IT Questions and Answers :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Which of these files will not fit in a 32GB flashdrive formatted as FAT32?

Which of these files will not fit in a 32GB flashdrive formatted as FAT32?

  • 10 .msi files with 1000MB each
  • A .zip file with 1024MB
  • 3 .tar.gz files with 5GB each
  • All of them would fit just fine 
Which of these files will not fit in a 32GB flashdrive formatted as FAT32?

EXPLANATION

Since your flash drive is formatted with the FAT32 file system, any file that is larger than 4GB will not be placed there. This type of a file system has a built-in limitation on the size of the files that it may contain. Although the total size of the files that you can copy to a FAT32 drive could be as large as 2TB (or the physical capacity of the drive, whichever is smaller), the size of each individual file may not exceed 4GB.

This limitation may sound silly: why would anyone design a system that would not allow for the larger files? The problem is, when the FAT32 file system was designed (that was back in the days of Windows 95), no one anticipated that we would have such large files in use today. Or, maybe the designers hoped that by the time such large files became common, the use of the FAT32 system would be replaced by more modern systems.

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