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Thread: USB flash drive formatting?

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    USB flash drive formatting?

    A stupid question from me. My Sandisk 2Gb USB flash drive is formatted to FAT atm. Is there any point/benefit to formatting it to FAT32 or even NTFS?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: USB flash drive formatting?

    With NTFS beinga journaling file system, it would give you a little bit more reliability as far as lost data is concerned, but then you can only use it in WinNT, Win2K, WinXP and Vista systems. Linux, MacOS and Win9x won't be able to read it.

    FAT32 is only needed for volumes greater than 2GB, so although there wouldn't be any harm in changing to FAT32, you wouldn't get any benefit from it.

    Although having said that, if you knew you were storing lots oftiny files on it, you could use FAT32 along with smaller than normal cluster sizes to make better use of the available space (a 1KB file will use 32KB of space if the clusters are 32KB, as an example).

    In short, i wouldn't bother re-formating it

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    Re: USB flash drive formatting?

    Thanks Funkstar,.

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    Re: USB flash drive formatting?

    Some devices also have a nasty habit of being very slow when writing to a FAT32 formatted card. Although this is device dependant, I noticed it hugely on my old digital camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Linux, MacOS and Win9x won't be able to read it.
    Linux has been able to read NTFS volumes for a very long time, and IIRC, NTFS writing is classed as stable now too (although I don't think the full NTFS feature set is supported)
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: USB flash drive formatting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Linux has been able to read NTFS volumes for a very long time, and IIRC, NTFS writing is classed as stable now too (although I don't think the full NTFS feature set is supported)
    Yeah I know, I just didnt want to complicate matters by bringing it up

    Last time i played with Fedora (4 i think) it wasn't enabled by default and you had to re-build the kernel adding the NTFS module. This was while trying to get MythTV and some DVB-T cards running. Not a happy experience

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