Formatting Questions

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  1. milford's Avatar
    Posts : 232
    Win 10 64 bit
       #1

    Formatting Questions


    Hi everyone.

    1) So after getting my laptop, I just got a SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-1 256GB memory card.
    What would be the best way to format (Fat32 or exFat and size allocation) ?

    2) Have a USB 3.0 2TB flash drive on order. Again, what would be the best wat to Format and Allocate size?

    Thanks for any help.
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  2. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,603
    Win 10 X64 Pro 20H2 19042.685
       #2

    The largest partition Windows will format as FAT32 is 32GB. Windows suppports larger partitions, up to 8TB, you'd need a third party utility to do the formatting. Also, the maximum size for an individual file in FAT32 is 4GB.

    I have never used exFAT. Only FAT32 and NTFS.
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  3. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,327
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.906)
       #3

    milford said:
    So after getting my laptop, I just got a SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-1 256GB memory card.
    What would be the best way to format (Fat32 or exFat and size allocation) ?
    Why do you need to format the card?

    They are already formatted for use out the box. And I only use SanDisk SD/Micro SD cards and USB flash drives, so I'm going on experience. I've also used them (SD/Micros SD cards) on both my laptops right out the box without issue.

    Also have a 250Gig SanDisk micro SD installed on my Android smartphone.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,502
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #4

    Experimenting with some drives and due to FAT32 limit of 32GB size and its 4GB single-file size limit I used Linux Mint and the GPARTED program to partition and format some HDDs as FAT32, largest was 500GB but the 4GB file size still remained. When visiting clients I carry a 64GB exFAT-formatted USB Thumb drive 'just in case' of having to save large files, also useful with Macintosh OS X or the newer macOS as there may be issues with writing to NTFS-formatted drives without having additional software installed.
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  5. milford's Avatar
    Posts : 232
    Win 10 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #5

    sygnus21 said:
    Why do you need to format the card?
    After getting this in the Mail, I would like a fresh format, just to make sure it works properly.
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  6. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,327
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.906)
       #6

    milford said:
    After getting this in the Mail, I would like a fresh format, just to make sure it works properly.
    That's fine, but as stated, isn't necessary.... unless you bought it used and have some fear?

    If so, FAT32 would works since it's the normal file system for SD cards and USB flash drives. With that... Whatís the Difference Between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS?

    @Berton, not sure there is a FAT 32 file limit concerning where flash drives and SD card are concerned as stated in the above article link. Perhaps you mean "individual files"....

    The FAT32 file systemís age has advantages and disadvantages. The big advantages is that because itís so old, FAT32 is the de-facto standard. Flash drives you purchase will often come formatted with FAT32 for maximum compatibility across not just modern computers, but other devices like game consoles and anything with a USB port.

    Limitations come with that age, however. Individual files on a FAT32 drive canít be over 4 GB in sizeóthatís the maximum. A FAT32 partition must also be less than 8 TB, which admittedly is less of a limitation unless youíre using super-high-capacity drives.
    At any for normal use SD/USB Flash drives, that shouldn't be an issue. I've been using SD/Flash drives for years and never ran into an issue where they needed to be formatted in anything other than the file system they came with - FAT32.
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  7. Edwin's Avatar
    Posts : 17,058
    Windows 10
       #7

    I'd leave it alone!
    If it's showing about 225GB of free space, the rest is it's own firmware and System Volume Information.
    I've buggered one up before, to the point where the un-formatted portion was un-recognizable and un-recoverable! (and..., it was a big chunk!)
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  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,502
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #8

    sygnus21 said:
    @Berton, not sure there is a FAT 32 file limit concerning where flash drives and SD card are concerned as stated in the above article link. Perhaps you mean "individual files"....

    At any for normal use SD/USB Flash drives, that shouldn't be an issue. I've been using SD/Flash drives for years and never ran into an issue where they needed to be formatted in anything other than the file system they came with - FAT32.
    The limit is still there, the first image is my 64GB as exFAT, the second image is Disk Management and the same drive that has had the partition deleted then tried creating as FAT32, not a choice.
    Formatting Questions-image.png
    Formatting Questions-image.png

    Now I'll get the FAT32 back at 64GB using GPARTED on Linux Mint.
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  9. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,393
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #9

    milford said:

    2) Have a USB 3.0 2TB flash drive on order. Again, what would be the best wat to Format and Allocate size?

    2 terabyte flash drive?? Attaching directly without a cable? I didn't know there was such a critter.

    Regarding "allocate size"...do you mean allocation unit size choices to be made when formatting?

    I did some tests a few years ago out of curiosity and found it made little difference in ordinary usage. I'd just accept the default....4096 is typical.
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  10. Edwin's Avatar
    Posts : 17,058
    Windows 10
       #10

    ignatzatsonic said:
    2 terabyte flash drive?? Attaching directly without a cable? I didn't know there was such a critter.
    Formatting Questions-000725.png
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