Advertisement Formatting a USB drive is no different than If you have a new HDD or SSD, you should format it. Through formatting, you can wipe old data, malware, bloatware, and you can change the file system. Follow our step-by-step process. But how often have you actually formatted a drive and did you ever wonder what the various options mean? Most of us go with the default settings without second-guessing their logic. Naturally, optimal settings depend on the type of hardware to be formatted and what you are planning to do with it. This article will help you make the best choice.
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It explains what each option does and which one is best suited for your drive and expected use. How to Format a USB Drive in Windows Whether you’re running Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10, the steps are essentially the same. • Plug in the USB drive.
• Open Windows File Explorer and go to This PC (aka Computer or My Computer). • Right-click the drive, and select Format The formatting options you can customize are File system, Allocation unit size, Volume label, and Format options. You can also Restore device defaults in case your custom settings aren’t working. Which File System to Choose? In Windows 10, you will see a maximum of four different file systems: NTFS, FAT, A file system is the tool that lets an operating system read data on any hard drive.
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Many systems use FAT32, but is that the right one, and is there a better option? You will actually not see FAT and FAT32 if your drive is larger than 32 GB. So what is the difference between those file systems and which one should you choose? Let’s look at the benefits of each.
Wd my book essential 2tb for mac. If for compatibility or speed reasons you want to go with FAT or FAT32, always go with FAT32, unless you are dealing with a device of 2 GB or smaller. Which Allocation Unit Size Works Best? Hard drives are organized in clusters and the allocation unit size describes the size of a single cluster. The file system records the state of each cluster, i.e. Free or occupied. Once a file or a portion of a file is written to a cluster, the cluster is occupied, regardless of whether or not there is still space. Hence, larger clusters can lead to more If your USB drive ever shrinks in capacity, there's a very simple solution you can use to restore all of that lost space.
With smaller clusters, however, the drive becomes slower as each file is broken up into smaller pieces and it takes much longer to draw them all together when the file is accessed. Thus the optimal allocation unit size depends on what you want to do with your USB drive. If you want to store large files on that drive, a large cluster size is better as the drive will be faster. If, however, you want to store small files or run programs off your flash drive, a smaller cluster size will help preserve space. Rule of thumb: large drive and/or large files = large allocation unit size For a 500 MB USB flash drive, rather select 512 bytes (FAT32) or 32 kilobytes (FAT). On a 1 TB external hard drive select 64 kilobytes (NTFS).