Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Fat 32 vs NTFS usb format

  1. #1


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center

    Fat 32 vs NTFS usb format


    A while back,someone posted that Macrium Reflect was limited to making 4GB files when making a system image.

    That's true if you use a USB drive formatted in Fat 32.

    If using Fat 32 format you will end up with probably 5 or more small image files.

    If using a USB formatted as NTFS you will get 1 big file.

    I prefer 1 file to many small files.

    2 pictures:

    This one of a usb formatted in Fat 32:

    Click image for larger version

    This one from a USB formatted in NTFS:

    Click image for larger version

    I just thought this information might prove useful.

    A snippit on Fat 32 & NTFS:

    FAT32 file size support tops out at 4GB and volume size tops out at 2TB. This means that you're limited to 2TB FAT32 partitions if you want to use a 4TB drive. It also means that you are limited to 4GB files. This is a concern with uncompressed high-definition movie files, where 30GB files are not unheard of. Theoretically, NTFS is limited by design to 16EB (Exabytes). One Exabyte is the equivalent of one billion Gigabytes, so we're quite a ways away from maxing out NTFS. In practice, 2 to 4TB volumes are the limit at this time. Larger volumes will require a 64-bit OS and compatible hardware.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Just for the image file you can go either way. But if you want to boot WinPE from the USB I believe it insists on FAT32. If the USB is already formatted FAT32 then it will make it WinPE boot/restore without erasing the files already on.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    Just for the image file you can go either way. But if you want to boot WinPE from the USB I believe it insists on FAT32. If the USB is already formatted FAT32 then it will make it WinPE boot/restore without erasing the files already on.
    I never tried to boot from either of them directly, so I can't comment on that.

    When I restore an image I use the Macrium environment at boot up:

    Click image for larger version

    The image is confusing to me in Fat 32 so I use NTFS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey
    I never tried to boot from either of them directly, so I can't comment on that.

    When I restore an image I use the Macrium environment at boot up:
    A litte problem with that, if you need a new HDD at any time, you have no back up to reimage from.

    I would make the Recovery USB drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey
    I never tried to boot from either of them directly, so I can't comment on that.

    When I restore an image I use the Macrium environment at boot up:
    A litte problem with that, if you need a new HDD at any time, you have no back up to reimage from.

    I would make the Recovery USB drive.
    I made one of those too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey
    I never tried to boot from either of them directly, so I can't comment on that.

    When I restore an image I use the Macrium environment at boot up:
    A litte problem with that, if you need a new HDD at any time, you have no back up to reimage from.

    I would make the Recovery USB drive.
    I made one of those too.
    Here is a picture of it:

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Fat 32 vs NTFS usb format
Related Threads
Solved ntfs.sys X.24 BSOD in BSOD Crashes and Debugging
So I have been having a few issues with my system as of late... have not been able to pin point where they are coming from though. What do you guys think?
It is a 64 GB Toshiba USB drive (TNU). Problem is that every time I try to format to NTFS the normal way with Windows 7 or Windows 8 I get the message: Windows was unable to complete the format. I tried to format it using the specific software from the drive manufacturer, TNA. A friend...
Hey guys, I never have figured out what is the best format table to use.. -I have a 64gig (m.2 NGFF) SSD (mydigitalSSD) I am about to format it. Is there any benefit or reason why I would format it with either EXfat or NTFS? Obviously I want speed.. so I'm not sure which to...
RAW as USB but NTFS as SATA in Drivers & Hardware
My 3TB toshiba suddenly turned RAW from NTFS today out of nowhere. Drive letter is still there, but when I click on it, it asks me to format. HD does not seem to be failing and it fairly new (5 months). So I decided to hook it up to SATA, and all of sudden everything works perfectly again. I'm...
Hi all, so the title explains it all what really happened was.. I dropped the external (drive was not spinning) and plugged it into computer, it would sit at 100% usage, but 0% on Read/Write Speed I attempted formatted via Windows Explorer, CMD, Hirens boot CD I managed to remove the...
Solved Ntfs bsod in BSOD Crashes and Debugging
I thought I solved this problem, but something else is popping up causing a BSOD. Please see attached.
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook