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Which Format For Usb Stick


Jamo
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Hi

I got a new Kingston 32Gb usb stick. When I was formatting it I formatted it to NTFS, cause Fat32 has some file size limits.

Cause Im using that stick only with ubuntu should I format it to ext2,3 or 4. Is there any differences with these formats? Or should I just stay with NTFS.

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I would say stick with FAT.

It can be read by all OS.

FAT32 limitation is 32 GB.

You cannot create a file larger than (2^32)-1 bytes (this is one byte less than 4 GB) on a FAT32 partition.

Not sure if you will have many single files larger than 4GB.

Edited by Mr-Protocol
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First I know that there is a speed resilience trade off between NTFS and FAT32 on usb drives. NTFS is faster, but FAT32 was more resilient to being unplugged without having been unmounted.

If you are looking for the best performance then I would suggest considering to use ext4 as there are a few articles that I have seen where it is shown to be faster than most other formats.

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Stay away from fat. It has a file size limit of 4GB per file, so if you are copying things like a VM to it thats over 4GB it wont fit on the drive no matter how much free space there is. With that said, I would stick with NTFS. The reason, both Windows and Linux can read NTFS. Windows doesn't read ext2,3 natively without adding a plugin or additional software, as where Linux can read NTFS out of the box. If you will never use this in a windows machine, then go ext3.

From what I recall, ext4 suffers from that "make sure you unmount before removing" problem, as it delays the writing of data as it allocates space first and then writes, and could lose data in the process if you tried copying over and thought it was done when removing. Power loss also is an issue in ext4 for the same reason(but really most file systems have problems when the power is cut prematurely).

Edited by digip
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Its really up to you, use NTFS if you plan on using both Windows and Linux. If you just want to use Linux, then go with Ext3.

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Its really up to you, use NTFS if you plan on using both Windows and Linux. If you just want to use Linux, then go with Ext3.

Is EXT3 really a lot better than NTFS. Is there any noticable difference.

That 32Gb usb sitck is always connected to my computer, I use is at main strorage for bigger files that I use often. Like movies Im going to watch Virtual machines. cause I have only a 32Gb HDD, which is almost full. laptop is Dell Latitude D420 and it has a PATA HDD. Bigger HDDs are really expensive.

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Is EXT3 really a lot better than NTFS. Is there any noticable difference.

That 32Gb usb sitck is always connected to my computer, I use is at main strorage for bigger files that I use often. Like movies Im going to watch Virtual machines. cause I have only a 32Gb HDD, which is almost full. laptop is Dell Latitude D420 and it has a PATA HDD. Bigger HDDs are really expensive.

I was a bit confused myself too at first, however to clear things up, did some research on the differences between the ext file systems. And found that you should stick with ext4, since it does offer a better performance over previous versions of ext, as well as helps prolong life of ssd and flash drives but reducing the number of times it has to write information to, thus reducing fragmentation.

If you want to know more, I suggest reading this article.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/33552/htg-explains-which-linux-file-system-should-you-choose/

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If you are using this drive on a regular basis for every day storage, personally I would get an external USB HDD of much larger capacity. Flash thumb-drives do not have the same life expectancy of a normal HDD and are mainly used for shuttling information from machine to machine. Being that this is an older laptop as well, you might want to invest in a larger, external HDD anyway to be able to backup the contents on the laptops HDD as well as what you want to use for storage, so if the laptop's HDD did happen to die, you still have all your content in a backup until you can replace it. For less than $100 you can get a 500GB external USB drive from Walmart.

Edited by digip
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I figured that I would have a go at running some tests of ext2, ext3, ext4 and ntfs on a spare USB flash drive and see if my results match up with those that I have seen on the other sites on the internet. I looked at testing read, write and delete performance of each filesystem and there was some interesting results.

ext2, ext4 and ntfs all performed pretty consistently as the size of files being dealt with increased. Interestingly ext3 seemed to struggle more with the larger file sizes. From the results I would still recommend ext4.

ntfs performed a lot better than I thought it would and it would be interesting to try these sort of tests on a well used file system. That would take a lot longer to test though as I would need to write a program to write lots of files to the flash drive and delete some of them, then write some more and then delete some more then write some more, and so on.

I have put more details of the tests and the results in a post on my blog.

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If you are using this drive on a regular basis for every day storage, personally I would get an external USB HDD of much larger capacity. Flash thumb-drives do not have the same life expectancy of a normal HDD and are mainly used for shuttling information from machine to machine. Being that this is an older laptop as well, you might want to invest in a larger, external HDD anyway to be able to backup the contents on the laptops HDD as well as what you want to use for storage, so if the laptop's HDD did happen to die, you still have all your content in a backup until you can replace it. For less than $100 you can get a 500GB external USB drive from Walmart.

I have a couple external HDDs, but when Im not at my desk I cant take those HDDs with. In such cases I use that stick.

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