Formatting 64Gb Fat32 Partitions


Pleng

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I just noticed that 64Gb SD cards are starting to be priced a little more reasonably, and this left me wondering. I know a couple of people here have had success formatting a 64Gb card with ext based file systems, but how about Fat32? I know Windows limits Fat32 partitions to 32Gb, but there are tools round to format larger partitions, are there not?

Alternatively it should be possible, should it not, to partition a 64Gb card into two 32Gb partitions? Of course while this might be a suitible solution for the time being, I wouldn't want to be splitting a 128Gb card into 4 different partitions....
 

DaMummy

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i have a 2tb external hdd with a 1tb fat32 partition......
 

ledow

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It's only Windows internal formatting tools that are a waste of time - basically they decided at one point that you MUST upgrade to NTFS, so they ignored the fact that their own software couldn't format past a certain size. There is nothing in the specification for FAT32, though, that says you have to stop at that same size (I believe 2Tb is the first "limit" you hit) and so other software (e.g. Partition Magic, any linux tool like GPartEd, etc.) works just fine up to the *real* limit.

As the poster above mentions - you can buy 1Tb hard drives already formatted FAT32 without any problems and make them yourself.

Personally, I always use GPartEd from SystemRescueCD - it allows some fabulously complex partition actions (e.g. move, resize, copy, etc.) and appropriate formatting and I've never had a problem with it. Windows, on the other hand, even the Server versions, has regularly trashed partitions that it doesn't understand. Seeing as I manage Windows servers for a living, it's quite embarrassing for them that a Linux tool is infinitely more reliable, especially where moving existing data is concerned, even on NTFS partitions. Seriously - never try to do complicated partitioning using the internal Windows tools (whether GUI or command line) - I *have* seen them destroy working partitions that they didn't like the layout of (without warning, and with complete loss of data) and all the partitions they create are misaligned and suboptimal.

Use a third-party tool, and if possible use one that ISN'T going to be fighting over who can access the partition while you're modifying it - Windows is a pain in the arse for locking all partitions just for having explorer.exe loaded, so partitioning tools can't run. I prefer to boot from SystemRescueCD and then use GParted for everything I do, which so far has covered everything from Linux installs on 100's of netbooks, XP/Vista images for thousands of client machines, up to Windows Server 2008 installations that run entire schools.
 

neko

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You can format fat32 partitions on the pandora if you install the dosfstools package.

Code:
sudo opkg install dosfstools
 

Miner49er

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don't suppose anybody might know the answer to this question of mine?

I have an old iRiver H320 that I converted into solid state by repalcing the Hard drive with a Compact-flash to IDE converter. I then bought an SD-to-compact flash converter (a CF card with a slot for an SD card) and finally a 32Gig SD card. It works great.

So my question is, does anyone know if one of these 64Gig cards would work in my setup?

It would be totally rad to have a 64gig solid-state mp3 player...yeah yeah, I know I could buy an iPod or whatever but I like my iRiver with rockbox installed!
 

WizardStan

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FAT32 uses 28 of those 32 bytes for cluster number, giving you 2^28 or about 8TB theoretical max size.
FAT32 isn't good with free space: the more of it you have, the slower the system can go trying to write new files; that's why it is artificially limited to 32GB, anything larger and they found the slowdowns from seeking become noticeable.
 

neko

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Miner49er said:
I have an old iRiver H320 that I converted into solid state by repalcing the Hard drive with a Compact-flash to IDE converter. I then bought an SD-to-compact flash converter (a CF card with a slot for an SD card) and finally a 32Gig SD card. It works great.

So my question is, does anyone know if one of these 64Gig cards would work in my setup?
Why don't you just buy a 64GB CompactFlash card, they're about the same price.
 
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Miner49er

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Neko said:
Miner49er said:
I have an old iRiver H320 that I converted into solid state by repalcing the Hard drive with a Compact-flash to IDE converter. I then bought an SD-to-compact flash converter (a CF card with a slot for an SD card) and finally a 32Gig SD card. It works great.

So my question is, does anyone know if one of these 64Gig cards would work in my setup?
Why don't you just buy a 64GB CompactFlash card, they're about the same price.

Ah, well interesting you ask that - the reason is, because I can use the SD card on my Pandora when it eventually arrives should, for any reason my iRiver die. Plus, I have a netbook that uses SD cards and no other device that uses CF. So, if I buy a CF and it turns out not to work - I'm left with a useless bit of kit.
 
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Pleng

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WizardStan said:
FAT32 uses 28 of those 32 bytes for cluster number, giving you 2^28 or about 8TB theoretical max size.
FAT32 isn't good with free space: the more of it you have, the slower the system can go trying to write new files; that's why it is artificially limited to 32GB, anything larger and they found the slowdowns from seeking become noticeable.

This wouldn't affect SD cards though, would it?
 
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Letalis Sonus

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Pleng said:
This wouldn't affect SD cards though, would it?
Of course it does, why should the flash memory make a difference? For the filesystem the type of storage is absolutely identical, the controllers make SD cards appear as block devices just like HDDs, otherwise you couldn't even use any of Windows' supported filesystems.
It's a structural problem and applies to all types of storages you can use it on.
 
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WizardStan

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Pleng said:
This wouldn't affect SD cards though, would it?
It's a linear search: the more free space, the more there is to search. It may be slightly better because there's no seek time, but it's still slow.
 
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Pleng

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Letalis Sonus said:
Pleng said:
This wouldn't affect SD cards though, would it?
Of course it does, why should the flash memory make a difference? For the filesystem the type of storage is absolutely identical, the controllers make SD cards appear as block devices just like HDDs, otherwise you couldn't even use any of Windows' supported filesystems.
It's a structural problem and applies to all types of storages you can use it on.

I thought as it was a seek problem it wouldn't apply to flash memory as they claim close to zero seek time. Clearly I was wrong!
 
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DaMummy

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as far as windows goes, there is an app called Fat32Formatter which would help you out making a fat32 partition or whole disk to any size possible w/o the windows restrictions
 

DaMummy

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and yeah in case youre wondering, windows does recognize the partition as fat32, no matter the size of it, it just wont format it to that natively
 

DaMummy

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while were on the subject, whats a preferred filesystem to use that both win7 and linux will recognize natively?
 

WizardStan

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DaMummy said:
while were on the subject, whats a preferred filesystem to use that both win7 and linux will recognize natively?
The only one they'll both recognize natively is FAT32. NTFS is superior to FAT32 (usually) but requires an extra module that can't be included natively but is trivial to install (On the Pandora it comes with the codec pack).
Beyond FAT32 and NTFS, you'll have to start installing drivers into Windows to handle them, and that's slightly less trivial.
 
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Pleng

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Yes that's totally sane for when I want to grab some files off my mates computers
 
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