Problems Copying Large Files to FAT32 Drives

If you’re using removable drives to transfer very large files such as videos then you may find that particularly large files will be unable to copy over if your drive is formatted with FAT32.

FAT32 formatted drives have a maximum file size of 4GB as an inherent limitation of its design as well as a maximum volume size of 2TB. While you can’t hack the file system to bend to your will, there are a couple of options:

  1. split your videos up into chunks smaller than 4GB each,
  2. use an alternative file system such as NTFS or exFAT.

Hard drives are now starting to surpass the 2TB barrier now which means that if you do want to format a drive with FAT32 then you may end up wasting a good chunk of space which can make using NTFS or exFAT more attractive. However, not many devices will read or even write to NTFS drives due to licensing restrictions imposed by Microsoft while exFAT can perhaps be a bit of a poor cousin when it comes to awareness.

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