Quite often, when working at a computer (laptop), one has to deal with the operation of formatting disks, flash drives, and other drives.
For example, to delete all data from them, in case of various failures and errors, to change the file system, etc. This article will focus on flash drives.
I must note that it is far from always possible to format a flash drive without problems in the first possible way. That is why I decided to sketch out a note with several formatting options (I think it will be useful to everyone who cannot perform this operation, or who cannot decide on the file system in any way ).
If, when formatting or when trying to copy files to a USB flash drive, you see an error that the drive is write-protected, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with this material .
Formatting will destroy all data on the drive. If the flash drive has the necessary files, copy them in advance to excellent media (make a backup ).
Ways to format flash drives
When formatting a drive (using any of the methods), you must specify the file system , cluster size and volume name. And if you indicate the name of the difficulties does not cause difficulties, then with the rest, many have questions.
In general, the following file systems are most commonly used today:
FAT32 is the oldest file system, which is supported by almost all devices (even various game consoles!). Most flash drives are formatted with this file system by default. It has one significant drawback: it cannot record files larger than 4 GB!
NTFS is a more modern file system supported by Windows XP and higher (on Mac OS X it is read-only, on Linux there are distributions that support read-only, there are those that both write and read). File size – unlimited.
As for various consoles and devices, NTFS is not supported by all (for example, Xbox 360 or Sony Play Station do not support it). In general, NTFS is more suitable for disks (than for flash drives) that will be used in Windows.
exFAT (or FAT64) is a specially designed file system for flash drives. Supports files larger than 4GB, disk partition size is not limited.
By the way, exFAT has one key advantage : it overwrites the same sector less during operation, which affects the lifespan of the drives (i.e. a flash drive with exFAT should work longer than with NTFS). That is why, for flash drives, it is preferable to use exFAT than NTFS.
If you want maximum compatibility and plan to connect a USB flash drive to consoles or old PCs, choose FAT32 (although you will be limited by the 4 GB file size).
In other cases, it is preferable to choose exFAT (however, I note that some TVs, for example, cannot read this file system and it is for the sake of them that you have to choose NTFS).
Also read: How to Get Rid of Dark Knees