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I have one of these 'Vantec NexStar LX - NST-475LX-BK' drive enclosures. It is a NAS device.

When I write a file to the device using eSata, or a SMB share I cannot write files over 4GB. I think this is because the drive is formatted with FAT32.

But when I access the device using FTP it doesn't matter. I can write files of any size. E.g. I wrote one on there last night which was 30GB.

Does this make any sense? Why? I guess the most important thing for me is data integrity.

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I contacted support, they said 'we are not using windows native Fat32'. What does this mean I wonder? It must be using some Fat32 variation which support bigger files, but it must still be compatible with windows. Makes me a bit nervious. Any ideas? –  peter Jun 9 '10 at 21:21
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2 Answers

If you want to store large size of data you have to use NTFS, but don't blame FAT32 its older system has its limitations.

Most portable devices e.g. flash memory and USB are typically FAT 32. I have been using this NAS device its great.

Sometimes has issues with network but e-Sata is great.

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I contacted support again. I didn't really get a straight answer, but based on what they said I can conclude the following,

The NAS drive has 4 interfaces, eSata, USB, SMB (e.g. \\nasdrive\folder\file), and FTP.

So eSata, and USB expose a Fat32 'interface' to the drive. That means I cannot write files larger than 4GB when using eSata or USB.

When I connect through FTP I connect through an FTP interface to the 'actual drive' which is a linux formatted drive. I guess something like ext3.

So it seems that Fat32 is a fake layer to make the drive compatible with windows when windows connects directly to the drive.

This also means when I use eSata or USB I can read files larger than 4GB if they are already on the drive.

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omg, that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard. who thought it'd be a good idea to make a nas that pretends its internal drives are FAT32?? (thanks for posting the update, tho. i'm not calling your post dumb; just the hardware design.) –  quack quixote Jun 10 '10 at 21:30
    
Well I cannot prove it completely. The support guy I was emailing said this 'The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4G and the format utility is from Linux'. But I definately remember the volume being Fat32 when I plugged in the eSata. The stuff above I just guessed based on his comments and the evidence using the device. –  peter Jun 11 '10 at 1:31
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