“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.

Search Utilities

There are two programs I use for searching my system. One searches for files and folders, the other searches within files.


Voidtool’s Everything is a free program that has little effect on system resources. Its icon sits in the system tray. I use it everyday, sometimes repeatedly. What I like most about is its instantaneous response as I enter search text. Here’s a screenshot for a simple query:

Everything results
Everything results

It provides results that are progressively refined as the search text is typed in. If you want to find all files of a particular type, e.g. mp4, search for *.mp4. If you have multiple criteria, say all files named “john” and “mary”, just enter “john mary” (the search is case insensitive). There are other options, too.

It works by indexing all your files, including mapped network files, when it is first installed. It does this remarkably quickly.


Whereas Everything finds files and folders, Notepad++ finds text strings within files. It is free and the search function is quick and simple to use.

Start by selecting Search from the menu and clicking Find in Files…

Find in Files...
Find in Files…

Choose a search term and location. The search can include sub-directories, as shown here:

Notepad++ Search screen
Notepad++ Search screen

Click Find All.

Notepad++ search results
Notepad++ search results


Each file containing the search term is highlighted in green, with the individual entries listed below with line numbers to make it easier to locate them.

Click on any highlighted line to be shown that file.