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Using exFAT on a USB Flash Drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by keni254, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. keni254

    keni254 Private First Class

    Good evening Geeks, I'm running XP Home SP3.
    I've got an 8GB usb flash drive formatted in FAT32 that tells me the "disc is full" when I know its empty. I think the problem is that I'm trying to write a 4.5GB file and as I understand FAT32, max. file size is about 4GB. I noticed that a format option is exFAT which surprises me because I understand exFAT came out with Vista. So how come I have it available on my XP machine?

    This sounds like a pretty good thing to reformat my flash drive to exFAT to take on larger files.
  2. collinsl

    collinsl MajorGeek

    exFAT is an update to XP. If my memory serves me correctly, it was introduced in SP3.

    Personally though, I would use NTFS as it is more commonly used than exFAT
  3. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    You have the diagnosis sorted: 4GB maximum file size on FAT32. I think ExFAT became available with SP3, but I'm pretty sure that there was also a specific patch that was available for download from MSFT too. ExFAT or NTFS is fine for bigger file sizes.
  4. Colemanguy

    Colemanguy MajorGeek

    Do keep in mind ntfs is a windows based fs, so if you ever plan on having a mac write to the drive then you shouldn't use ntfs, using Exfat instead.
  5. keni254

    keni254 Private First Class

    The format options offered for the USB flash drive are FAT32 and exFAT only, NTSF is not offered. My hard disk is in NTSF format.

    Check out the following link at Wikipedia for a pretty good explanation.


    According to this, exFAT was designed for flash drives. I was about ready to go with exFAT until I read the first disadvantage. I use the flash drive to play video files on a Samsung Home Theater, and it works fine in FAT32, so guess I have to check with them no to see if my unit will take an exFAT formated flash drive in the USB port before I re-format.

    Will advise...
  6. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Why don't you just test it directly, it'll not take more than a few minutes.
  7. keni254

    keni254 Private First Class

    Samsung confirms the unit is not compatible with exFAT formatting. I tested and it does not recognize the drive in exFAT. I do not have the option to format the flash drive with NTSF. So I guess I'll have to figure out a plan B.

    Thanks for your advice.
  8. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I don't see why you can't format in NTFS, have you tried using the command line: convert x: /fs:ntfs?
  9. ouranos

    ouranos Private E-2

    When the format of the flash plays a role??
    i have a cf card at 16 gbytes i format it in ntfs, exfat with no problem using it and get recognised with the system.
    (reformated to fat32 to use it on old win98 machine thought)
  10. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    ouranos, the flash drive in question is not used only on a computer.
    That's why keni254 contacted Samsung to see if there was a restriction.

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