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Old 10-08-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
etrin
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Default windows 7 what is the limit on fat32 ?

I got one of the Hitachi SimpleNET NAS
Trying to share some movies.
I got it set up and ran into a problem with formats.
the drive is a 2TB F4 drive and I partitioned it into 3 NTFS

well I am getting mud for reads and writes. about 7KB
so i formatted the 20GB partition to fat32.
it ran a lot better doing up to 7MB speeds.

of course the 2 other video partitions are 900GB and when I looked in
winders it says exFAT and this is not recognized by the device.
So I found Formatfat32 and it formatted the 900GB partition but it doesn't seem
the device can use it. It sees it but the reads and writes look like its cashing or something strange. winders sees the partition but seems very confused when doing anything with it.

is there really a fat32 format that works well and can be used since I was going to use this drive for everything.

should I go to ext3 and can it be formatted on an external enclosure?
Gparted?

ps I have a buffalo router that has built in NAS and when I first plugged this device into it formatted as NTFS it did the same stuff....NTFS writes are trash on anything linux...and it wanted fat32 or ext format....

Last edited by etrin; 10-08-2010 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
RebateMonger
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I'm not sure what you are looking for concerning FAT32. Here's some general information about FAT32.

The two general "problems" with FAT32 are that it can't handle a file larger than 4 GB and it's much more prone to file errors, tending to corrupt files and directories much more often than NTFS. It's also very prone to file fragmentation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat32#FAT32

"The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GiB minus 1 byte (232−1 bytes). Video applications, large databases, and some other software easily exceed this limit. Larger files require another formatting type such as NTFS."

"In order to overcome size limit of FAT16, while at the same time allowing DOS real mode code to handle the format, and without reducing available conventional memory unnecessarily, Microsoft implemented a next generation, known as FAT32. Cluster values are represented by 32-bit numbers, of which 28 bits are used to hold the cluster number, for a maximum of approximately 268 million (228) clusters. This allows for drive sizes of up to 8 TiB with 32 KiB clusters, but the boot sector uses a 32-bit field for the sector count, limiting volume size to 2 TiB on a hard disk with 512 byte sectors."
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
FishAk
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This sounds like a network problem. I would stick to NTFS, and figure out what's wrong with the network.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
Mark R
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FAT32 is obsolete, and has performance which isn't really adequate for drives larger than 32 GB - although it does work up to 2 TB. Windows Vista and 7 will not format partitions in FAT 32 if they are larger than 32 GB. You could use a tool like gparted to format 1 or 2 TB parition as FAT32. However, you would be limited to 4 GB files - which as you mentioned movies, may be a problem.

exFAT is an upgraded version of FAT (in effect, FAT64) which works well for any size drive. If you use Windows 7 to format a large drive as FAT, it will be formatted as exFAT. However, exFAT it is MS proprietary, and very poorly supported on other systems.

The SimpleNET NAS dongle is just a very low-end linux PC in a tiny box. As such it has linux's limitations:
1. No exFAT support
2. Very, very slow NTFS support. This has been improved with the very latest NTFS drivers, but I note from the spec sheet that the simpleNET uses an old driver. To give an example of just how slow, I tried an NTFS drive on a low-end, but proper, NAS machine using a 2009 vintage driver - and I was getting 300-400 kB/sec - while the CPU was pegged at 100%. Reformtting the drive as ext3 got me 50 MB/s.

ext3 is linux's native file system so works very well on linux systems. It also has a decent file size capability (16 GB, or higher) and has data integrity protection (which FAT does not).

The take away message, is that there is only format suitable for your NAS dongle - ext3. Gparted should be able to format it for you.

Last edited by Mark R; 10-08-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:54 PM   #5
etrin
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thanks to you all this cleared up the questions I had.
I will partition this in ext3 and give it a go.
The only thing I hate is if I have to plug this into a pc it won't be recognized.
I have read that NTFS is supported but I think the conversion is pitta. Trying to use one on a nas and it took 4 hours to transfer over a 24GB file, the same usb plugged into a usb port took 17 minutes.

Maybe one day it will be the same for ntfs but not now.


when I boot into gparted cd will it recognize usb drives or do I have to take it out and mount it on a sata port?
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etrin View Post
thanks to you all this cleared up the questions I had.
I will partition this in ext3 and give it a go.
The only thing I hate is if I have to plug this into a pc it won't be recognized.
I have read that NTFS is supported but I think the conversion is pitta. Trying to use one on a nas and it took 4 hours to transfer over a 24GB file, the same usb plugged into a usb port took 17 minutes.

Maybe one day it will be the same for ntfs but not now.


when I boot into gparted cd will it recognize usb drives or do I have to take it out and mount it on a sata port?
Worst case you can just boot a Linux live cd to recover the data from the ext3 partition. And the gparted live cd should see everything just fine without any intervention from you.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakboy View Post
If you format with FAT32 your speeds are gonna be hindered big time.

Also if you split partitions and not do it correctly and thought out it will slow down your drive.

My advice, format it with ntfs as 1 partition and see how your speeds are.. report back to us.. thx
You didn't actually read the entire thread, did you?
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
etrin
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thanks big time.
I used gparted no problems with the usb drive being recognized and formatting the drive was a breeze.
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