View Full Version : Problem with SD card format

05-01-2015, 10:16 AM
My new Android phone allows me to record video to a 32GB mSDcard which I have installed. I formatted the card on the phone and the attached picture shows what the phone has put on the card.

The problem is that videos stop at 4 GB (roughly 10min of 4k recording). I would like to know whether it is OK for me to format the card on my computer to exFAT or NTFS (and which of those I should choose)

The phone gave me no options about formatting. The user guide is useless. Google search didn't bring up anything.

The only other information I can give is that the internal storage (11.5GB available to the user) goes past the 4GB limit OK. (I tested at 14 min = 5GB.) But when I used the phone to copy the 5GB file to the mSD card it didn't work (I was still able to retrieve the file from the internal storage)

(The mSDcard is so hard to get out of the phone that I will be leaving it in the phone and transferring data using Windows Explorer. This works for both internal and mSDcard storage)

Speedy Gonzales
05-01-2015, 10:23 AM
Depends if it supports NTFS or exfat

05-01-2015, 10:52 AM
Thanks Speedy. When I Googled "Does Android support exFAT" it was like finding a Saxon hoard!

(My problem before was that I was Googling "Z3 Compact". Presumably the phone is too recent to show up much.)

From my initial look at the Google results it seems like exFAT is the way to go. Not sure about speed though. And "allocation unit". 4k video is quite demanding on bitrate

05-01-2015, 11:51 AM
Won't hurt to try, you can always format it back again. I'd try exFAT first, not many android devices support NTFS (my samsung does my nexus doesn't).
FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4GB so that's the issue you're having. Easiest way to find out is to just try it and see.

There are paid apps for various file formats but they seemed complicated when I looked into it.

05-01-2015, 01:44 PM
Won't hurt to try,

OK, I've now done that and it seems to be a success! I did a 15 min video as a test, about 6GB, and it didn't stop at 4GB

I chose exFAT with 1MB allocation unit.

Using A1 SD Bench (a free Android app for checking SD card speeds) the change from FAT32 with 32kB allocation unit resulted in a significant increase in Read speed (from 35 to 43 MB/s) and a small increase in Write speed (to 16 MB/s)

4k video on the phone records at 7 MB/s (High profile @ 5.1 level) which is well within the mSDcard's 16 MB/s write performance.

The card is a Strontium Nitro UHS-1 Class 10 466x 32GB from JB HiFi ($34 incl GST). It had "70 MB/s" written on the packaging...

(Another bit of useless information: the phone's battery level dropped 1% per minute! From 94% to 79% over the 15 minutes. The phone got hot but did not bump me off. A message came up saying that it might do that "but would save the video".)

05-01-2015, 03:22 PM
Yeah I neglected to mention I have an OTG strontium USB drive and that's how I discovered the samsumg will read NTFS and the nexus doesn't. I've left it back on FAT32 for maximum compatibility though after experimenting as I rarely use it for large files and my work XP machine wouldn't do exFAT (does now after I got admin access one time). I seem to remember some success with exFAT with that as well.

Google seem determined to convince people you don't need to use external storage of any kind with android devices and would rather you used the cloud. Consequently they don't put native support for removable storage of most types into android and leave it to manufacturers to add it if they want to. I have a couple of micro USB to USB host adapters and what will work with them is very hit and miss.