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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Formatting question.

    I recently received a flash drive (Sandisk Cruzer Edge, 8 GB) containing family photos. I transferred the photos to my hard drive, and now I want to format the flash drive. The drive is currently formatted as NTFS, and I want to re-format it, still as NTFS. However, when I right-click the drive and choose format, the only options presented to me are FAT32 and exFAT.

    I checked on another flash drive (Lexar 4 GB formatted as FAT32) and still the only formatting options available to me are FAT32 and exFAT.

    Why don't I have an NTFS formatting option? My son was originally able to format the Sandisk drive as NTFS using Windows Vista. Why can I not do this with XP?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    You can but it takes a little hocus pocus. You plug it in so it can be seen by the computer of course, then either right click on the drive and choose properties/hardware tab/and highlight the name of the flash drive, or find it in Device manager and in either location bring up properties. Then under the policies tab for that device, switch it to Optimize for performance instead of Optimize for quick removal and ok it.
    Then go back to My Computer or however you get to the drive and under the format settings you will now have NTFS as a file system option. Format the drive NTFS and then if its a drive you are going to be pulling all the time from the system, go back and switch the optimization back to quick removal.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to F.U.N. downtown For This Useful Post:

    brino (2013-02-18),mrjimphelps (2013-01-28)

  4. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Thanks, F.U.N., that did it.

  5. #4
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    Talking

    Hi Les,
    There is one caution I'd like to mention in connection with using flash drives formatted as NTFS.

    A lot of accessory devices with usb ports still require Fat, Fat32 or exFat.

    2 Examples:

    1. My Vizio Blu Ray player has a usb port. If I want to view family photos from a flash drive on my 55" TV, the flash drive must be Fat or Fat32. My Mom who's 84 thinks this is amazing, she loves seeing the photos on the big screen.

    2. My new car's audio system has a usb port. If I want to listen to my MP3 music from a flash drive, it must be Fat32 or exFat. I copied my entire MP3 music library onto a 64 GB exFat flash drive (and it's about 65% full). When I go between Vegas and Tucson, I just plug it in and put it on random and DRIVE.
    Happy Computing,

    Rich

  6. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    lostwages, thanks for that info. Based your reply, I can't see any advantage to formatting a flash drive as NTFS (although I'm glad to know how to do that).

  7. #6
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    Except; if you want to put a file in excess of 4 gigs on a flash drive, either an ISO or some large media files or even a container file like .zip. With the advent of very affordable 64 and 128 gig flash drives, they make very portable high definition media containers for mobile devices in particular, though as lostwages indicates, the receiving device has to be able to read NTFS formatted drives. Also I think one has to go with exFat for anything above 32 gig via Windows formatting and I think there are even fewer devices that are compatible with exFat than NTFS (all my media players support it). Third party formatting software can format larger drives to FAT32. All these rules and conditions!

  8. #7
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    It's really not necessary to reformat a Flash Drive, just to remove old data that's on it.

    Just deleting that data or Moving it to your hard drive is sufficient. That leaves the FD blank as if it had just been re-formatted.

    The only real need for a NTFS formatted Flash Drive, is to store ISO files or movies, that are greater than 3 gig's in size.

    I recently had a problem with that. I wanted to bring home an ISO from a friends house and it would not copy to my 8 gig Flash Drive, even though it was empty. After fussing with it for a while, I was reminded that you can't save files greater than 3 gig's to a FAT-32 partition (or drive).

    I used Easeus disk manager to reformat the drive as NTFS and everything worked just fine after that.

    So on my main HD, which I keep in FAT-32 mode for XP, I created a new partition in NTFS format, just to store my .ISO files on.
    Once you have the correct format for the type of files you're trying to save, everything works just fine.

    Happy Computing!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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  9. #8
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    Formatting suggestions

    Perhaps I'm in the wrong place, please forgive me if I am. I'm not replying, but asking a question.
    I just purchased a WD 3TB 2.0 USB Ext hard drive, which I'm not sure wasn't a bit over-kill. I also have Acronis True Image Home installed on my fairly old, but reliable WinXP SP3 machine. And obviously my plan was to use the external drive as a back-up device. Since 3 TB seems more than enough space for a fairly old user like me, how exactly, in your various and valued opinions, should I format this drive. How many partitions, how much in each one, etc.? I guess what I'm trying to ask is this: with 80 GB on my "C" drive (40 GB in use), 64 GB on a flash drive, and 3 TB on my ext drive, I seem to have more space than I'll ever use. But not so sure how to correctly and wisely use all that space.
    As I mentioned, being a fairly old user with a fairly simple outlook on life, the simplest method would probably be my first pick. Thanks in advance to all you brilliant computer savvy folks out there. I have learned much from your posts.

  10. #9
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    All: You learn something new every day!

    Newdeal: Here are some good uses for your external hard drive:
    * Acronis images and any other backups that you do.
    * Downloaded stuff that you don't need to keep permanently.
    * Easily-accessible copies of software and other stuff that you have on CD or DVD. For example, MS Office. In this way, if you need to reinstall Office for any reason, you can do it from the external HD, rather than having to dig out the DVD. Also, if you rip the music from a CD, you can keep the ripped music on the external HD, and store the CD in a safe place.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    NewDeal,

    Here's one possibility for that large drive. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  12. #11
    New Lounger
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    Mrjimphelps; right now I am using Acronis for image backups. * Easily-accessible copies of software and other stuff that you have on CD or DVD" Is something I hadn't thought of, thanks for the other suggestions, too.

    Retiredgeek; from one retiree to another, your post was most helpful as well, thank you both.

  13. #12
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newdeal View Post
    Mrjimphelps; right now I am using Acronis for image backups. * Easily-accessible copies of software and other stuff that you have on CD or DVD" Is something I hadn't thought of, thanks for the other suggestions, too.

    Retiredgeek; from one retiree to another, your post was most helpful as well, thank you both.
    When I have done desktop support in a corporate setting, we always kept stuff like MS Office on a network drive. It was extremely easy to install Office, etc, on a PC. We rarely had to carry CDs or DVDs around -- about the only time we needed them was for non-networked PCs.

    Also, by copying the CD / DVD to the external drive, you don't have to keep putting it in the drive and risk damaging it.

  14. #13
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    No networks here, but your post makes a lot of sense, nothing worse than digging for hours looking for a CD you know you have, somewhere. You sound like you've been around this stuff for a while and seen some changes. The new technology when I first got started was 3 1/2" floppies and Win 3.1. First computer was an IBM w/4MB ram and 270 MB hard drive that cost in the neighborhood of $1200.00.
    Talk about one mean machine! Who knows, I might even have a year or two on the retiredgeek! thanks again gents, newdeal

  15. #14
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newdeal View Post
    Perhaps I'm in the wrong place, please forgive me if I am. I'm not replying, but asking a question.
    I just purchased a WD 3TB 2.0 USB Ext hard drive, which I'm not sure wasn't a bit over-kill. I also have Acronis True Image Home installed on my fairly old, but reliable WinXP SP3 machine. And obviously my plan was to use the external drive as a back-up device. Since 3 TB seems more than enough space for a fairly old user like me, how exactly, in your various and valued opinions, should I format this drive. How many partitions, how much in each one, etc.? I guess what I'm trying to ask is this: with 80 GB on my "C" drive (40 GB in use), 64 GB on a flash drive, and 3 TB on my ext drive, I seem to have more space than I'll ever use. But not so sure how to correctly and wisely use all that space.
    As I mentioned, being a fairly old user with a fairly simple outlook on life, the simplest method would probably be my first pick. Thanks in advance to all you brilliant computer savvy folks out there. I have learned much from your posts.
    Newdeal,
    You've been here for a while so you've probably done a lot of reading. Eh?
    I'm with you on keeping it simple. But you mentioned something that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
    You said, "I also have Acronis True Image Home installed on my fairly old, but reliable WinXP SP3 machine."

    That may be OK for doing your backups, but how are you going to do a Restore when that drive with ATI has just shot craps?
    You MUST use the app in ATI to make the Restore boot disk, (a CD ) so you can still boot up your PC to do your restore, with a brand new (blank) hard drive in your PC .

    As for the format on the external drive..... NTFS would most likely suit your needs just fine.

    On my own external 1TB drive, I have both FAT-32 and NTFS partitions. The FAT-32 part is for data backups, so I can access them even from a DOS boot disk, in an emergency and the NTFS part is for backup image files and ISO's, movies, etc., larger than 40 gig.

    So I have one drive that is the best of both worlds, the old and the new.
    That's one advantage of "Partitioning" a hard drive, , , you're not stuck with just one format.
    I won't have any hard drive on my system that's not partitioned into at least two parts.
    If there is only one HD, then it's partitioned into two parts, "Main" and "Storage".
    I do that for my customers too, when I'm setting up a new PC.

    I equate a one part HD with a house, with no walls, even for the crapper! Picture that, if you will. rofl

    Good Luck!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-04-07 at 12:46.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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  16. #15
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    Hello DrWho, yes you are correct, I have read a lot here, even when I don't have a problem. In fact, I've spent hours here not having a clue what you guys were talking about, just in case I had the same problem someday! You guys are truly a blessing to all us less geeky sort of folks. In my eyes you are all pros, but I especially like your style of explaining and doing things and always look for your comments.

    Yes, it is true my old XP e-machine (circa 2006) has been very reliable, but to be on the safe side, the first thing I did shortly after installing Acronis is make a restore boot disk. I also have always kept all my anti-anything bad software, and C/C Cleaner up to date and use it on a pretty regular basis. I have also upgraded the memory from 256 MB when new to 2GB now, but that's as far as I can go.
    I believe the software maintenance and memory upgrade has attributed in part to the reliability. But then I have found in the past with even Win 3.1, Win 95, Win 98, Win 98 2nd Edition, to Win XP, if you keep a clean machine, and don't hang out in the back alleys of the Internet, generally you'll have a reliable machine.

    I still haven't formatted the 3TB drive yet, but will follow your advice soon. As it stands now, I have back-ups (images) on the 3TB, some on a 64GB flash drive, a few files on a 1GB flash drive and a few more on a cloud and a couple restore disks if things get out of hand. Ops, sorry for getting off track.
    What I originally wanted to know, how I should format the 3TB drive, you have answered and everything makes perfect sense, thank you. And the same to all the rest for your most helpful comments and advice, as well.
    (You may think I would have some formatting experience with all those OS's and various computers in my past, not true, I always left that stuff up to the pros, I just hope I don't screw up this new drive)

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