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  1. #1
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Why you shouldn't format your USB Keys with NTFS!

    Hi All,

    I ran across an article today about Sharp licensing the exFat file system from Microsoft which piqued my curosity. So I checked it out on Wikipedia. This made me even more curious so I did some testing on a 1Gb USB Key drive and here are the results:
    Filesystems.JPG

    I think the chart says it all!
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2012-08-08 at 10:23.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    I think the chart says it all!
    I'm afraid IMHO it doesn't! That's the default allocation for the Master File Table, which includes space for its expansion.

    As more files and directories are added to the file system, it becomes necessary for NTFS to add more records to the MFT. Since keeping the MFT contiguous on the disk improves performance, when an NTFS volume is first set up, the operating system reserves about 12.5% of the disk space immediately following the MFT; this is sometimes called the "MFT Zone". This is a substantial chunk of real estate to reserve, but bear in mind that it is still usable. Regular files and directories will not use this space until and unless the rest of the disk volume space is consumed, but if that occurs, the "MFT Zone" will be used. Eventually, if there are enough entries placed in the MFT, as it expands it will use up the "MFT Zone". When this happens, the operating system will automatically allocate more space elsewhere on the disk for the MFT. This allows the MFT to grow to a size limited only by the size of the volume, but this fragmentation of the MFT may reduce performance by increasing the number of reads required for some files, and the MFT cannot generally be defragmented.

    I would say that formatting the USB Flash Drive as NTFS confers more advantages than the loss of 3.5% of the available disk space, among which the additional reliability would for me be key. (I won't suggest a further advantage as being the ability to save files greater in size than 4 GB!)
    BATcher

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    BATcher,

    Thanks for that info on NTFS. I was not aware of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    (I won't suggest a further advantage as being the ability to save files greater in size than 4 GB!)
    According to the linked article the exFAT system provides for this also.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    ... but not on a 1GB USB Flash Drive! (that was my little joke!)
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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