View Full Version : Cluster Sizes For A 20gb FAT32 Drive?
10-15-2003, 05:48 PM
Just that... what does everybody recommend ?
This drive is an external 20gb unit, and will be used for a wide variety of tasks from tiny files through to disk images.
10-15-2003, 05:56 PM
Don't think you've got a choice.
Unless I'm mistaken they'll be 16KB with FAT32
You can choose with NTFS.
Well, if it's an external drive, I'd go with 16KB cluster size and FAT16. This would give you backwards compatablility with older WIndows systems.
If you're never going to use it on an older system, you know for sure, then it probably default formats to 32KB and FAT32. If that's the case, and HDD space isn't a concern, which it might well be though with only 20GB, that's not much these days, then I'd just go with the default setup.
But if you want more compatability, I'd go 16KB cluster size. Seems compatability is more of a factor than drive space, imo.
10-15-2003, 06:04 PM
now thats weird.....
xp just let me format the drive as fat32 with 4k clusters, but when i went back to check it, xp said it wasn't formatted.....
looks like a little snafu in xp's format routine ;)
ah well... 16k it must be then ..... what a pity.
edit : sorry mike... didn't see your post there!
10-15-2003, 06:17 PM
My understanding of FAT32 was it was the Partition size that determined the cluster size.
Up to 8GB - 4KB, up to 16GB - 8KB, up to 32GB - 16KB etc
I've seen XP offer cluster sizes for FAT formatting and always thought it was strange :)
10-15-2003, 06:43 PM
Yes, by default the size of the volume determines the cluster size. This can be overridden with the format command though, regardless of the filesystem type. The default for a 16 to 32 gb FAT32 partition in Windows XP, is 16 kb clusters. The /A:size switch is what does that.
format E: /FS:FAT32 /A:16
I have a 20 Gb FAT32 partition that I formatted with 32 kb clusters, for better performance (mostly large files on that partition... games and saved downloads). I had originally accidently formatted that partition with 4 kb clusters after replacing a disk, using Linux utilities (then copied the data back) and I noticed that something wasn't right whilst playing UT2003.
Now, he cannot use FAT16 for that volume... the maximum volume size possible is 2 gigabytes (well, 4 Gb in an NT environment, but then older versions of Windows can't access that FAT16 partition) :-)
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