USB drives are extremely convenient to use for carrying data around. They come in various capacity options, and easy to slip into your pocket or handbag, and they're far more durable than physical disks such as CDs, DVDs, and BDs. The only challenge with USB drives, however, is to know what file system to use when formatting them. This is especially important when holding big files or making bootable install disk.
To Format SD card to FAT32 in Mac OS, follow below instructions: 1. Connect the SD card to the Mac OS X computer. Search for Disk Utility in Launchpad and open it. Select the Drive and click Erase. Enter the new name (OPTIONAL). Windows (Drives 32 GB and Smaller): Back up anything on the drive you want to save. How to format 64 GB SD card to FAT32 on Mac 1. Using Disk utility. If you are using operating system X, a simple method to Format SD card is by using Disk utility. Using MAC command line. In some of the cases, the above-mentioned process is not able to perform well.
The three most popular ones for formatting a USB drive are FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT, all of which are compatible with Windows-based computers as well as other devices. Let's look at each of these in detail and then get into how to format your USB drive with the appropriate file system on a Windows 10 PC.
I format the SD card as FAT32 giving it the name SDCARD using the following command: $ sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 SDCARD MBRFormat /dev/disk2. Sudo gives me super user rights. Diskutil calls the disk utility program. EraseDisk is the command for formating. FAT32 sets the file system. SDCARD is the to be given name of my choice.
File Allocation Table 32, shortened to FAT32, was introduced with Windows 95 and is one of the oldest of the Windows file systems in use today. It is also the most widely used file system in the world because of its compatibility with multiple devices like smart TVs and media players.
However, it has one limitation in that you can't store file sizes that are larger than 4GB. That's a hard limit so even if you have a file like a Windows 10 ISO that's about 4.1GB, you can't store it on a USB drive that has been formatted with the FAT32 file system. This file system is generally recommended if you need to use the USB drive with different types of hardware because of its wide compatibility.
NTFS is a Microsoft format that debuted with Windows NT, but it was only made available in consumer versions of Windows since Windows XP. The NT File system is the default one that your hard drive is formatted with when you install Windows. It offers several features that are neither found in FAT32 or exFAT, such as a change journal for recovery after errors or crashes, security using file permissions, encryption support, and more.
The biggest advantage is that the partition and file size limits are extremely high, which is the major difference between FAT32 and NTFS. The ideal use for these is for cloning system drives and other large chunks of data. It is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux, but doesn't work with the majority of other hardware devices.
exFAT, Extended File Allocation Table File System can be considered an upgrade to the conventional FAT32 format because it has higher size limits and is more lightweight. Incidentally, a larger number of hardware devices can be used with USB drives that are formatted with exFAT than with NTFS, making it a good alternative to FAT32. As such, if compatibility with other devices is a concern, it's a better option than NTFS.
Now that we have an overview of the basic differences between the three file systems, let's learn how to go about formatting a USB drive with one of them.
Format USB to FAT32/NTFS/exFAT in Windows 10 or Windows 7
The process is fairly simple and only involves a couple of clicks and menu option selections, but you will need to make sure that all the data on the drive is backed up before formatting it. By definition, formatting a drive erases all data on that drive, so be sure to back up any data that's already on the USB drive.
Once you have secured your data, follow the steps shown below to format your USB drive in Windows 10:
Step 1: Insert your USB drive into your Windows PC and open File Explorer.
Step 2: Right-click on the drive and select Format… from the contextual menu. A small window will pop up.
Step 3: Depending on what the purpose of the USB drive is, choose the appropriate file system. For greater compatibility, FAT32 is best, but if you want to put large media files, then exFAT is preferred. NTFS is great if you're only using the drive on other Windows systems. Your purpose of use should be the main deciding factor when picking a file system, considering each one's limitations on size limits vs. compatibility.
Step 4: Set the other parameters like Quick Format. When the box is not ticked, it will check for bad sectors, which is a good idea if your drive was corrupted before formatting.
Step 5: Click on Start, and your USB drive will be formatted to the file system that you selected in Step 3. Once you see 'Format Complete' on your screen, you can eject the drive and remove it from the computer. It is now ready to use.
How to Format USB to FAT32/exFAT on Mac
Creating Windows 10 bootable USB on Mac is a common task for people who have multiple computers at home. You have to format the drive to exFAT or FAT32 if the burning process failed due to the wrong partition scheme. The good news is that formatting USB on Mac is also as easy as on Windows 10.
Step 1: Insert the target USB drive into Mac and you should see the drive name on Finder sidebar.
Step 2: Find and open Disk Utility from Launchpad.
Step 3: Click on the USB drive name in Disk Utility app and click 'Restore' button displayed on the top menu. At this time, a couple of formatting options available. There are: Mac OS Extended, MS-DOS(FAT) and ExFAT.
Step 4: Select one of the format from drop-down menu and click 'Erase' to start formatting USB to FAT or ExFAT on Mac.
This is the easiest way to format your USB drive in Windows 10 or Mac. Alternatively, you can also use the DISKPART command line utility in Windows CMD to do this, but it requires some level of technical knowledge and is not generally recommended for new or inexperienced users.
The way you format your USB drive determines the speed of your Rekordbox export and if your drive is recognized by DJ controllers and CDJs like the CDJ 2000.
So, choosing the right settings is crucial for convenience and compatibility.
In this article I’ll dive into the right settings and how to format your USB drive for Mac and Windows the right way.
Can CDJs read exFAT / NTFS?
No, CDJs can’t!
They only read FAT32 and HFS+.
Which format is best and step-by-step format instructions you can read in this article.
Best format for CDJ USB
The Pioneer CDJ machines support three types of file system formats:
• Microsoft FAT
• Microsoft FAT32
• Apple HFS+
Below you can find my recommended file system, pros and cons of each file system.
Later in this article I will give you step-by-step instructions to format your USB drive on Mac and Windows the right way.
You probably noticed that the supported standards are replaced by newer more reliable ones with less (storage) limitations.
FAT32 is replaced by NTFS in 1993, HFS+ is replaced by APFS in 2017.
I can only guess to why Pioneer choose to support these older standards instead of the newer standards, probably licensing issues.
For now, we have to work with the limitations.
Formatting USB drive on Mac for Rekordbox
- Make sure Rekordbox is closed!
- Insert the USB drive
- Start “Disk Utility” by pressing Command+Spacebar and type “disk”, select the first item in the list or press Enter.
- Select the USB drive in the drive list on the left. Make sure you select the drive, not the partition below (otherwise you will miss vital setting later).
- Click on “Erase” (translation: format) at the top of the screen.
- The Erasewindow will appear.
- Choose a name for you dive in Name
- Format: select “OS X Extended Journaled” for HFS+ or “MS DOS FAT”
If you choose FAT, you only can use 32GB of your drive if your drive is larger than 32 GB.
- Scheme: select “Master Boot Record”. IMPORTANT!! (you will miss this option if you selected the partition instead of the drive in the previous step).
- Now click on the “Erase” button below the formatting options.
- Wait a few seconds, your drive is now being formatted.
- Click “Done” and close the Disk Utility.
- You drive is now ready to use in Rekordbox.
Formatting USB drive on Windows for Rekordbox
We can’t format drives larger than 32GB with the Windows built-in tools.
So we need third party software called “Fat32 Format” (download: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm )
We can also format smaller drives with Fat32 Format, so this is the method I’m going to use for this tutorial.
- Before we start, make sure Rekordbox is closed
- Insert your USB drive
- Make sure all your Explorer windows are closed, otherwise you can’t format the drive
- Start Fat32 Format
- Select the drive letterof your USB drive. NEVER choose C:
- Select allocation size: 4096
- choose a name for your USB drive in “Volume label”
- Click Start
- Select OK
- Your drive is being formatted, this takes a few seconds
- Your drive is now finished formatting
- select Close
If you want to know how to export tracks from Rekordbox to USB read this article.
Formatting For Fat32 In Mac Download
If you are serious about Djing and want take it to the next level, check out my CDJ 2000 course or my Rekordbox course.