I'm writing an application running on Windows XP And Windows Vista (both are 32 bit version) which has to write a very large file on disk, on a NTSF partition.

What is the maximum allowed file size for NTFS partition? Is it the same for both Windows XP and Windows Vista?


Basically there are 3 factors that limit the maximum partition size in Windows NTFS (or any other OS):

  • operating system type 32-bit OS supports up to 2.1 Tb disks (so virtually you can create a partition of that size)
  • the block size used during partition creation (64 KB limits it to 16 TB)
  • type of "system firmware": BIOS supports up to 2Tb, while UEFI works with 3Tb HDDs and even more

So 32-bit XP or Vista are limited by 2Tb per partition size.

Some companies, such as Seagate, tried to create a workaround for this problem, try to read about it here: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/beyond-2tb/


As designed, the maximum NTFS file size is 16 EB (16 × 10246 bytes) minus 1 kB or 18,446,744,073,709,550,592 bytes. As implemented, the maximum NTFS file size is 16 TB minus 64 kB or 17,592,185,978,880 bytes.

It is also mentioned in the Link, that the NTFS version hasn't changed since Windows XP.

The NTFS v3.1 on-disk format is unchanged from the introduction of Windows XP and is used in Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.



Given the limits that are inherent to NTFS, the only thing that matters is how much of the drive windows XP/Vista can see at once.

Whatever size you see, you can fill it with just one file.


three partition the disk is the same size in three ways, each 32 GB FAT32, NTFS and UNIX formatted. Each of these partitions with a large file that is stored in the root directory is completely filled. The exact size of the file for each file system in KB calculate. To simplify the calculations, the following assumptions apply.

  • Please expand your answer to at least include the assumptions you mention. As it stands it does not look like an answer to the question, in particular FAT32 and UNIX formats are not mentioned in the question and 32GB is much smaller than the max file size for NTFS – DavidPostill Oct 15 '14 at 10:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.