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View Full Version : [SOLVED] FAT32 format for USB external disk - what do I lose?



paker
August 22nd, 2010, 09:02 PM
1) I know ntfs is recommended for an external hd that needs to be accessed by both Windows and ubuntu. What do I lose if I format it FAT32? I tried ntfs format but it was not a Disk Utility option. I had to choose between FAT and Linux format.

2) What is the advantage of partitioning external hd? I didn't partition mine. It's for audio and video file storage.

techunit
August 22nd, 2010, 09:17 PM
There isn't a real advantage unless you need to wipe it of files or the current format is incompatible or damaged.

HeadHunter00
August 22nd, 2010, 09:20 PM
No specific advantages really. The only reason for using ntfs is so that your hd can handle permissions.

GlazedDonut
August 22nd, 2010, 09:25 PM
FAT32 has a file size limit of 4 GB, so you wont be able to store large files on it.

HeadHunter00
August 22nd, 2010, 09:27 PM
FAT32 has a file size limit of 4 GB, so you wont be able to store large files on it.
No, thats fat, not fat32. fat32 has a much larger size limit. I forgot how much though. I know cuz my eight gig memory card is fat32.

linux18
August 22nd, 2010, 09:29 PM
ntfs and fat 32 fragment, if its an external HD, then you will need to defrag, if its a flash drive your fine.

coffeecat
August 22nd, 2010, 09:50 PM
I tried ntfs format but it was not a Disk Utility option.

Try installing the package ntfsprogs. You need this to be able to create an NTFS filesystem. With ntfsprogs you should find that Disk Utility will be able to format a drive NTFS.


No, thats fat, not fat32. fat32 has a much larger size limit. I forgot how much though. I know cuz my eight gig memory card is fat32.

What GlazedDonut was saying is correct. The limit for an individual file in FAT32 is 4GB. I think you're thinking of the filesystem itself. The limit for the size of a FAT32 filesystem is much higher.

ST3ALTHPSYCH0
August 22nd, 2010, 10:03 PM
What GlazedDonut was saying is correct. The limit for an individual file in FAT32 is 4GB. I think you're thinking of the filesystem itself. The limit for the size of a FAT32 filesystem is much higher.

I hate to split hairs... but it's in my nature. The file size limit of FAT32 is technically 4 Gb- 1 byte.

linux18
August 22nd, 2010, 11:35 PM
I hate to split hairs... but it's in my nature. The file size limit of FAT32 is technically 4 Gb- 1 byte.
if its starts counting at 0 then 11111111111111111111111111111111 is 4GB

paker
August 23rd, 2010, 06:23 PM
Thanks. I installed ntfsprog and was able to format the hd in ntfs.

linux18
August 23rd, 2010, 06:59 PM
Thanks. I installed ntfsprog and was able to format the hd in ntfs.
mark the thread as solved :)

pterosky
June 11th, 2011, 09:45 AM
I formatted my 4GB USB flash drive with FAT32, to swap files between Ubuntu and Windows XP, but Ubuntu had problems handling it: the writing of bigger files seemed to go on forever and sometimes froze, the write speed was extremely slow, etc. But after I switched to NTFS format all problems seem to be solved, and it just works