I have a microSD card with a FAT16 file partition and I'd like to add some files to it. How can I put files onto the FAT16 partition of a microSD card with Windows 7?

Unfortunately my windows box will not let me edit the FAT16 partition. I can see the files using DiskInternals Linux Reader:

enter image description here

I'd like to write to the FAT 16 Volume 1 (NO NAME) Drive shown on the mid-left. The properties box refers to the Volume 1 58.12Gb Linux native drive. Note, when I try to access the SD card with windows I am initially greeted with this:

You need to format the disk in Drive E: before you can use it

  • Why do you use FAT16? – phuclv Aug 6 '16 at 8:49

Windows 7 is supposed to support FAT16 volumes for both read and writes. I have experienced some unexplained oddities, however.

Note that FAT16 volumes can have a maximum of 65,356 files and the volume cannot exceed 4GB. Similarly, each file is limited to a maximum file size of 4GB.

Although this MS TechNet article dates back to Windows XP, it describes the limits to the filesystems, and the differences between them, quite well.

  • 2
    Agreed. 58.12 GB does not fit within FAT16 limits when using typical traditional (half-KB) sector size; 4GB is the limit. (micro)SD cards can't be that large either, and typically use FAT16. ((micro)SDHC goes from 4GB to 32GB and is typically FAT32, and (micro)SDXC supports larger drives with exFAT.) I suspect the question asker (original poster) may have a smaller device that is improperly partitioned or formatted, resulting in a false size being reported. – TOOGAM Aug 6 '16 at 6:08

Windows (even MS-DOS) can write on a FAT16 volume. You are trying to write files on a Linux native partition (as you can see in the picture) and Windows cannot natively read or write on it unless you format it previously to FAT-something or NTFS.

To use the partition from Windows you can:

  1. Backup your files using DiskInternals Linux Reader to your HD, format the partition and recover the files. Then you will be able to add more files.
  2. Install a rw driver for Windows. Read this question to learn more.
  • I need to write to the FAT16 partition shown on the mid-left of the image. The Linux-Native pproperties box refers to the other partition... I'll update question to make clearer. – atomh33ls Jul 6 '16 at 11:25

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