USB Flash Drives
Why are they formatted in FAT
USB flash drives and USB Jump Drives when you buy one is normally pre
formatted as FAT 16. Sometimes even in FAT 32 on some brands. You might ask yourself why they format
them in FAT 16 and not in FAT 32 or NTFS. Good question and let me tell you, I also thought about it my
self. So I research it and ran a few tests to figure it out.
what it all boils down to:
FAT 16 formatting is faster at write/read files than FAT 32 or
There will be less read/writes when formatted in FAT 16 and the largest
number of read/writes is with NTFS formatting.
The chances of losing any data is less likely with FAT 16 or FAT 32 when
unplugging the drive, without using the "Safe Removal" option in the system tray.
NTFS formatting does a caching action and if you unplug the drive before
the cache is completed/cleared....you will have data loss.
NTFS is slower when writing a large number of small files to the flash
Only format the flash drive to NTFS if you plan to write and read files
that are 4gb or bigger in size. You will see some increase in speed dealing with larger
So what it boils down to is you are best to leave it formatted as FAT 16 or format
it to FAT 32 if you like too. Always use the Safe Removal method (see screen image below) that is located in
your system tray. This will help to ensure that your chances of losing any data when unplugging the drive is
nearer to zero.