FAT or FAT32?




I just got a new microSD card and it came formatted with the FAT filesystem. I was wondering if it would be better to format it as FAT32. I thought that FAT 32 was considerably better but since my last SD card (512 mb SanDisk) corrupted before it should have I’m hesitant to do anything that might mess it up.



I recommend not formatting that microSD card on your computer. Many devices will refuse to read any SD or microSD card that’s been formatted on a computer system regardless of the file system. Thus, if your end use of that microSD card is a PDA or a digital camera, I strongly recommend formatting it in the actual device that you’re going to use the card in.


I’ve never had a problem formating to FAT32 on any of my SD cards or my USB thumb drives with my XP Pro SP2.


The problem here is compatibility with some types of devices other than a PC. As I said, many digital cameras will not even read an SD card which had been formatted in a computer, especially with FAT32 (in these cases, the camera will simply detect that card as “unformatted” and thus require you to format it in the camera itself) - in fact, most SD card devices support only FAT for capacities under 2GB.


That maybe correct but i have never had a problem formating my SD cards or thumb drives with my pc. Never! With 3 cameras and 4 USB drives.


You can download a special sd formater from sd card website.

As long as the device supports it I would go with Fat32, on the Nintendo DS you sometimes get faster access with Fat16 thought so it might be a little bit faster. (But then the block size on the fat16 filesystems are set much higher so might be only because of that, thought I don’t see why that matters so much on an electronic thing.)


Unfortunately, neither SanDisk nor Lexar offers such an SD card formatting utility available for download. (And yes, I had tried to download a Sandisk formatting utility - only to find out that it is compatible only with that brand’s “keychain”-type flash drives such as the Cruzer Micro, and is not compatible at all with memory cards used in card readers.) Those two companies say nothing other than the usual “that SD card should be formatted only in the actual device that you’re going to use that card in” advice.




Got that. But it seems to format all cards up to 2GB with FAT, not FAT32, with my reader. In my case, the choice between FAT and FAT32 is linked directly to the capacity of the card.