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Maxtor OneTouch External Drive and Huge Files

Maxtor OneTouch External Drive and Huge Files

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I bought the Maxtor OneTouch external HDD, a 200 GB beauty, to try to manage my increasibly unmanageable number of VPCs that I need to run at any time.  The typical VPC that I use seems to run somewhere around 5 GB - 6 GB, depending on what I did to the image.

Every time I try to write the .VHD file to the external drive, I get a "disk full" error.  I bought a USB 2.0 card for my laptop (highly recommended, this thing speeds up USB transfers SO much!)  I thought that it was possibly some weirdness with the transfer going over USB 1.1 and being so slow.  The USB 2.0 card definitely speeds it up, but I still get the error.

After looking for awhile, I found the answer on Maxtor's web site:

Windows will report this error when writing to a file that has reached the maximum size for that File System.

FAT32 has a 4GB (gigabyte) limit.
NTFS has a 1TB (terabyte) limit.

1394 and USB Personal Storage drives are pre-formatted in FAT32. Therefore, if the backup file is larger than 4GB, a file size error will occur.

Great.  Except that I have already written a huge amount of data to this thing.  I found documentation for convert.exe to convert from FAT32 to NTFS, hopingly without losing my data.  Crossing my fingers....


Update:  Whew! Worked like a champ.  Convert.exe converted to NTFS, no problems (although I had to run chkdsk on the volume first), and now I can copy files greater than 4 GB.  Sweet.

  • You know I would be interested in later on how you find the performance on this drive. I have had one for about a month now and not really used it until all the beta 2 release stuff this week. So I have been building up VPC's on that thing to go whole hog on the beta two stuff. Unfortunately I find the performance unusually slow. Specifically with disk writes and so on.

    An Example is Open my computer see it listed there as Drive G I double click on it and fast as a flash displays all the root directories there on G:\. Now I double click on a directory and it can actually take sometimes up to 5 seconds for that directory to actually open to display my 2 files in there. Sometimes firing up a VPC it takes about 5 seconds for it to even respond and start booting. Now it doesn't do this with any of my internal drive just this one. I have double checked and updated bios and drivers and everything I can think of and I know my 4 gigs of ram and hyperthreaded CPU can handle the load. Just seems wierd.
  • I had the same thing happen to me when I purchased my first external drive. Ever since then the first thing I do when I buy one is format it NTFS.
  • Ditto here - after running into it once, I'm just doing the NTFS conversion up front. I thought that while waiting for the conversion I should re-read Helen Custer's booklet on NTFS. ;)
  • I give a lot of demos using a lot of our technologies, and I don't want to try to configure my laptop...
  • Since joining Microsoft, I have been hardware challenged, putting it lightly.
    I joined Microsoft 2 years...
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