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On the Windows 7 Format wizard, there is always a file system that is noted as (Default).

Screenshot

Why is there a default file system? What is it exactly?

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'Default' in this case is 'decide for me depending on the type of device' - where type of device is being either an internal or external drive and whether its a high or low capacity device.

If you do it on a memory stick or external hard disk, it'll recommend FAT32 or exFAT in most cases for compatibility with other devices.

If you do it on an internal hard disk, it'll recommend NTFS.

  • What do you mean by "type of device"? I have USB sticks that have FAT as Default file system, while others have FAT32. But they're all USB sticks. So what differences these devices? Their size? Or is the manufacturer choosing the default file system? – Otiel May 20 '13 at 13:37
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    If you reformatted them, I'd expect Windows to chose FAT32/exFAT for all external devices. I could imagine that drives smaller than 2GB it might pick FAT instead though (2GB being the maximum size for FAT) – PhonicUK May 20 '13 at 14:00

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