• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

USB flash stick format system

Which file system for USB-based memory stick

  • FAT32

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • NTFS

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • exFAT

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Pie, pie and more pie

    Votes: 1 12.5%

  • Total voters
    8
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,589 (0.74/day)
Likes
525
Location
Bulgaria
System Name HyperMainframe
Processor G4560
Motherboard Asus PRIME H270M-PLUS
Cooling Thermaltake Gravity i1
Memory 1 x 8GB Cruicial 2400 mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) RX 560 2 GB Gigabyte Gaming Edition
Storage Cruicial M.2 275GB drive + WD black 500 GB + WD Blue 640 GB
Display(s) 2560x1080 LG 29" + LG 22mp67vq-p
Case Deepcool D-Shield
Audio Device(s) Creative Recon 3D
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M500W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Dell Somethin wireless
Software Windows 10 x 64 bits
Benchmark Scores Superposition benchmark : 1080p Medium - 4270 pts.
#1
Hi all,

I have a relatively simple question. Let's say you have this flash memory. What's the most convenient file system between: FAT32, NTFS and exFAT?

I searched the forum, but most of the threads are tied to specific products and don't speak much in general.

The reason I am asking is a few days back I wanted to copy a single file with 5.5GB size to my 8GB USB 2.0 flash drive. When it started coping, the laptop froze: Mozilla(not responding), skype(not responding), and when it finished it "unfroze" again. Then I took this flash and gave to a friend that has USB 1.1 on his laptop, and the small graph showing the progress, was runnig smooth and steady. Then I read around the net and it seemed to me that my file system on the USB stick is not correct (it is FAT32 with 4096mb block size). And now I am going for a higher capacity flash and I wanted to hear opinion from here, since I am lurking in the forum for quite some time (albait-not contributing much :))
 

brandonwh64

Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
19,516 (6.46/day)
Likes
6,937
Location
Chatsworth, GA
System Name The StarCrunch Defender! | X58 Cruncher!
Processor I7 6700K @ STOCK | Intel I7-920
Motherboard Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 | Alienware MS-7543 X58
Cooling Corsair A70 Push/Pull | Corsair H50
Memory Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2400 MHz | Pereema 3x2GB DDR3
Video Card(s) Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 1070 | Gigabyte 7970 3GB
Storage 2x Samsung Pro 256GB M.2 SSD's in Raid 0 | 4TB Western Digital SATA drive
Display(s) ViewSonic VG2227wm 1080P | OLD viewsonics
Case NZXT Tempest 410 Elite | NZXT Source 210
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 750TX | Enermax Liberty 500W
Mouse MX518 | MX502
Keyboard TESORO Mechanical | ANZO Mechanical
Software Windows 10 Pro on both
#2
Fat32 would be the best. NTFS may not be recognised by some devices but it will allow over 4GB files
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
6,142 (1.67/day)
Likes
1,636
Location
Austin Texas
System Name silen8
Processor Intel i7 7820X Delidded @ 4.64Ghz / 3.1Ghz Mesh
Motherboard MSI X299 Tomahawk
Cooling 240mm Corsair H105 Intake
Memory 32 GB Quad 3434Mhz DDR4 15-16-16-38-300-1T
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti Gaming
Storage 1Tb Samsung 960 Pro m2, 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD
Display(s) Dell 24" 2560x1440 144hz, G-Sync @ 165Hz
Case NZXT S340 Elite Black
Audio Device(s) Arctis 7
Power Supply FSP HydroG 750W
Mouse zowie ec-2
Keyboard corsair k65 tenkeyless
Software Windows 10 64 Bit
Benchmark Scores Cb: 2103 Multi, 209 Single, 10450 Timespy - 10150 GPU/11900 CPU, superpi 1M - 7.71s
#3
if you have Macs that you also want to use the flashdrive for, exFAT is the way to go. Otherwise NTFS should work just fine if FAT32 is causing issues.

although, i doubt that the file system is what is causing your freezing issues.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,589 (0.74/day)
Likes
525
Location
Bulgaria
System Name HyperMainframe
Processor G4560
Motherboard Asus PRIME H270M-PLUS
Cooling Thermaltake Gravity i1
Memory 1 x 8GB Cruicial 2400 mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) RX 560 2 GB Gigabyte Gaming Edition
Storage Cruicial M.2 275GB drive + WD black 500 GB + WD Blue 640 GB
Display(s) 2560x1080 LG 29" + LG 22mp67vq-p
Case Deepcool D-Shield
Audio Device(s) Creative Recon 3D
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro M500W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Dell Somethin wireless
Software Windows 10 x 64 bits
Benchmark Scores Superposition benchmark : 1080p Medium - 4270 pts.
#4
if you have Macs that you also want to use the flashdrive for, exFAT is the way to go. Otherwise NTFS should work just fine if FAT32 is causing issues.

although, i doubt that the file system is what is causing your freezing issues.
So may be I should give NTFS a spin and see what happens? I don't know what's the reason for freezing. I have installed both mine and this friend's PC, so there is no difference in "quality of the service". I mean I took care as much as I could. All my drivers are in place. I was using a Supercharge port by the way- but that shouldn't make any difference.
 

RCoon

Gaming Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
11,370 (5.50/day)
Likes
9,511
Location
Gypsyland, UK
System Name HP Omen 17
Processor i7 7700HQ
Memory 16GB 2400Mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) GTX 1060
Storage Samsung SM961 256GB + HGST 1TB
Display(s) 1080p IPS G-SYNC 75Hz
Audio Device(s) Bang & Olufsen
Power Supply 230W
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD+
Software Win 10 Pro
#5
FAT32 is ok i guess, but i never use it because im always transferring singular files larger than 4GB, silly to restrict yourself like that. NTFS is fine, whack the allocation unit size up though, they read faster that way if you're transferring bigger files.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
6,142 (1.67/day)
Likes
1,636
Location
Austin Texas
System Name silen8
Processor Intel i7 7820X Delidded @ 4.64Ghz / 3.1Ghz Mesh
Motherboard MSI X299 Tomahawk
Cooling 240mm Corsair H105 Intake
Memory 32 GB Quad 3434Mhz DDR4 15-16-16-38-300-1T
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti Gaming
Storage 1Tb Samsung 960 Pro m2, 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD
Display(s) Dell 24" 2560x1440 144hz, G-Sync @ 165Hz
Case NZXT S340 Elite Black
Audio Device(s) Arctis 7
Power Supply FSP HydroG 750W
Mouse zowie ec-2
Keyboard corsair k65 tenkeyless
Software Windows 10 64 Bit
Benchmark Scores Cb: 2103 Multi, 209 Single, 10450 Timespy - 10150 GPU/11900 CPU, superpi 1M - 7.71s
#6
So may be I should give NTFS a spin and see what happens? I don't know what's the reason for freezing. I have installed both mine and this friend's PC, so there is no difference in "quality of the service". I mean I took care as much as I could. All my drivers are in place. I was using a Supercharge port by the way- but that shouldn't make any difference.
Freezing is usually caused by one of the devices reserving the bus and then crapping out, and isn't necessarily a software issue. CDROM drives used to do this all the time to some extent - people would buy these badass computers and then put a cd in there, and watch as explorer hung waiting for the drive to spin up and windows tried to mount the CDFS disc.

If the filesystem trick doesn't work (it very well might), then go into the bios and set the USB speed to legacy to see if it does it still. It might just be a drive that doesn't play nice at 2.0 speeds :/. In which case write the company's support a nastygram and they might send you another model.

Also motherboard/firmware could cause the issue, so if there is a bios update for the laptop, that might fix it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
10,033 (3.47/day)
Likes
6,639
Location
Oregon
System Name Delta // Alpha-HTPC
Processor Intel i7 6700K // Intel i5 4570
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming K7 // Gigabyte H97M -D3H
Cooling Corsair H80i V2 // Silverstone NT-06 Pro
Memory Corsair DDR4 3000 32gb //G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 1600
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX980ti// EVGA GTX 1050ti
Storage Samsung 950 Pro 512, 2 Tb FireCuda// Samsung 850 Pro, 1 X 4 Tb HGST, 1 x 6Tb Toshiba
Display(s) ASUS PB278Q 27" 1440X 2560 // 50" Samsung Plasma 720p
Case Corsair Obsidian Series 550D // Silverstone Granada GD05
Audio Device(s) ASUS Xonar DGX // HDMI to Yamaha RX V571
Power Supply Corsair TX850M // SeaSonic G Series 550w
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Corsair K70
Software Windows 10 64bit // Windows 7 64bit with Kodi
#7
fat32 is most common. But NTSF for lage files
 

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,267 (4.28/day)
Likes
6,073
Location
Florida
System Name Not named yet
Processor I5 7640x 5Ghz 24/7
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling Corsair H55
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x Seagate 3TB Drives (RAID 0) 1x Seagate 256GB SSD 1x Adata 120GB SSD
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Onboard on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#8
fat32 for compatability

ntfs for large files

exfat if your doing many large file transfers
 

Frick

Fishfaced Nincompoop
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
14,881 (3.45/day)
Likes
5,413
System Name A dancer in your disco of fire
Processor i3 4130 3.4Ghz
Motherboard MSI B85M-E45
Cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
Memory 4 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport 1400Mhz
Video Card(s) Asus GTX 760 DCU2OC 2GB
Storage Crucial BX100 120GB | WD Blue 1TB x 2
Display(s) BenQ GL2450HT
Case AeroCool DS Cube White
Power Supply Cooler Master G550M
Mouse Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
Keyboard Dell SK-3205
Software Windows 10 Pro
#9
fat32 for compatability

ntfs for large files

exfat if your doing many large file transfers
This and this.

I have mine as NTFS, mostly because I only have computers to use them with.
 

de.das.dude

Pro Indian Modder
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
8,201 (2.99/day)
Likes
2,389
Location
Pune
System Name la de da... | Samsung NP355V5C-S05IN
Processor FX 8320 | AMD A8-4500
Motherboard ASRock 990FX Extreme 4 | Samsung something something
Cooling CM Hyper 212 EVO push:pull+ 1 panaflow 113CFM + 2 x 120mm NZXTs | Coolermaster Notepal
Memory 2x4GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz CL9 | Samsunng 4GB + 2GB DDR3 1600MHz
Video Card(s) AMD 7790 GHZ edition! | 7670M + 7640G
Storage 1TB WD10EZEX | W.D 500GB Green AADS | Samsung 1TB
Display(s) dell S2240l 1080p IPS 21.5" | Samsung antiglare 15.6"
Case NZXT Guardian 921RB(@home) and Antec ASK4000B U3(Current)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892 with THX True Studio | Realtek something
Power Supply Corsair GS600 | 90W Brick, 6 cell 48000mAh battery
Mouse Logitech G400, GOD TIER MOUSE!! LOGitech F310 gamepad!
Keyboard Logitech K200
Software Windows 8.1 x64 | Windows 8.1 x64
Benchmark Scores real men do bench presses not bench marks.
#10
i have mine as NTFS too. never seen it being unrecognised. windows says its best to format drives of over 10GB capacity with NTFS
 

Frick

Fishfaced Nincompoop
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
14,881 (3.45/day)
Likes
5,413
System Name A dancer in your disco of fire
Processor i3 4130 3.4Ghz
Motherboard MSI B85M-E45
Cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
Memory 4 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport 1400Mhz
Video Card(s) Asus GTX 760 DCU2OC 2GB
Storage Crucial BX100 120GB | WD Blue 1TB x 2
Display(s) BenQ GL2450HT
Case AeroCool DS Cube White
Power Supply Cooler Master G550M
Mouse Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
Keyboard Dell SK-3205
Software Windows 10 Pro
#11
never seen it being unrecognised.
A lot of "devices" (TV's, media players, digital photo displays etc) don't support NTFS, only FAT32. Which kinda makes sense as it's pretty universal. NTFS is proprietary, FAT is an industry standard.