What is a File System?
Computers use particular kinds of file systems to store and organize data on media, such as a hard drive, the CDs, DVDs, and BDs in anoptical drive or on a flash drive.
A file system can be thought of as an index or database containing the physical location of every piece of data on the hard drive or other storage device.
Any place that a computer or other electronic device stores data is employing the use of some type of file system. This includes your Windows computer, your Mac, your smartphone, your bank’s ATM… even the computer in your car!
Windows File Systems
The Microsoft Windows operating systems have always supported, and still do support, various versions of the FAT file system.
In addition to FAT, all Microsoft Windows operating systems since Windows NT support a newer file system called NTFS.
All modern versions of Windows also support exFAT, a file system designed for flash drives.
A file system is setup on a drive during a format. See How To Format a Hard Drive for more information.
More About File Systems
Some other operating systems other than Windows also take advantage of FAT and NTFS but many different kinds of file systems exist.