File size limit in FAT 32?


K

Kenny

Daughter has TV which plays video direct from USB memory stick.
Home made AVI video came to 7GB, Windows told me not enough room
although there was over 10GB free.
Saved a WMV version of the same file which was 1.3GB but still got the
same message about not enough space, I believed FAT32 will handle files
up to 4GB.
The pen drive is FAT32 but can I change it to NTFS and will the TV still
recognise it if I do?
The TV is large screen Toshiba and pen drive is Sandisk Cruiser 16GB.
Advice appreciated.

Kenny Cargill
 
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B

Brian Gregory [UK]

Kenny said:
Daughter has TV which plays video direct from USB memory stick.
Home made AVI video came to 7GB, Windows told me not enough room although
there was over 10GB free.
Saved a WMV version of the same file which was 1.3GB but still got the
same message about not enough space, I believed FAT32 will handle files up
to 4GB.
The pen drive is FAT32 but can I change it to NTFS and will the TV still
recognise it if I do?
The TV is large screen Toshiba and pen drive is Sandisk Cruiser 16GB.
Advice appreciated.
File size limit for FAT32 should be 2GB, or maybe 2GB minus 1 byte.
(There may be non standard ways of getting up to 4GB minus 1 byte)

If a file that should fit won't copy try doing a chkdsk /f on the USB thumb
drive.

The only way to know what formats the TV will understand is to read the
manual or to experiment and find out.
 
C

Char Jackson

File size limit for FAT32 should be 2GB, or maybe 2GB minus 1 byte.
(There may be non standard ways of getting up to 4GB minus 1 byte)
This comes up every now and then and I always manage to forget where
the 2GB filesize limit comes from. The actual FAT32 size limit is 4GB
minus 1 byte.
The only way to know what formats the TV will understand is to read the
manual or to experiment and find out.
Agreed. There's no standard. The TV supports what it supports.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

This comes up every now and then and I always manage to forget where
the 2GB filesize limit comes from. The actual FAT32 size limit is 4GB
minus 1 byte.
Some programs have a 2GB limit. I have experienced it with some video
editors in days of yore.

My unverified hypothesis is that those programs used signed integers
(longs, really) instead of unsigned integers for the file data location.
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
Some programs have a 2GB limit. I have experienced it with some video
editors in days of yore.

My unverified hypothesis is that those programs used signed integers
(longs, really) instead of unsigned integers for the file data
location.
The 2 GB or 4 GB limit depends on whether or not you are dealing with
signed numbers. The 32 bit limit is -/+2GB for signed numbers and
4GB for unsigned numbers.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

The 2 GB or 4 GB limit depends on whether or not you are dealing with
signed numbers. The 32 bit limit is -/+2GB for signed numbers and
4GB for unsigned numbers.
I thought I just said that :)

Or did you mean to verify my hypothesis?
 
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C

Char Jackson

Some programs have a 2GB limit. I have experienced it with some video
editors in days of yore.

My unverified hypothesis is that those programs used signed integers
(longs, really) instead of unsigned integers for the file data location.
Thanks, Gene. The same thought occurred to me about the signed vs
unsigned integers but I forgot that it was attributed to (or limited
to) "some programs."
 
C

Char Jackson

The 2 GB or 4 GB limit depends on whether or not you are dealing with
signed numbers. The 32 bit limit is -/+2GB for signed numbers and
4GB for unsigned numbers.
The frame of reference is FAT32, so the limit is 4GB minus 1 byte.
 
P

Paul

Kenny said:
Daughter has TV which plays video direct from USB memory stick.
Home made AVI video came to 7GB, Windows told me not enough room
although there was over 10GB free.
Saved a WMV version of the same file which was 1.3GB but still got the
same message about not enough space, I believed FAT32 will handle files
up to 4GB.
The pen drive is FAT32 but can I change it to NTFS and will the TV still
recognise it if I do?
The TV is large screen Toshiba and pen drive is Sandisk Cruiser 16GB.
Advice appreciated.

Kenny Cargill
The only thing puzzling about your experience, is why the 1.3GB file
would not fit. That doesn't line up with any of the limits I've heard of.

Since its FAT, you can use fsutil for testing. Fsutil can create
empty files, for size testing purposes. One problem with that though,
is the geniuses at Microsoft, have fsutil generate "sparse" files when
an NTFS file system is encountered. So fsutil doesn't end up working
the same way as "mkfile" in Unix might. But on FAT file systems,
fsutil makes "real" files, no sparse stuff, and it takes an
appropriately long time to do so. If it makes sparse files on NTFS,
the command finishes virtually instantly, which means very few data
sectors are physically written. It means fsutil is unsuited for
usage as a "physical disk eraser", on NTFS.

(On FAT32, this should fail if you make the size one byte larger.)

fsutil file createnew c:\testdir\testfile.bin 4294967295

You can also use the port of "dd" for Windows, to test file system
capacity, and that one won't resort to sparse files if used on
NTFS for example. The syntax for the ported version might look like this.
This would create a 4095 megabyte file (if there was room
left on the file system for it to fit).

dd.exe if=/dev/zero of=C:\testdir\testfile.bin bs=1048576 count=4095

Done without limits, "dd" will run until it hits the file limit. This
wouldn't be a good idea on NTFS, because it will fill the entire
partition.

dd.exe if=/dev/zero of=C:\testdir\testfile.bin

I just tried that command on a FAT32 file system and the resulting
file size was 4,294,966,784 bytes, which is 512 bytes short of 4GB.
dd works in units of 512 byte sectors, which is why it stopped there.

The port of "dd" is here. I typically use version 0.5 of dd for testing.

http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

The examples above, run from a "cmd" or MSDOS window. In Windows 7,
you sometimes need to select "Run as Administrator", to get things to
work like they did in older versions of Windows. (I've had small
surprises running in the MSDOS window, under Windows 7, and it is
due to UAC.)

To open an MSDOS window, you can type "cmd" without the quotes, into
the start search box. You must cd or change directory, until you get
to the place you've got the copy of dd.exe, in order to run it.

Maybe a test like that, will uncover a different limit than the 1.3GB value.
I can't explain why that value popped up.

Paul
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
I thought I just said that :)

Or did you mean to verify my hypothesis?
Yes. I upgraded your unverified hypothesis to immutable law. :)
 
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M

me again

Kenny said:
Daughter has TV which plays video direct from USB memory stick.
AFIK memory sticks are always fat32 and thus limited to 2GB per file.
Home made AVI video came to 7GB, Windows told me not enough room although there was
over 10GB free.
Saved a WMV version of the same file which was 1.3GB but still got the same message
about not enough space, I believed FAT32 will handle files up to 4GB.
nope.

The pen drive is FAT32 but can I change it to NTFS and will the TV still recognise it
if I do?
Not in my experience.
 
C

Char Jackson

AFIK memory sticks are always fat32 and thus limited to 2GB per file.
Sorry, wrong on both counts. Memory sticks (USB thumb drives) usually
come preformatted as FAT32 as a convenience but can be reformatted to
any valid filesystem. Even if they are left as FAT32, the max file
size is 4GB minus 1 byte. FAT32 has never had a 2GB file size limit.
Right, it's one byte less than 4GB.
 
A

Andy

Actually char you're wrong fat 32 does have a to gig size limit on hard
drives back before the bigger drives came out and pc makers fixed the
problem in the hard drive controller's.
the new to day computers no longer have this size limit but back in the late
90s and early 2000's we did.
and yes i know this is a fact as i used to work for a local pc shop that
dealt with this problem as client's wanted to upgrade.
 
P

Paul

Andy said:
Actually char you're wrong fat 32 does have a to gig size limit on hard
drives back before the bigger drives came out and pc makers fixed the
problem in the hard drive controller's.
the new to day computers no longer have this size limit but back in the late
90s and early 2000's we did.
and yes i know this is a fact as i used to work for a local pc shop that
dealt with this problem as client's wanted to upgrade.
There is a difference between disk drive size limitations, and
the file system that runs within a single partition.

http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/drive_size_barrier_limitations_2.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems (FAT32 4GB max single file)

For example, say for some reason, the computer could not handle more
than a 2GB hard drive. The FAT32 file size limit could still be 4GB minus
one byte in that case. It's just you'd run out of disk drive, before you
got close to the single file limit.

Paul
 
Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Andy said:
Actually char you're wrong fat 32 does have a to gig size limit on
hard drives back before the bigger drives came out and pc makers
fixed the problem in the hard drive controller's.
the new to day computers no longer have this size limit but back in
the late 90s and early 2000's we did.
and yes i know this is a fact as i used to work for a local pc shop
that dealt with this problem as client's wanted to upgrade.
Actually Andy, you are wrong, regardless of your anecdotal insistence
to the contrary. FAT32 has never had a 2GB file size limit, nor was
it ever a function of the hard drive or drive controller. You may be
confusing the old FAT16 partition size limit of 2GB under DOS / Win9x,
or the NFS v2 file size limit of 2GB.
 
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R

Rob

Daughter has TV which plays video direct from USB memory stick.
Home made AVI video came to 7GB, Windows told me not enough room although there was over 10GB free.
Saved a WMV version of the same file which was 1.3GB but still got the same message about not enough space, I believed FAT32 will handle files up to 4GB.
The pen drive is FAT32 but can I change it to NTFS and will the TV still recognise it if I do?
The TV is large screen Toshiba and pen drive is Sandisk Cruiser 16GB.
Advice appreciated.

Kenny Cargill
Hi Kenny,

When you created the 1.3GB WMV version, did that save OK to your
hard drive, and you only got the message when later copying the
WMV file to the memory stick?
Or did the application which created the video complain that
there wasn't enough free space to save it?
This distinction is important in order to clarify the issue as
it may be nothing to do with which file system the pen drive is
formatted with.
Video editing applications usually create a temporary file which
if often as large, or larger, than the final video file. If the
drive which the application uses to store this temporary file
(which is often the same drive as where the final file will be
saved) runs short on space, the application will report being
out of space.

HTH,
 
C

Char Jackson

Actually char you're wrong fat 32 does have a to gig size limit on hard
drives back before the bigger drives came out and pc makers fixed the
problem in the hard drive controller's.
the new to day computers no longer have this size limit but back in the late
90s and early 2000's we did.
As several people have pointed out to you, what you're saying simply
isn't true. You can research it yourself.
and yes i know this is a fact as i used to work for a local pc shop that
dealt with this problem as client's wanted to upgrade.
My understanding is that you worked for the mall, some say in a mall
maintenance (janitor) position, and not for any specific store in that
mall. The mall had a PC shop and a Sprint store where you spent much
of your spare time, but that's not the same as working there.
 
T

Tim Slattery

me again said:
AFIK memory sticks are always fat32 and thus limited to 2GB per file.
Even if the first part of your statement is true, the second half
isn't. The file size limit for FAt32 is 4GB. Period. Some programs
can't deal with files larger than 2GB, but that's the program's limit,
not the file systems. And even if the stick comes formatted FAT32, you
can always switch that to NTFS.
Not in my experience.
Probably some would and some would not.
 
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C

Chris S.

Char Jackson said:
As several people have pointed out to you, what you're saying simply
isn't true. You can research it yourself.


My understanding is that you worked for the mall, some say in a mall
maintenance (janitor) position, and not for any specific store in that
mall. The mall had a PC shop and a Sprint store where you spent much
of your spare time, but that's not the same as working there.
"The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 byte
or 4 294 967 295 (232?1) bytes. This limit is a consequence of the file
length entry in the directory table and would also affect huge FAT16
partitions with a sufficient sector size.[1] Video applications, large
databases, and some other software easily exceed this limit. Larger files
require another filesystem."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

Stay away from Andy's "PC Shop"

Chris
 

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