Solved Problem copying pictures to the USB stick after 2 GB is used

June 24, 2013 at 09:22:56
Specs: Windows 7
I have a 16 GB USB memory stick. It works fine copying pictures to the stick in the begining. However, after I stored around 2 or 3 GB of pictures. I am not able to copy additional pictures to it. the copy seems fine, but after I remove the stick from the USB port and put it back in again, the folders will become empty or the pictures can not be viewed. Is there anything I need to do to use the full capacity of the memory stick? Thanks for your help.

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✔ Best Answer
June 25, 2013 at 11:12:34
"am I correct that NTSF is only required if I have a file that is bigger than 4 GB that I want to put on the stick? If all the individual files are smaller than 4 GB, I can stay with FAT32 and should be able to use all the 16 GB space on the stick."

Yes, that is correct.



#1
June 24, 2013 at 11:02:45
It sounds like you may be unplugging the USB pen drive before the file copying process has finished - hence new folders but nothing in them.

If copying large amounts of data to a pen drive, you must ensure that the writing process has finished by checking the indicator lamp on the pen drive. If it's flashing, that means data is still being written to it so do not unplug it yet.

Data could still be being written to it even after the copying window has closed on the monitor, especially if you've configured the pen drive for best performance instead of quick removal.

If your pen drive has no activity lamp (some very short ones don't) the safest thing to do before unplugging it is click the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the system tray, then click the appropriate device in the pop-up menu. It will tell you if the device is still busy.


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#2
June 24, 2013 at 11:29:45
Thanks for the response. I have viewed the pictures on those empty folders and they looked good before I unplug the usb pen drive. I have also did the Safely Remove Hardware option. But the file folders still showed empty when I plug it back in. I have tried many times as well. Any other options to check into? Thanks.

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#3
June 24, 2013 at 11:50:17
Hi Lily, I am wondering if you are trying to put too many pictures into one folder.

If so, try having more folders, each containing fewer pictures than at present.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 24, 2013 at 12:54:39
Hi Mike, The empty folders are actually the small folders. Some of them only have less than pictures in them. I copied the big folders first to make sure they copied ok since it normally works fine in the beginning. The problem only occurred after 2 or 3GB of space has been used. I will try again tonight with some of the suggestions and let everyone know of any differences. Thanks.

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#5
June 24, 2013 at 19:14:31
I have performed the following steps and still have no success:

- reformatted the pen stick with exFAT file system and optimize for performance
- recopy the picture folders from my computer to the pen stick
- make sure all folders and pictures look good
- check the amount of space used (13.5 GB free space out of 16 GB available)
- wait 15 minutes after the last folder copy had completed
- eject the memory stick and wait for the safe to remove message before unplug the pen stick
- Plug the stick back in to the USB port and open the drive
- The last folder copied showed pictures in it from the folder icon, however, when I opened it, there is no picture and it said the folder is empty

There is definitely something that is hiding the pictures from viewing and accessing on the memory stick when the space used is over 3 GB. I just don't know what that is and is really bothered by this. If anyone has any other ideas that can help me figure out and resolve this issue, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


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#6
June 25, 2013 at 04:32:45
Hi Lily, have you tried on a known good (maybe smaller) memory stick?

Do *NOT* format * it, just check sufficient space is available and if so, use it.

I am wondering if the problematic memory stick has been incorrectly formatted (FAT16?), such that only 3gb can be used. You should ensure it is formatted to FAT32 or preferably NTSF.

Do not rely on memory sticks too much as they are unreliable. e.g.
a) have at least two copies of backups on different sticks,
b) do not use a stick as a working disc.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#7
June 25, 2013 at 06:09:20
Hi Mike, Thanks for the additional suggestions. The available formats that I can choose from are FAT32, exFAT and NTSF. The orginal format was FAT32 and I had this problem. People suggested that I reformat using exFAT or NTSF to allow it to go beyond 4 GB. I tried NTSF and it won't take that format so the only choice remain is exFAT. Do you think I should go back to the default of FAT32?
I will try the smaller sticks such as 8 GB to see if I can go beyond 3 or 4 GB. Should I make sure it's optimized for performance for the smaller stick as well?
Thanks.

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#8
June 25, 2013 at 07:41:25
I want you to try this. Insert the usb stick, go to my computer, right click on the drive, click properties. Click on the the tools tab, click on check now. A small window will appear with 2 check boxes. The first one is always checked. Check the other one also and click ok. Your stick will be scanned. After scanning is complete, it will tell you whether there were problems or not with the stick and that they have been fixed.

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#9
June 25, 2013 at 07:41:31
Do not use exFAT, and the only reason to use NTFS is so you could put files larger than 4 gig on the stick. You can use NTFS if you want but it involves a couple extra steps to do it. Stick with FAT32.

At this point, it sounds like you have a failing stick. These things are dirt cheap these days, I would suggest going and buying another one.


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#10
June 25, 2013 at 10:04:44
Thank you for the additional suggestions. I thought that in order for me to use the stick beyond 4 GB, I will need to format it as exFAT or NTSF. However, from the conversation here, am I correct that NTSF is only required if I have a file that is bigger than 4 GB that I want to put on the stick? If all the individual files are smaller than 4 GB, I can stay with FAT32 and should be able to use all the 16 GB space on the stick. I am getting a new 8 GB stick and will use the suggestion here to make sure I can utilize the full capacity on this one. Thanks to everyone's help and suggestions.

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#11
June 25, 2013 at 11:12:34
✔ Best Answer
"am I correct that NTSF is only required if I have a file that is bigger than 4 GB that I want to put on the stick? If all the individual files are smaller than 4 GB, I can stay with FAT32 and should be able to use all the 16 GB space on the stick."

Yes, that is correct.


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#12
June 25, 2013 at 11:34:05
Thank you for the confirmation. This is one of the very useful information I got out of this conversation. I appreciate all the help. Hope my new memory stick will work without these issues.
For some reason if my current stick was incorrectly formatted as FAT16 that's why I am not able to store any pictures beyond 3 GB. Is there anyway to correct this or I just need to leave with it as a 3 GB stick instead of 16 GB? Thanks.

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#13
June 25, 2013 at 11:36:20
View the memory stick in Windows Disk Management. There may be more than one partition. As THX 1138 pointed out, NTFS is needed if any file is larger than 4GB. It is doubtful that is your problem. Fat 32 does have a limit on the total number of files. You state there are other items besides pictures in the folders. What do you have in them?

Do you have more than one USB storage device? If so, are you sure the files are actually being written to the flash drive?

Are you using copy/paste or drag & drop to load the files?


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#14
June 25, 2013 at 11:50:34
The files I tried to put on the memory stick are pictures and videos and none of them has size near 4 GB. I do have many pictures within folders that I stored there. You indicated FAT32 does have a limit on the total number of files. Do you know what is the limit?
I only have one USB storeage device plugged in at a time, so I am sure the files are being written to the flash drive.
I normally do copy and paste to load the files on the memory stick. Is there a difference between using this vs drag and drop?
Thanks.

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#15
June 25, 2013 at 12:54:15
"For some reason if my current stick was incorrectly formatted as FAT16 that's why I am not able to store any pictures beyond 3 GB."

I don't think that's true. a FAT 16 partition can only be 2 gig in size, it wouldn't have reached 3 gig.

I would stop using that stick, I still think it's going bad and could cause complete loss of everything you have on there.

As a rule of thumb, memory sticks can and will go bad. It is not recommended to store stuff on them for permanent storage. They are best used for temp storage and data transfer from one device to another


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#16
June 25, 2013 at 13:06:04
Thanks for the advise. Is CD or DVD a better media for more permanent storage?
I used memory sticks to load pictures for digital photo frame display. Thanks.

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#17
June 25, 2013 at 13:21:48
lilybliao, I'm glad your problem is solved (according to the title tag) but after reading this extraordinarily long thread I'm still clueless as to what actually fixed it?

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#18
June 25, 2013 at 13:30:55
My real problem has not been resolved. but the main issue is that I have been reformating the stick to exFAT thinking that will allow me to store data beyond 3 GB which may have actually damaged my memory stick at this point. It seems the recommendation at this time is to forget about the bad stick and get a new one.
Hopefully the advises I got here will help me with the new memory stick usage and I don't have the issue I am getting with my current one. Thanks.

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#19
June 25, 2013 at 15:16:20
Yes, using a CD or DVD would be a better solution for permanent storage.

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#20
June 25, 2013 at 16:56:27
You did not post the results of viewing that flash drive in Windows Disk Management. Please do so.

The link below has a table in it showing the max. number of files allowed in a FAT32 partition. Keep in mind that the total partition capacity will adjust this number. Also, long file names and folder names will shrink the actual number considerably.

While I don't think that is your problem, I have seen this become an issue.

There is another issue with FAT32. The number of files that can reside in the root directory of a drive/partition is also limited. I believe the total number of files that can occupy the root directory is 512. See the link below for additional information on this topic.

http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/FAT


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#21
June 25, 2013 at 19:00:27
Thanks for the information on the FAT32 limitations. The following is the result of the trouble flash drive from Disk Management view:
Layout: Simple
Type: Basic
File System: exFAT
Status: Healthy (primary partition)
Capacity: 15.72 GB
Free space: 13.50 GB
% free: 86%
Fault Tolerance: No
Overhead: 0%

Nothing seems out of ordinary from the information presented. Thanks.


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