A Strange Formatting Problem


White Demon

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I received my GP2X and 2GB Sandisk SD card last week, no card reader at the time. So I hooked my GP2X up to my Linux box and proceeded to copy files to the card for use (didn't format it first).

Today I got my card reader, and wanting to upgrade the firmware, I formatted it to FAT32 under WinXP.

I checked the properties, and it was saying that my newly formatted FAT32 partition, with nothing on it, has 968MB used and 965MB free. Huh? I just formatted it, so there should be 2GB free. SO i tried another test - formatted it back to FAT16, and it displayed as 968 used/968 free.

What the hell?

So I popped the card into my GP2X, connected it all up to linux again and run mkfs.msdos -F 32 -I /dev/sda and after putting it back in my card reader, it showed up as FAT32, 4KB used/1.89GB free (as it should). But here's the kicker - I decided to try formatting it in my card reader again (in Windows) and Windows showed the same thing - 968 used/965 free when formatted as FAT32.

Explain that if you can. What the hell is going on?
 

White Demon

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Further testing.

Attached the card reader to my Linux box (it's an Acer Laptop). No go, would not recognise the card reader. Hell, the Laptop wouldn't even boot with the reader attached, but after booting up the Windoze partition on my laptop the card reader detected and worked perfectly. And yes, the format still wiped out half the SD card.

So, after some more testing (and in desperation after Linux decided not to talk to the GP2X with the card in it) I selected a 'Quick Format'. Success - the card formats perfectly now. Updated my firmware to 1.4.0 no problems (and the GP2X is detecting in Linux again).

This is just siilly, but hey, it works.

As for Linux > Windows, go figure.
 

bacteria

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Here's another "silly" one for you: I discovered a while back that formatting an SD card (512Mb / 1Gb ones) on Windows XP on FAT32 is very tempremental. It may or may not see the card, it might partially write to one and then freeze the copy process (causing one of my SD cards to brick). I reformatted it to FAT, and it works totally reliably! Wierd, as everyone seems to say to use FAT32!
 

bacteria

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Nickspoon - interesting, that actually indicates that although you can use 2Gb and (presumably) 4Gb SD cards, it is far better to stay with 1Gb ones. I found FAT32 to be unstable as Windows XP finds it hard to recognise it sometimes, even whilst during the process of writing something to the card (which caused bricking one of my SD cards). Given this, and the fact FAT works fine, it rather means 1Gb is the largest card people should probably use.
 

NoidZ

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FAT Shouldn't be possible as it can only be used till 700MB or something. The FAT formatting was only used by older computer ( 386-486 and some pentium )
But what I think is strange,

Why would a Linux system work with FAT32? Can't a sd-card be formatted to ext (or the other ones Linux uses)
 
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