Computers and Technology

I had to convert and reformat an exFAT drive to NTSF

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    • #333911
      Gryneos
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      because the exFAT was allocating way too much space for files. Actually, I had to redo this many times because every single time the new drive continued to act like an exFAT drive and allocated too much space to small-sized files. I used things like the format function in Windows Explorer, the command prompt, and finally a partitioning program called AOMEI Partition Assistant with the help of another friend online.

      Well, the last technique mostly worked in that a couple of folders of data copied over to test gave great results on the first one and horrible results on the second one. The first one has a “size on disk” almost equal to the “size” category (size = 512 mb, size-on-disk = 457 mb). The second one was a larger test from an original folder-size of 23.5 gb. The size-on-disk with it inflated to over double, or 50.8 gb.

      I have deleted the partition, renamed, reformatted (and with an allocation size of 2k, the smallest offered), and still it’s acting as if it can only be exFAT. I had planned on moving two older drives over to this larger 6 Tb drive, but after moving about 75% of one drive over and discovering that the larger drive was almost full, I can’t do that until this is resolved.

      How do I fix this? It’s driving me insane.

      (and I will ignore calls for me to switch to Linux or Apple. I’m a PC/Windows person only)

      ****

      **** It appears to have fixed itself. I did nothing more to try and make it work correctly. Now it’s showing properly compressed results. ****
      (I can post a comparison of screenshots of the results I got hours apart, if you want to see them.)

      (Also, at this point I don’t trust the issue to be considered resolved, so am leaving this open until I have added more data to test.)

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #333981
      mrdmk
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      • Total Posts: 1,884

      During a bit of housecleaning today, I uncovered an old USB hard drive I hadn’t used in a couple years. I decided to plug it in, check the contents, and see if it contained anything I still needed.

      As it turned out, the drive was filled with a bunch of old, unwanted files. Great, I thought, I’ll just delete them and put the drive back into use for other things.

      Just one problem: when I tried to erase the files, Windows popped up an error message about the drive being write-protected. Uh, okay. Not sure why that would be, but whatever. Guess I’ll just go ahead and format the drive. That’ll clear everything out.

      Whoops! Same error. Oh, Windows, you baffling, unpredictable, endlessly annoying operating system, you. (FYI, I’m running Windows 7 64-bit. The drive was most likely formatted using a 32-bit version of Windows XP. Maybe that had something to do with it.)

      LINK–PCWorld, Restore Access to a Write-Protected Hard Drive

      Need more info on OS, internal or external drive, how many partitions, and blah, blah, blah???

      If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

    • #334000
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      Okay, thanks, I’ll keep your info on hand. But as I amended to my post, for whatever weird reason, it seems to have fixed itself. I did absolutely nothing more to the drive after I posted. Three hours later, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do instead of how it was inflating the allocation space.

      I notice that when I do a properties of a folder (from the data copied over so far) it is marked “read only” yet I can modify, save, and delete files within it anyway. So, I don’t know why it’s marked read-only when it’s still allowing me to write to it.

      At the moment, I don’t ‘seem’ to need any help on this, but if the issue pops up again, I’ll come back to this thread. If you want to try and figure it out anyway, here is my system info (from Speccy). Also, this 6 Tb drive was purchased new less than a month ago. Oh, no partitions on the drive (or actually, “one” because I learned that drives are one partition already, even if they are not partitioned into multiples.)

      Operating System – Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

      CPU – Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz 41 °C
      Ivy Bridge 22nm Technology

      RAM – 16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798MHz (9-9-9-24)

      Motherboard – Dell Inc. 084J0R (CPU 1) 28 °C

      Graphics
      SE2717H/HX (1920×1080@59Hz)
      SE2717H/HX (1920×1080@59Hz)
      Intel HD Graphics (Dell)

      Storage
      447GB SATA SSD (SATA (SSD)) 33 °C
      5589GB Western Digital WD My Book 25EE USB Device (USB (SATA) ) 45 °C
      2794GB Western Digital WD My Book 1230 USB Device (USB (SATA) ) 42 °C
      2794GB Western Digital WD My Book 1230 USB Device (USB (SATA) ) 46 °C
      3726GB Western Digital WD My Book 25EE USB Device (USB (SATA) ) 45 °C
      2794GB Western Digital WD My Book 25EE USB Device (USB (SATA) ) 44 °C

      Optical Drives – 
      HL-DT-ST BD-RE WH16NS40
      MATSHITA DVD+-RW SW830

      Audio – 
      Conexant SmartAudio HD

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    • #334009
      mrdmk
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      • Total Posts: 1,884

      Actually, looking into your problem, I discovered the problem with another computer of mine.

      NTFS of Windows 7 is not directly compatible NTFS of Windows 10. Windows 10 can read and write to the Widows 7 NTFS but it is not stable.

      So what this means, if you did an update from Windows 7 to Windows 10, your computer will likely crash within a month which it did.

      To go from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to 10, you need to use the clean install with a format. Otherwise expect problems, like Windows 10 forgetting what is on the drive.

      As far as the read only transfers, it is a problem (a bug or a feature depending on how look at it) with Windows 7 NTFS.

      If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

    • #334013
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      I think it’s free, too. https://www.ccleaner.com/speccy

      This is an external drive, and I do plan on upgrading to 10, but only after I’ve built a new computer. I recently replaced the old drive on this Dell with a 480gb SSD, and figure I’ll probably just re-use it in the new build with a clean install of Win10. Are you saying that my current external drives won’t be recognized even if I plug them into a new machine running version 10? That would be a problem because I have a lot of media on these externals.

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #334022
      mrdmk
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      • Total Posts: 1,884

      Excuse the screen capture, needed to keep the table. Link below:

      LINK–Wikipedia, NTSF

      If it is an external drive that is used sparely and properly ejected, may not see a problem. As you said, the files are read only at this point. Leave them on the drive, there will minimal to no problems. When saving to the disk, use new file names.

      If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

    • #334031
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      I recognize the “dirty” part as I’ve read about that recently. It’s a weird thing Windows does to drives, or that has been written into the software of drives. You’d think they’d have a self-repair on simplistic things like that. Also, I’m surprise that Windows 10 isn’t backwards compatible with pretty much everything that’s come before. I don’t see how that would take up much space on C-drive just so people can easily transfer data from old to new. As the page states, it’s a logfile. Its size would likely be measured in kb versus mb or above. That’s a compatibility annoyance that shouldn’t have to take place.

      But, I found a page that has methods of solving this should I have problems on a new Win-10 system:
      https://www.windowscentral.com/how-troubleshoot-and-fix-external-drives-when-not-detected-windows-10

      I think the AOMEI Partition Assistant program will do all of the fixes mentioned. It let me undo a partition on another external that I had accidentally made with the Disk Management program.

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #334459
      Hobbit709
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      • Total Posts: 1,813

      From my 4 Tb external drive-which was down to 199 Gb free space-to my new 5 Tb external drive and then made a copy of that onto another 5 Tb external drive. Was all my media files-movies, TV shows, music, etc. Both my new drives I formatted as ExFAT so that a Mac could easily read them if anyone wanted a copy of my stuff.

      It was all sorts of file sizes from 7 Gb+ down to a few Kb. Took about 40 hours total time to make both copies but total data  was the same on both the old-which was formatted in NTFS, and the new-which were formatted in ExFAT.

      I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing.

    • #334516
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      I saw your post on that, and it made me again think of in the past how people would talk of “ghosting” a drive or making an image. I never understood that concept nor trusted it to be a true copy of the data. If I had another 6Tb drive, I’d do something like that. I have seen a WD-8Tb at a fairly good price, but that will just have to be a future purchase at this point.

      Is direct copying still the best method for going from one drive to another? I’m currently using that method, though I have discovered that if I put all of the files into rars that they move over faster than the individual files and folders. Just span your sections over multiple rars/zips. I’m sure you know stuff like that, but thought I’d share that technique for anyone else reading this.

      One thing that came to mind recently after our discussion, @mrdmk , is that if I were to have a new external just for the Windows-10 machine, and networked it with this older machine, would I be able to just move the files from the old drives to the new one over the network? Maybe that’s a better work-around, if it would work. Probably would be slower, but at least the loss of data wouldn’t be risked.

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #334630
      Hobbit709
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      • Total Posts: 1,813

      but usually only when I clone a C: drive. I never keep any data files on my OS drive.

      For data files I just do a copy and paste, since I don’t necessarily want to copy all the data.

      I use a 250 Gb SSD for my system drive and then I have a 2 TB secondary drive that I keep my working files on. I usually partition that drive into Data, Music, Video, and misc. My movies, documentaries, TV shows, and cartoons I keep on a portable external drive so that I can move it around to different computers. My music barely fits on a 256 Gb flash drive.

      I usually have 3 or 4 computers running around the house so if I have something intensive processing on one, I can do other things.

      I’m still running Windows 7 Pro on most of them but my laptop has Win 10 Pro since it came with 8 and I got tired of the hassles. You can make 10 look and feel almost like 7 if you set it up right at the beginning.

      I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing.

    • #334643
      Gryneos
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 955

      on drives and such. I’m just copying and pasting, too, then keeping some of the rar-files on another older drive as a backup.

      I’ve seen you and others here talk about all the tweaks and helpful programs to use for making Win-10 work properly. Maybe y’all can do a separate post listing/explaining all of those steps. I’ve seen blogs talking about that, but everyone has different methods. I’m probably a couple of months away from building a new system (something I’ve never done from scratch) and will need to know all about setting up Win-10.

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    • #334692
      Babel 17
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      • Total Posts: 3,424

      Even with Windows, the smaller the size, the less the wasted space. The larger the size, possibly more speed for writing to disk.

      But the default sizes are usually good with Windows, and I can only imagine changing it if I was dealing with many gigabytes of small files, and I was concerned with space. And even with humongous sized videos today’s drives can scan them no problem, at fast speeds. So I’d stick with the default allocation size even for a drive with just video captures.

      https://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmagic/allocation-unit-size-exfat.html

      So we get this conclusion: if the size of the files you want to store on the drive is large, then a large cluster size is recommended, which will increase the data read-write speed. If you plan to store lots of small files, it is advisable to set a small cluster size, which can improve the disk space utilization.

      If you have no idea about your file size and unit, Default is also a good choice. It will choose a proper cluster size for your drive based on the capacity. For example, according to Microsoft, the executing standard of default cluster size for exFAT is:

      • 7MB – 256MB: 4KB
      • 256MB – 32GB: 32KB
      • 32GB – 256TB: 128KB
      • >256TB: Not supported
    • #334694
      Babel 17
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      • Total Posts: 3,424

      That was always “fun” to see until I found out it was usually just temporary, and self correcting. I own a disk defragmenter that shows that. It’s called PerfectDisk, by Raxco, who are part of the Microsoft Partner Program. IIRC some free defraggers also will offer a legend that shows the MFT, and Boot files, Excluded files, and so on.

      I don’t know if that happened to you, or even if exFat even has that, but it’s a common complaint.

    • #334697
      Babel 17
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      • Total Posts: 3,424

      Even the Recycle Bin for each drive can reserve a sizeable number of gigabytes unless you lower the default.

    • #334772
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      I bought the drive new, unaware that exFAT would give me such a headache. I quickly read up about allocation-file sizes and that the only way to change that was to reformat it. Also, reformatting as exFAT wouldn’t let me go below 64kb. That’s still too much. Most of the files I am adding to this drive are images (a good percentage representing sequential screenshots for making gifs) followed by FLAC/WAV files, and then VOB/mpeg files. Small allocation-size is definitely what I needed.

      As an example, I was moving the files from an existing 4-Tb drive that was about 3/4-full and adding the contents of an additional 3-TB drive that was about 2/3-full. I wanted to be able to format both of those to use as backups. However, about two-thirds of the way through moving over the contents of the 4-TB drive, the 6-TB was almost full! How could that be? That’s when I discovered the info about exFAT’s default allocation-size being 256kb, which seemed about right from how 2.5-Tb had almost filled a 6-Tb drive. I had to take everything off again and then read up on all this stuff.

      I managed to find a partition program (AOMEI Partition Assitant) that helped immensely, but only after I gotten help with another friend on Discord. He downloaded and tried the program, only his example showed that he was getting minimum allocation-sizes of 512-bytes (or maybe 256-bt as I don’t remember.) He figured that is only allowed on smaller drives, like with his 2-Tb. My 6-Tb would only let me go down to 2kb. So, I used that, and reformatted.

      Like you say, Windows must have inflated something because I wasn’t getting the kind of equal transfer sizes between the old drive and the new one. I don’t know enough about drives to know whether it was the Master File Table or not, but it did self-correct. It’s been working fine ever since.

      But, I’m done. I’m not doing any more reformatting until I have a new machine with a large enough external-drive (probably 8-Tb) formatted for Win10-NTSF (as mrdmk suggested) so I can transfer to it over wifi or ethernet-cable (since it appears that Win-10 is not backwards compatible with previous versions’ stored-data.)

      Thanks for your help and suggestions. I’ll bookmark this thread and use the information in future formatting jobs 🙂

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

    • #334802
      Hobbit709
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      • Total Posts: 1,813

      The 4 was formatted in NTFS and the 5 is ExFat.

      The difference in used space  if I subtract the files I didn’t copy is less than a couple of megabytes. I don’t know why you had such a huge difference.

      I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing.

    • #334815
      Gryneos
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      • Total Posts: 955

      @Hobbit709 but it’s been an almost month-long headache. It’s working the way I want it to now, and I have no idea why or how it fixed itself.

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

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