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FAT32 Cluster sizes >32kb


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#1 Mendayen

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Posted 26 December 2002 - 04:47 PM

Is it possible to boot WinXP from a drive that has been formatted with 64KB clusters? I believe I have tried it before but didn't test enough to make sure that the 64KB clusters were causing the problem. Also, is there software out there that can format partitions >32GB in FAT32 and will also allow me to set the cluster size of my choice?

How can I access the 128KB and 256KB cluster sizes mentioned in the formatting tool included with WinXP? It states that the sector size must be >512bytes. I read on this site that it is possible to change the sector size on some drives.

I am using a Maxtor D740X 40GB.

#2 sechs

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 02:21 AM

I'm pretty sure that Partition Magic will format FAT32 with 64k clusters; similar utilities should have the same abilities.

The only drives of which I know that can change their sector sizes are SCSI.

I wouldn't suggest changing your disk sector size, using cluster sizes larger than 16k, or using FAT with WinXP.

#3 Virtual Larry

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 03:18 AM

Is it possible to boot WinXP from a drive that has been formatted with 64KB clusters? I believe I have tried it before but didn't test enough to make sure that the 64KB clusters were causing the problem. Also, is there software out there that can format partitions >32GB in FAT32 and will also allow me to set the cluster size of my choice?

How can I access the 128KB and 256KB cluster sizes mentioned in the formatting tool included with WinXP? It states that the sector size must be >512bytes. I read on this site that it is possible to change the sector size on some drives.

I am using a Maxtor D740X 40GB.


Changing the sector size of a device was pretty much a SCSI-only option, AFAIK. You probably also need to perform a mid-level format after doing that, at least for magnetic-media devices. (I have seen optical SCSI devices that support a 512/2048-byte sector size via a jumper setting.)

A standard FAT-32 aware Win9x boot disk will allow creation of FAT32 partitions greater than 32GB in size. Certain versions of FDISK and FORMAT will also allow setting the cluster size of the resultant filesystem using an undocumented switch or two.

My biggest question is: why? Depending on your requirements, there may be far better solutions than to create totally-non-standard filesystem configurations, since as creating an application-specific "raw space" partition. Some (most?) high-end audio/video-capture and database applications support doing something like that.



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