Windows 7 - How to install Windows 7 on an exFAT SSD partition ?

Asked By Norm X on 13-Aug-12 11:29 PM
exFAT is a superior storage device format for solid state devices. I have
benchmarked the I/O performance with Diskmark 3.0.1. In order to benchmark
the data integrity I installed exFAT on a BartPE USB drive and used one of
Bart's tools. exFAT was able to restore the data integrity of a first
generation Intel SSD that had become unreliable with all other formats.

I thought that installing Win 7 on an exFAT SSD partition would be easy but
I was wrong. Win7 wants to format in FAT32 or NTFS. I have downloaded exFAT
support for WinXP but I have been unable to install WinXP on an exFAT
partition. The Win7 Enterprise install DVD I have is a 90 day evaluation ISO
I downloaded from Microsoft. I have legitimate volume licensing product
keys. Like Vista, the Win7 Enterprise install DVD permits the loading of
device drivers that it will browse for. I expected find an exFAT device
driver on the Win7 DVD but I could not find one using "exFAT" as a search

Can anyone provide advice on how to install Win7 on an exFAT SSD partition?

Thanks in advance.

Bill in Co replied to Norm X on 14-Aug-12 12:02 AM
But I would assume that choice would NOT be for installing the Win7 OS
itself into such a partition, given the direction Microsoft has been going.

In fact, I would be surprised if Win7 even allowed you to install Windows
(the OS) directly into anything but NTFS.  Am I wrong there?

I mean, starting with WinXP, it seems to me that the option to allow WinXP
to be installed into FAT32 was only "reluctantly" added.  And I thought even
that was dropped with Vista and later OS's.   Which would suggest anything
FAT related went out the window.

That sure does not surprise me.

It will be interesting to hear if there if it is even possible.  I just
doubt if Microsoft would have supported this though, considering what I
wrote above, and the direction of things - starting way back with WinXP,
where even installing the WinXP OS into a FAT32 partition was really
discouraged by Microsoft.   But I could be missing something.
Uwe Sieber replied to Norm X on 14-Aug-12 06:59 AM
Since Vista NTFS is mandatory for the system partition
because the operating system uses hard- and symbolic
links. Both are NTFS specific.

Early in the boot process some files must be located
before the file system drivers are loaded. This is
part of the XP NTLDR which can do this with FAT, FAT32
and NTFS only.

Hot-Text replied to Uwe Sieber on 14-Aug-12 12:12 PM
No not right, for Since NTFS you can have NTFS or FAT32..
for I have Vista FAT32 and a win7 FAT32,
for at install it will ask if you like a NTFS or FAT32 partition..

True and 100% right here.....
Hot-Text replied to Norm X on 14-Aug-12 12:18 PM
Windows need to partition,
the exFAT SSD partition to a NTFS or FAT32 partition..

Windows for Windows
Paul replied to Hot-Text on 14-Aug-12 12:59 PM
You mis-interpreted what Uwe wrote.

This thread, says much the same thing as Uwe indicated.
Hard links are not implemented in exFAT, so the Windows 7 "store"
would not work properly. Files are linked into the windows folder
from the store.

The missing features are documented here, for exFAT. It does not do
everything that NTFS does. In terms of "tick boxes", exFAT bears more
of a resemblance to FAT than NTFS.

You could still have exFAT as a data partition, in the same way
as you could have FAT32 as a data partition on Windows 7. Windows 7
still needs to be able to access data from older computers.