This is a spin-off from another question I have regarding backup. I'm encountering trouble copying large files (above 4GB) to my USB HDD (same in english). I believe that this is a limitation with the FAT32 filesystem.

I'm inclined to format the HDD to NTFS, since allows me to copy larger files, right? But I want to know if there's any reason i shouldn't do this. Something tells me there's a reason that the drive was formatted to FAT32 from the factory.

I use the HDD with windows machines primarily, and backup savegames from my PS3.

So, are there any good reasons for me not to convert to NTFS?

  • Conclusion: convert to NTFS and use pen-drive for FAT32-related stuff – pavsaund Jul 24 '09 at 12:15

You need to make sure that any device that will access the hard drive can read the NTFS file system.

With Windows it's not an issue as all versions from XP onwards can.

The question then becomes can the PS3 access a NTFS drive? Judging from the first link (admittedly from 2007) that turned up from a search for "PS3 NTFS" I would say not.

  • This essentially answered my Q. I'm going to move all the PS3 stuff over to a pen-drive and use this with my machines. Thanks – pavsaund Jul 24 '09 at 12:13

You are right. FAT32 can only handle files up to 4GB in size as per this article about FAT32 limitations on the MS web site.

NTFS is the way to go unless, as another answer states, PS3 cannot access NTFS formatted drives.

UPDATE: some research on the subject seems to indicate that the PS3 will not recognise your HDD if you format it to NTFS.


You can always create 2 partitions: A small one formatted in FAT32 to be accessed by your PS3 and one big one formatted in NTFS where you can store large files (> 4GB).

  • this is a possibility, but I think I'd like to keep my external drive as one partition. at least for the time-being – pavsaund Jul 24 '09 at 12:11

Driver was formatted to FAT32 in the factory, because FAT32 does work on linux and others "no" Microsoft OS.

With NTFS you haven't problems, but you can use only with Windows OS.

  • 4
    Modern Linuxes and Mac OS X will use NTFS without a glitch, however it won't work with home appliances, set-top boxes, game consoles, etc. – wazoox Jul 24 '09 at 12:40
  • I argue the without glitches part... but yes, it will work 90% of the time. – Matthew Scharley Aug 27 '09 at 4:21
  • Mac OS X has read-only access to NTFS by default; however there are free drivers available on Apple's site to add full write support. – Ether Aug 14 '10 at 22:51

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