I have external HDD that around 7 years old and decided to reformat it. I heard that exFAT is good for flash drives and keeps sectors alive longer, do this applies for external hard drive also? Any benefits from using exFAT on external HDD, instead of NTFS? I don't need file and folders access control of NTFS.


exFAT is the new generation of FAT32 file system. it's better and larger limitation (16 exabyte file size limitation), it allows you to have bigger allocation and partitions size. so yah, you'll see more improvements on using it. Also, the one thing that I like is that exFAT is readable / writable on all systems, which means if you have Windows and you try to use the external HDD on Mac (or the opposite way) you won't have to reformat the drive so the OS can give you a full access on it !.

exFAT will give you better access control than the NTFS, better performance than the other FAT and NTFS systems. Best solution for external storage especially for flash-based system.

Read More about exFAT Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4

Would I recommend it for you ? Defenately YES.

  • 2
    -1. Please provide actual sources for all these claims. I very much doubt that ExFAT is faster or has better access control than NTFS. – Daniel B Oct 9 '14 at 15:00
  • Sure, I added the sources to the original post above, you can read more about it. – iSR5 Oct 9 '14 at 20:26
  • Still, nothing about ACLs and the like. While the filesystem might support it, Windows doesn’t. Performance improvement claims are mostly based on theory. I haven’t seen any benchmark supporting them. exFAT is good for interoperability with OS X. That’s it. – Daniel B Oct 9 '14 at 20:50
  • It's also worth noting that exFAT support under linux is spotty at best. Ironically, NTFS is more widely supported, if only because it has been around a lot longer. – Fopedush Oct 9 '14 at 20:57

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