Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

USB FAT32 - NTFS

Last response: in Storage
Share
August 31, 2009 7:57:39 AM

I recently bought a 32GB flash drive, and wanted to put a larger than 4GB video file on it.

It told me the folder size was too big for the device. I did some research on this and figured out that I would have to convert the file system on the device from FAT32 to NTFS. I did this via command promt.

I have a worry that since the file system is now NTFS (even though this file system is much more efficient) if I unplug it from the USB port without "safely removing" the device, it will delete files.

Should I worry about this, or is it possible to lose data while on FAT32 while hot swapping like this as well?

Also, before I used command prompt to change file systems on the device I read that it could be done via preferences on the device by right clicking "Computer" ->> "Manage" ->> "Device Manager" ->> "Disk drives" ->> " "USB drive" " ->> After which right click the drive, got to properties, Policies tab, and you can select the option "Optimize for performance". However, to my dismay, this was not there. My guess is that it is because I am using Windows 7 (which is still in Release candidate phase) which has the options:

"Quick removal (default)

Disables write caching on the device and in Windows, but you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon."

==OR==

"Better performance

Enables write caching in Windows, but you must use the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon to disconnect the device safely."

I tried the second option, and it didn't work, that is what drove me to formatting the device to NTFS via command prompt.

Please advise ASAP.

Thank you very much,

String



More about : usb fat32 ntfs

August 31, 2009 8:37:43 AM

stringcheesy said:
I recently bought a 32GB flash drive, and wanted to put a larger than 4GB video file on it.

It told me the folder size was too big for the device. I did some research on this and figured out that I would have to convert the file system on the device from FAT32 to NTFS. I did this via command promt.

I have a worry that since the file system is now NTFS (even though this file system is much more efficient) if I unplug it from the USB port without "safely removing" the device, it will delete files.

Should I worry about this, or is it possible to lose data while on FAT32 while hot swapping like this as well?

Also, before I used command prompt to change file systems on the device I read that it could be done via preferences on the device by right clicking "Computer" ->> "Manage" ->> "Device Manager" ->> "Disk drives" ->> " "USB drive" " ->> After which right click the drive, got to properties, Policies tab, and you can select the option "Optimize for performance". However, to my dismay, this was not there. My guess is that it is because I am using Windows 7 (which is still in Release candidate phase) which has the options:

"Quick removal (default)

Disables write caching on the device and in Windows, but you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon."

==OR==

"Better performance

Enables write caching in Windows, but you must use the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon to disconnect the device safely."

I tried the second option, and it didn't work, that is what drove me to formatting the device to NTFS via command prompt.

Please advise ASAP.

Thank you very much,

String


You've raised an interesting question. All of my USB flash drives are formatted to fat32. No issues with inserting or removing 'on the fly', but I have never bothered to format any of my devices to NTFS. Nor have I ever tried to load up a file larger than 2 ^32 -1 file size. I would wonder if someone with a built-in encryption system (think iron key) could even change the file system?
August 31, 2009 1:48:22 PM

Are you running Windows XP (or earlier) or Windows Vista?
Related resources
August 31, 2009 2:39:00 PM

I am running Windows 7 on my comp right now. Still in release candidate phase.
August 31, 2009 2:45:42 PM

As far as I know, Windows XP uses NTFS drives (regardless of whether it is external or not) to store cache. If you unplug it on the fly, you could lose valuable data. However, by default, Windows Vista does not do so unless you change the option. I believe Windows 7 is similar to Vista so you're safe (or at least I hope).
a c 415 G Storage
August 31, 2009 3:39:01 PM

The device manager options you described aren't there to let you change the file system type, they're there to control whether to allow write caching on the device. The fact that the wording has changed is irrelevant - do NOT choose the option for higher performance if you want to be able to remove the device without first going through the "Safely Remove Hardware" steps.

Personally, I always use "Safely Remove Hardware" even if write caching is disabled - partly because I'm paranoid and partly because it tells me if any programs are still trying to use the device.
!