USB flash drives are often formatted with Windows FAT32 file system. This is supported by all major operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X. In addition, devices like printers easily cope with the said file system.
Unfortunately, FAT32 has a decisive disadvantage: It supports only files with a maximum size of 4 gigabytes. For large files such as videos, heavy-duty applications, and the like, such a limitation can be problematic.
But you don’t have to worry. The solution is simple: First, copy all data from the USB stick to the hard disk of the PC. And second, format the USB flash drive using a different file system.
To do this, go to Computer or My Computer (depending on the OS you’re using). Right-click the USB-drive and select Format. In the new window, two options are available under “File System.” Let’s take a look at the two:
NTFS: This system knows no limit on the file size. However, it is not as widely supported as FAT32. Except for Windows, even new versions of Linux, Mac OS X 10.3 and higher data can only read data but not write. In addition, the system for USB sticks is less suitable, since it partially slower than FAT32 and information can be lost when data is written off the memory accidentally. Bottom line, this file system has some nifty uses especially if you work using other operating systems.
exFAT: This young file system is optimized for flash memory and thus also for USB sticks. exFAT is currently only supported by Windows XP, Vista and 7. For Windows XP users, you need a specific update to work with this file system, which you can download with Webcode exfatxp. All things considered, exFAT is the best file system to choose especially if you don’t really work with other operating system.