1T USB drive, Fat32 format but can't copy

Lacie 1tb external hard drive
August 12, 2011 at 14:01:56
Specs: Windows XP
1T USB drive, Fat32 format, space availabe (400+ G) but can't copy any more files over (?)

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August 12, 2011 at 14:07:48
How are you determining the free space?

Are you copying files directly to the root directory (no folders)? FAT 32 has a file limitation for stuff in the root directory. Solution is to make some folders in there and cut and paste the files into folders. That should reduce the number of items in the root directory. Folders make it easier to find things anyway.

If you can't do anything then try cutting and pasting some stuff back to the internal drive and then make folders.

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August 12, 2011 at 18:27:08
I'd format it in ntfs and try again.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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August 12, 2011 at 18:27:32
Why not use NTSF? It will make better use of the available space anyway.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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Related Solutions

August 13, 2011 at 08:52:36
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your suggestions!

After much wasted time, the help desk at LaCie (the hard drive in question) gave me a few insights and the 3 utilities that looked like they formatted the drive to FAT32 actually failed.

I found and used the Aomei Partition Assistant - home edition (free) and it did a perfect job. Everything is working great now.

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August 13, 2011 at 09:57:15
Why are you using FAT32 on a drive that large? You do understand how much sasted space you create? Look at the chart below. Are you sharing the external with a Mac computer?

Cluster sizes

for FAT32 are as follows:
512MB to 8,191MB = 4KB
8,192MB to 16,383MB = 8KB
16,384MB to 32,767MB = 16KB
Larger than 32,768MB = 32KB

NTFS - All partitions on a PC = 4KB default

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August 13, 2011 at 10:07:42
Hi OtheHill,

Thanks for the insights. I can't follow what you are telling me.

I need FAT32 format so the darn PS3 can read the drive. I could not see any other way around this.

Suggests? Recommendations?


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August 13, 2011 at 10:29:30
If you need FAT32 then there is no way around it. Do you use the drive for other stuff too? You could partition the drive into at least 2 partitions and use one for the PS3 and format the other NTFS.

If you need the entire capacity for the PS3 then don't worry about it.

To explain impact what cluster size has I will give an example. Writing a file 1Kb in size to an NTFS formatted partition will waste 3Kb of space because a cluster can only hold 1 file. Writing that same 1Kb file to your 1TB partition using FAT32 will waste 31Kb of space because the cluster size is 32Kb.

If the individual files you are writing to the 1TB are large then this becomes less of an issue. Large files may use multiple clusters and the odd change at the end may be the only cluster with any appreciable slack space.

Hope this make it clearer to you.

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August 13, 2011 at 10:58:25
Thanks OtheHill,

That makes sense now, much appreciated.


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