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Author Topic: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive  (Read 3927 times)

kyrathaba

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Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« on: September 01, 2011, 06:34:06 AM »
Didn't see this particular question covered in any of the other Macrium Reflect threads.

I've used Macrium Reflect on a Win7 laptop to create a backup image.  I had Reflect write the image to a 500Gb Memorex external drive, which apparently is formatted as FAT32.  Therefore, because of the FAT32 limitations, Reflect created multiple 4Gb images sequentially, rather than one larger image as it did on my NTFS MyBook that's attached to my desktop PC.

My question is, if ran another backup and had it write the image to my laptop's NTFS drive, it would create one large image file.  And if I then copied that to the Memorex drive, would that image be functional in the event that I needed to use it in an emergency?  In other words, if I copied a larger-than-4-GB image to a FAT32 drive, could it be accessed and used successfully in an emergency to restore my Windows partition?  Or, do I instead need to format the current FAT32 drive as NTFS and re-run Reflect, creating the backup on the newly formatted external drive?

I realize that the multiple images as they currently exist on the FAT32 drive can be used as-is with success.  I just prefer a single image file.

40hz

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 07:11:01 AM »
Under Windows the maximum size for a single file using FAT32 is 4GB. No getting around it. :)

Wikipedia has a very detailed (and unusually clear) article on the FAT filesystem here.

Quote
FAT32

In order to overcome the size limit of FAT16, while at the same time allowing DOS (disk operating system) real mode code to handle the format, and without reducing available conventional memory unnecessarily, Microsoft expanded the cluster size yet again, calling the new revision FAT32. Cluster values are represented by 32-bit numbers, of which 28 bits are used to hold the cluster number. The boot sector uses a 32-bit field for the sector count, limiting the FAT32 volume size to 2 TB for sector size 512; compare the size limits given below.[17][18]

FAT32 was introduced with Windows 95 OSR2, although reformatting was needed to use it, and DriveSpace 3 (the version that came with Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows 98) never supported it. Windows 98 introduced a utility to convert existing hard disks from FAT16 to FAT32 without loss of data. In the NT line, native support for FAT32 arrived in Windows 2000. A free FAT32 driver for Windows NT 4.0 was available from Winternals, a company later acquired by Microsoft. Since the acquisition the driver is no longer officially available.

The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 byte or 4 294 967 295 (232−1) bytes. This limit is a consequence of the file length entry in the directory table and would also affect huge FAT16 partitions with a sufficient sector size.[1] Video applications, large databases, and some other software easily exceed this limit. Larger files require another filesystem.[/quote]

 8)


kyrathaba

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 07:13:13 AM »
Thanks, 40hz.

Now I guess what I'm wondering is if the Memorex drive could be formatted as NTFS.  If it can, that would get around this issue, right?

40hz

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 07:31:46 AM »
Yes. Unless Macrium imposes a 4GB max filesize/segmentation rule for compatibility or technical reasons.

I could see them doing that to cut down on the number of support calls from people wondering why they can't get a 5Gb video file to fit on an empty 500Gb drive they just bought, not realizing most external drives come preformatted with FAT32, and what that means for filesizes.
 ;D

« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 07:36:50 AM by 40hz »

kyrathaba

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 07:32:30 AM »
I've successfully reformatted the 500Gb drive to NTFS, and am creating another image with Macrium Reflect Free.  I anticipate it will be a single file, and should work fine.

kyrathaba

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 07:34:10 AM »
Quote
Unless Macrium imposes a 4GB max filesize/segmentation rule to for compatibility or technical reasons.

I don't believe it does.  It didn't appear to do so when I created a backup of my desktop PC OS partition.

40hz

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 07:35:26 AM »
Groovy! Let us know how you make out.. :) :Thmbsup:


f0dder

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 10:23:13 AM »
I've successfully reformatted the 500Gb drive to NTFS, and am creating another image with Macrium Reflect Free.  I anticipate it will be a single file, and should work fine.
Next time, perhaps check out convert.exe :)
- carpe noctem

Stoic Joker

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 11:25:02 AM »
I've successfully reformatted the 500Gb drive to NTFS, and am creating another image with Macrium Reflect Free.  I anticipate it will be a single file, and should work fine.
Next time, perhaps check out convert.exe :)

convert.exe is great if you really need to save the data that's on the drive. But it's not going to guarantee an ideal cluster size unless the drive was prepped properly with the oformat utility (also in the support tools folder).

IIRC, it's not exactly fast/faster either (been a while (decade...) since I've had to use it).

f0dder

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 11:57:52 AM »
I've successfully reformatted the 500Gb drive to NTFS, and am creating another image with Macrium Reflect Free.  I anticipate it will be a single file, and should work fine.
Next time, perhaps check out convert.exe :)

convert.exe is great if you really need to save the data that's on the drive. But it's not going to guarantee an ideal cluster size unless the drive was prepped properly with the oformat utility (also in the support tools folder).
True, true - a format can be a better choice... moving data back to a freshly formatted drive also serves as a defrag :)

IIRC, it's not exactly fast/faster either (been a while (decade...) since I've had to use it).
It's been very fast all the times I've used it, basically only having to convert FS metadata. Sure, that can take a bit for huge filesystems, but definitely a lot less than moving data off and back. (OK, so you should always do a backup when messing with filesystems, so you only cut off 'moving back', but... 8))
- carpe noctem

kyrathaba

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Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 05:33:30 PM »
Thanks for mentioning convert.exe; I don't recall hearing of it before.