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Is there a way to get around the FAT32 limitation or eliminate the NTFS always writing to USB Thumb/Flash drive?

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am running a YaBB bulletin board from a USB thumb/flash drive using portable server software (Server2Go), but it seems that if I format the USB thumb/flash drive as NTFS, it gets slower with use.  I was told that was because NTFS writes often to the drive, so always format a USB thumb/flash drive using FAT or FAT32.  However, one of the folders holds the 90,000+ messages, and with FAT32, I cannot save more than some 33,000 files into that Messages folder due to FAT32 limitations.  

The forum/bulletin board is a closed BB, so no new entries are allowed.  It is an archival solution which allows for searching of the old BB.

I get the following error when trying to copy more than some 33,000 files to any one folder:  

"Cannot copy (filename). The directory or file cannot be created."

My questions:

(1)  Is there a way to get around the 33,000-or-so file limitation with FAT32 without creating new folders and separating the message files into multiple folders?

(2)  Is there a way to make certain that the NTFS file system will not continuously write to the USB thumb/flash drive, thus slowing it down?

Thank you,
edsager
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Question by:edsager
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by:silemone
silemone earned 30 total points
ID: 22816409
1) Fat32 is always limited in size, very small and thus was the reason for NTFS format...
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by:nsx106052
nsx106052 earned 20 total points
ID: 22816422
I don't really think you can get around the limits of FAT32.  I would recommend using an external hard drive and format it with NTFS.  That should take care of your problems and give your more room for expansion.  
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by:edsager
ID: 22816565
Thank you both silemone & nsx106052.  I am getting that NTFS is the only way to go.

nsx106052:  There is no need to expand with this bulletin board, as what I have is an archive of posts and members from an old BB.  This USB thumb/flash drive will be distributed to members of a professional organization--possibly to hundreds or even a few thousand.

Is there a way to keep NTFS from writing as often to the USB thumb/flash drive so that it remains as fast as it was when first using it?

Thanks,
edsager
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by:edsager
ID: 22816615
Also, with NTFS, is there a problem running the NTFS-formatted USB thumb/flash drive with Windows XP Home or any other version of Windows?

Thanks,
edsager
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Expert Comment

by:silemone
ID: 22816780
I haven't heard of writing so often it makes the system drag.  can i have the link to the article you read?
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jdietrich earned 400 total points
ID: 22816805
What is your allocation unit size in NTFS.  You can cut down on the number of reads/writes by changing the size.  Larger 4k is better for reads.  For writes it is not as good because it will waste space, but I think you said the data is static, so there shouldn't be writes....
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by:edsager
ID: 22816929
silemone:  I extrapolated that the NTFS-formatted USB thumb/flash drive would become slower from this article (my bad for extrapolating):  http://blogs.chron.com/helpline/archives/2005/08/ntfs_format_for.html

jdietrich:  thank you.  I formatted it to NTFS 8096.  We will see how it goes.

I will defragment the USB thumb/flash drive, but is there any other way to make and keep the drive reading data fast?

Thanks,
edsager
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by:silemone
ID: 22817034
actually awesome job, if you found that through your efforts...good job
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by:edsager
ID: 22845163
OK, I tested teh USB thumb/flash drive with both an allocation unit size of 8kb and 16kb.  I also made the messages of the old BB read-only.  It all worked well.

Now I am happy.

Thanks,
edsager
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by:edsager
ID: 31510505
Thank you to all who responded.
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