8 replies on FAT32, exFAT or NTFS? How to format SD cards, memory sticks and hard drives

  1. feelfreetoblameme says:

    I’m surprised there is no mention of exFAT in this article, especially when it comes to USB sticks. It works with Mac systems as well as Windows and while it lacks journaling, it can handle files larger than 4 GB.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      We updated the article to includ exFAT in the comparison. thanks for your feedback.

  2. tazmo8448 says:

    I learned (the hard way) that formatting a USB to use to download/upgrade or flash BIOS for a desktop or laptop requires FAT32 formatting so it will be ‘read’ any other format will only cause it to be rejected by the BIOS. Asus MoBo’s use FAT32 ONLY…started looking through 10 to 15 USB’s I had on hand an only one would format in FAT32 so you may want to keep that nugget in mind for flashing BIOS.

  3. Truth Serum says:

    Congratulations, you wrote an entire freaking article on HOW TO format a Micro SD card, and you never once actually mentioned how to format a Micro SD card!

  4. Niraj says:

    This is a brilliant article. Thanks a ton!

  5. VJ says:

    thanks for summarizing the info here. I wanted to mention one thing from my own experience regarding formatting external drives NFTFS vs ext4 (or whatever your native OS’s internal FS is). I initially did this on Linux, using an NTFS formatted external hard drive, figuring I could move between Linux and Windows if I needed to.

    However I came across one big problem especially after more recent updates to the linux ntfs driver: character set compatibility. Linux and unix in general allow for virtually all characters in file/dir names except for “/”. This turns out to be a big problem for Windows and NTFS formatted drives after trying to copy files and directories with Windows invalid characters such as “:”

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