Top positive review
215 people found this helpful
Comes formatted Fat32. Must reformat to NTFS to store files larger than 4gb
on January 19, 2013
When I got this drive, I tried to copy a large file to it, but it wouldn't copy. I kept getting an uninformative error message. I eventually learned (from my own research, since nothing about this was stated in the box) that this was because this drive comes formatted in the Fat32 file system, which allows a maximum file size of 4gb. If you want to store larger files on this drive, you must change the format to the NTFS file system.
To do this, you right click on the drive letter in Windows Explorer and choose "Format" from the menu. A dialogue box will open, and you must choose various options. Select the NTFS file system. If you choose "quick format," the formatting takes only a few seconds. I think if you want to check the drive for errors during the process, you should not check quick format, but the formatting takes much longer. From what I have read, it is usually recommended to use quick format unless you have reason to believe the drive is damaged.
Any files that are on your usb drive will be deleted during the formatting process, so copy them to another drive before you format.
A number of reviewers say they have not been able to format the drive to NTFS. Initially, I was unable to do it also. When I tried to format to NTFS, I right clicked on the drive and then clicked "Format," but the dialogue box did not allow me to choose any options and I could not change the file system to NTFS. So, I went to the Sandisk website for support. On their website, they say that in order to format the drive, you must first do the following:
Optimize the flash drive for performance.
1. Plug in the device to the PC.
2. Double-click My Computer.
3. Right-click on the flash drive, then select Properties.
4. Click the Hardware tab.
5. Select the SanDisk Cruzer USB Device disk drive, then click Properties.
6. Click the Policies tab.
7. Select Optimize for performance, then click OK.
The link to the Sandisk page is: [...]
After I did this, I was still initially unable to change the format. However, after I closed all my open Windows Explorer windows, and then reopened one (so I could right click on the drive), it allowed me to format the usb drive to NTFS.
Please note the following information from their website. First, a Mac computer can read files from a usb drive that uses the NTFS file system, but not write to it. (However, I understand that software is available that enables a Mac to write to a drive that is formatted NTFS, so this should not be a problem.) Second, after you do the 7 steps above, you will have to use Windows' "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. If you don't, you may lose some data. It's possible that after you change to NTFS, you can undo the 7 steps, and not have to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. I don't know for sure.
Nothing about this Fat32 vs. NTFS formatting issue, nor the file size restriction of Fat32, nor the 7 steps that apparently must be taken in order to format the drive is stated in the box. I think they should include this information. For failure to do so, I deducted one star from this review. From a hardware standpoint, this seems like a good usb drive.