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Windows 7: Formatting USB Sticks

View Poll Results: Do you use Readyboost?
Yes 2 11.11%
No 16 88.89%
Only with 64bit OS 0 0%
Only with 32bit OS 0 0%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

17 Aug 2011   #1
Norwood

 
 
Formatting USB Sticks

Do most folks still format USB sticks as FAT32 fs? Or NTFS? I'm running a quad core with 16GB RAM on an AMD ATX motherboard.

Does it even matter?

Also, take a look at the poll.


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17 Aug 2011   #2
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Depends on what I'm using the stick for. Sometimes I use it to swap files quickly from Win 7 system to an Linux Mint system and that requires the format to be fat32 for compatibility. Otherwise I format with NTFS.
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17 Aug 2011   #3
essenbe
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 X64
 
 

I guess I am much like metalmania31, it depends on how I am using them. But, most of mine are FAT32 because I use them primarially for linux utilities used on Windows, but I have a few formatted NTFS.
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17 Aug 2011   #4
Coke Robot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've seen that Windows 7 can format USB flash drives in exFAT. It can work with fully updated Xp and vista systems though. Apparently, Microsoft I think is still trying to patent it. I guess it works better than FAT32, especially if it's a larger flash drive, say 16 gigs.
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18 Aug 2011   #5
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Your topic and poll seem a little unrelated. Formatting doesn't really have anything to do with Readyboost, per se. But, to answer, I usually format larger (2 GB+) drives as NTFS unless they are bootable, and I don't own any systems with less than 1 GB of system memory to make Readyboost useful.
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18 Aug 2011   #6
Coke Robot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Your topic and poll seem a little unrelated. Formatting doesn't really have anything to do with Readyboost, per se. But, to answer, I usually format larger (2 GB+) drives as NTFS unless they are bootable, and I don't own any systems with less than 1 GB of system memory to make Readyboost useful.
You format with NTFS? I've heard that can shorten flash memory life due to the write overhead of the file system. Does it offer better perfomance? I only ask since I have a 16 gig drive that I might format into NTFS if it's better.
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19 Aug 2011   #7
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I can't say I've had any issues. I format with NTFS just because I feel it is a better, more stable file system than FAT32. On those drives that I don't make bootable, I have need to access them outside of Windows.
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19 Aug 2011   #8
dondreak

Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise x86 and x64
 
 

FYI for everyone, It DOES matter. If you format them with Fat32 or by default they are formatted with FAT. Once you have so many files on the drive you can't put any more... even if you have 15gb left. You can only put so many files on the drive. I couldn't find the exact number but I can tell you from experience you can only store so many files on a drive when it's Fat32 (unless you have separate partitions) but NTFS I believe there is NO limit on how many files you can have on the drive.
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19 Aug 2011   #9
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

It isn't limited by the number of files. It is limited by the amount of space being used, and that will depend on the size of the sectors. Anyone who tried saving a lot of .txt files to a floppy disk would learn this important lesson (painfully).
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19 Aug 2011   #10
seth500

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I was format to NTFS for the fact that I do save files over 4gb in size.
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 Formatting USB Sticks




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