Forum Thread

recommend filesystem for 2 TB portable HDD?

bezelbub 2,979 937 September 19, 2015 at 12:31 PM
Hi,


have a 2 TB portable Western Digital HDD with some gunk put on there by the manufacturer. Would like to clean off and reformat but not sure if to use FAT 32, NTFS or exFAT? in Windows explorer it only gives me the option of exFAT or NTFS but i could use some other program. Maybe there is a better free program to use and is quick format good enough?


i will put mostly audio podcasts and video files on it if that makes a diff in filesystem choice - most files would be 10 MB or larger
also i mostly use Windows but occasionally Linux too (no apple)

9 Comments

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#2
Just reformat with NTFS using Windows and you should be fine. Quick format should be fine.

That said, unless you have the MAC version, in my experience WD My passports come with very minimal software loaded on them (mostly WD Smartware and some drivers\manuals). Not really necessary to wipe them but it does no harm in doing so.
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#3
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Just reformat with NTFS using Windows and you should be fine. Quick format should be fine.

That said, unless you have the MAC version, in my experience WD My passports come with very minimal software loaded on them (mostly WD Smartware and some drivers\manuals). Not really necessary to wipe them but it does no harm in doing so.
thx Yankees
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#4
If only using it on the PC NTFS is your best choice. I think most linux distros these days have the ability the read/write to NTFS.
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#5
FAT32 is still hands down the best in terms of all around compatibility but the file size limit can be a serious problem. Getting ExFAT or NTFS working on linux may require extra steps but should be doable, but keep in mind speed. Transfer speeds on linux using something like NTFS-3G could be painfully slow.
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#6
Quote from brbubba View Post :
Transfer speeds on linux using something like NTFS-3G could be painfully slow.
Painfully slow is fuzzy :-)
I get ~50MB/s using NTFS-3G versus ~100MB/s natively
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#7
FAT32 supports up to 2TB drives using a 512b sector size and 16TB using a 4kb sector size.
GUI tools in wondows probably don't support anything other than 512b.
FAT32 files can't exceed 4GB.

NTFS works fine, you may have to be a little more careful about un-mounting the drive. MacOS X will mount NTFS as read only.
ExFAT supports larger drives and files than FAT32. On some versions of Windows, you have to change some settings to get drives of this format to mount automatically.
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#8
Quote from vivahate View Post :
Painfully slow is fuzzy :-)
I get ~50MB/s using NTFS-3G versus ~100MB/s natively
It must have improved over the years...or it also looks like it can be optimized using big writes option.
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#9
Just go NTFS , least headaches
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#10
Quote from brbubba View Post :
FAT32 is still hands down the best in terms of all around compatibility but the file size limit can be a serious problem. Getting ExFAT or NTFS working on linux may require extra steps but should be doable, but keep in mind speed. Transfer speeds on linux using something like NTFS-3G could be painfully slow.
I'm a huge fan of ExFAT, but if you want to connect a Windows machine to it it's a pain in the rump to get it to read it and it has to go through all kinds of steps to make it compatible.
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