“File Too Large for Destination File System”

This message came up today. I needed to transfer an 8GB file to a USB drive I’d just bought. The new drive had stacks of space, so it didn’t make sense to be told the drive wasn’t large enough.

A quick check of the USB drive’s properties supplied the explanation. It was using FAT32 rather than NTFS. FAT32 file sizes are limited to 4GB. (FAT = File Allocation Table; NTFS = New Technology File System.)

I’m surprised that manufacturers still use the old FAT32 file system for devices with today’s large capacities. However, it’s not difficult to convert them to NTFS. Microsoft provides a conversion utility for that purpose and it’s easy to use.

Go to the Start menu and in Search enter cmd.exe. This will bring up the Command window. Enter convert x: /fs:ntfs where x: is the drive letter of the target file.

In this example, drive J:  is to be converted:

Convert file system example
Convert file system example

The files are not affected by the conversion.

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