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Windows 7: Formatting thumb drives

05 Aug 2014   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
Formatting thumb drives

I have several USB2 thumb drives all purchased in recent months.
All FAT 32

#1 has a defunct ISO file on it (copied from a download)
#2 has mixed media (mostly TXT files

I was about to recycle #1 by reformatting it, when I noticed Allocation Unit size:= 16 kilobytes
But #2 has Allocation Unit size:= 4096 bytes

I have never reformatted either #1 nor #2 ... so it leaves me perplexed
Two other thumb-drives purchased at the same time are also 4096 bytes

How might #1 have been changed from default 4096 bytes (4KB) to 16 KB by merely copying the ISO over. ?

What do range of various capacities represent in Formatting drives ?
What would be the best Allocation size be for mixed file types ? (txt, pdf, xls, doc, dll, exe, ini, mp3 ... etc)

Thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Formatting thumb drives-06-08-2014-09-57-13.jpg

^ Does this answer your query?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #3

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

@ jumanji +1

My thumb drives are el-cheapo Sandisk Cruzer 8GB.
- I should have indicated that in the OP

Cannot fathom how thumb-drive #1 (with ISO) is 16 KB on an 8GB device.

According to the table you supplied the 8GB should all be 4 KB (4096 bytes)

Your table is very handy, I'll snip it for future reference.
- better still I just found the table
- I didn't know what to "search" for, default cluster sizes for fat32 did the trick

I presume any of the "Not supported" would have to be NTFS ?

Thank you
Windows7 32-bit Home Premium
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Those are the default cluster sizes but it is possible to override the defaults and use a larger size. Apparently that was done. The "Not supported" entries would require NTFS except for the smaller sizes where FAT 16 would be required. Floppy drives use FAT 12. Windows supports FAT 32 for drives 32 GB - 2 TB but will not format them. Larger cluster sizes are required for larger drives because the maximum number of clusters in FAT 32 is 64K.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2014   #5

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

@ LMiller7 +1

On one wiki-page ... clusters >4KB are ignored by defraggers. So much for defragging.
I find the nuts and bolts fascinating.

Thank you for leading me out of the dark into the light
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Formatting thumb drives

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