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View Full Version : Which is best for a thumb/pen drive - NTFS or FAT 32?



tuiruru
04-07-2011, 09:38 AM
......and the reasons for that are?

:thanks

Speedy Gonzales
04-07-2011, 09:42 AM
Depends what youre going to do with it. NTFS will work, but on some systems if you want to make it a bootable USB flash drive, (some / or probably all) dont support booting from an NTFS formatted USB flash drive.

But you have to make sure you plug it into a USB port / system that supports NTFS. Not all (windows) O/s support NTFS

The only thing with FAT32 is, if the file youre copying to it, is over 4 GB (if the USB flash drive is 8 -16 GB), you cant. Since, FAT32 has a 4 GB file limit

dugimodo
04-07-2011, 09:47 AM
NTFS is a better system in general but it depends on usage. They often come preformatted FAT 32 because it's more universally compatible but I think it still has a maximum file size restriction that can be an issue if you transfer very large files.

I'd use FAT32 on small drives < 2G and NTFS on anything larger myself.
Reasons:
FAT 32 is a little faster and works on more OS's
NTFS is more efficient (wastes less space on large drives) and fault tolerant. Also allows larger file sizes (I think)

Edit: speedy confirmed my file size comments while I was typing :)

tuiruru
04-07-2011, 09:47 AM
Depends what youre going to do with it. NTFS will work, but on some systems if you want to make it a bootable USB flash drive, it wont boot from an NTFS formatted USB flash drive. \

But you have to make sure you plug it into a USB port / system that supports NTFS. Not all (windows) O/s's support NTFS

The only thing with FAT32 is, if the file youre copying to it, is over 4 GB (if the USB flash drive is 8 -16 GB), you cant. Since, FAT32 has a 4 GB file limit

Yeah - it's for a bootable USB, and I kew there was a File size limit kicking around somewhere.

Thanks Speedy!! :thumbs:

tuiruru
04-07-2011, 09:48 AM
NTFS is a better system in general but it depends on usage. They often come preformatted FAT 32 because it's more universally compatible but I think it still has a maximum file size restriction that can be an issue if you transfer very large files.

I'd use FAT32 on small drives < 2G and NTFS on anything larger myself.
Reasons:
FAT 32 is a little faster and works on more OS's
NTFS is more efficient (wastes less space on large drives) and fault tolerant. Also allows larger file sizes (I think)

Thanks Dugi!

gretag34
04-07-2011, 09:49 AM
edit, speedy beat me to it. 4gb file size limit on fat32.

johnd
04-07-2011, 02:05 PM
I need to share pen drives with Windows machines so I don't use a Linux format - either FAT32 or NTFS (much more reliable than FAT32).

Has anybody tried the relatively new extFAT (FAT64) for their pen drives?

Speedy Gonzales
04-07-2011, 02:26 PM
Exfat by the looks of it, would remove the 4 GB file limit. However (like NTFS), some (or probably all) USB flash drives, wont boot if you format it in Exfat.

I'll try formatting this USB flash drive in Exfat, and see what happens

wratterus
04-07-2011, 02:34 PM
I have found that OSX Leopard can't write to ExFat. Not sure about Snow Leopard, I'm sure I read somewhere it was supposed to be able to.

I use NTFS for my drives, but am still using FAT32 for anything that needs to be used on Macs and PCs. ExFat would be better, but, at least on the one Leopard mac I've tried, it couldn't write.

Does anyone know for sure what OSX Leopard and later can and can't write to? It is a bit of a pain having a 1TB drive formatted in FAT32.

Speedy Gonzales
04-07-2011, 02:38 PM
According to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfat

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_Snow_Leopard) added exFAT support in version 10.6.5 on November 10, 2010.[11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfat#cite_note-10) OS X 10.6.5 and later can read, write, and create exFAT partitions.

And An experimental, open source Linux kernel module that supports the reading of exFAT files is currently under development.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfat#cite_note-5) A FUSE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_in_Userspace)-based full-featured implementation is currently in beta status.[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfat#cite_note-6) A proprietary, read/write solution, licensed and derived from the Microsoft exFAT implementation, is available for Android, Linux and other operating systems from Tuxera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuxera).

Speedy Gonzales
04-07-2011, 03:48 PM
Nup exfat didnt boot. Took forever to format it (8 GB). I was going to try the HP tool, but it doesn't support formatting in exfat.

Bryan
04-07-2011, 05:02 PM
I have a Philips DVD player with a USB socket. I use it to play movies saved on my PC using a Thumb drive. The DVD player does not accept NTFS but it will play FAT32.

Speedy Gonzales
04-07-2011, 05:18 PM
Most players (I've got a bluray player with USB) only recognise FAT32. I was going to test a file I had converted to DIVX, but remembered it was over 4 GB. So, tried it on the Xbox. It worked. I didnt know an Xbox could play them (till now)

BBCmicro
04-07-2011, 07:43 PM
I did some tests on my Sony Bravia EX700:
- the drive must be FAT32
- doesn't matter whether it's a USB stick or a USB HDD (I had the FAT32 partition at the start)
- the partition must not be more than 32 GB (ie not exFAT)

Snorkbox
04-07-2011, 09:13 PM
My 4 Gig flash drive is formatted NTFS as I don't want to boot from it. I have a selection of bootable CDs and DVD's for that sort of thing.

There again I may as well format as FAT 32 as none of the files would exceed 4 Gig anyway. :)