and other computer systems.By reducing seeking, FAT minimizes the wear and tear on hard discs, thusextendingitslife. This file system is also very lightweight and compatible,often found in digital cameras, portable devices, flash memory, etc.

History of FAT

  • The FAT file system, introduced in 1977, was initially called the FAT structure.Mard McDonald originally coded and designed it.
  • IBM released FAT16 in 1983 and simultaneously released Microsoft’s MS-DOS3.0 software and their personal computer AT (PC AT).
  • Compaq DOS 3.31, in 1987, released an increased disc sector version of FAT16.
  • Microsoft came up with FAT32 in 1997 with an increased size limit and it allowed DOS real mode code to handle the format.
  • Several iterations of the FAT family continue to evolve by coping with the drawbacks of their previous versions.
  • Out of all the iterations, the most popular ones are FAT12, FAT32, FAT16, and exFAT- the first three used for backward compatibility.

Sections Of FAT:

  • Boot Sector -Also referred to as the reserved sector, the boot sector is placed on the first part of the disc.It is composed of: the boot ladder code necessary to start a PC, the MRB (Master Boot Record) as a partition table for describing how to organize the drive, and the BIOS Parameter Block (BPB), describing the outline of the data storage volume.
  • FAT Region -It determines the allocation of the clusters, and it contains 2 copies of the redundancy check FAT.
  • Data Region -The data from the currentfiles and directory table store here. And it used up a bulk of the partition.
  • Root Directory Region -This region contains information regarding the directory and file.The root directory region is used with systems FAT16 and FAT12.This region had a fixed maximumsize that one can configure when creating it.

Types Of FAT:

  • 12-bit FAT (FAT12) -The first version and oldest type of FAT- uses a 12-bit FAT entry.
  • 16-bit FAT (FAT16) -Uses a 16-bit FAT entry- can have a maximum drive size of 2-16 GB.
  • 32-bit FAT (FAT32) -The latest version of the FAT file system- uses a 32-bit FAT entry.

Benefits of FAT:

  • It supports up to 8TB of partition sizes.
  • FAT uses the entire disk blockfor its data.
  • Various manufacturers like Game Consoles and USB Drives use it because it’s the oldest 3-file system available for Windows OS.
  • FAT is compatible with a majority of OS such as MacOS, Linux, Windows.
  • The file system of FAT32 allows easier routes of conversion.
  • A single bad disc doesn’t lead to losing the successive blocks.
  • Random access is also provided via FAT.

Limitations Of FAT:

  • It only supports up to 4GB file sizes.
  • Security of the data is negligible.
  • Separate discs require a separate FAT entry.Multiple entries sometimes lead to very big FAT sizes.
  • FAT doesn’t support encryption of folders and has no fault tolerance.
  • Itdoesn’t support data recovery in case of losses.
  • New and better file systems are replacing the use of FAT among technological manufacturers.

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