Am I suppose to format my SDHC before using it?

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by Kyte, Aug 20, 2008.

Aug 20, 2008
  1. Kyte
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    Newcomer Kyte Member

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    Formatting it with FAT16 would make it faster, right?
     
  2. Alato

    Member Alato GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, if it's above 2gigs, I think the only format you can use is FAT32.
     
  3. Searinox

    Member Searinox Just a taste~ ;3

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    If it's above FOUR gigs you have to format it FAT32. Mine came in formatted FAT32, but I still did a FULL format just to be on the safe side. You should too. And yes FAT16 is faster. Also the higher the cluster size the faster.
     
  4. IOwnAndPwnU

    Member IOwnAndPwnU GBAtemp Maniac

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    It's the only one on mines.
     
  5. Kyte
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    Newcomer Kyte Member

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    The Allocation size unit should be 32 kilobytes when formatting?
     
  6. Searinox

    Member Searinox Just a taste~ ;3

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    If you're aiming for speed set it to 64 kilobytes.
     
  7. Searinox

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  8. matrix121391

    Member matrix121391 GBAtemp Fan

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    Wait, wait, wait? We're supposed to reformat our SDHC before using it? Can someone give me the 4-1-1 on the importance and function of the procedure? How do you know what format it comes in?
     
  9. Searinox

    Member Searinox Just a taste~ ;3

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    You know what format it comes in IF it's formatted and accessible(shows up as empty drive on doubleclick) and you rightclick and select Properties to see its filesystem. If it's 4GB or less and it's formatted FAT(that's what FAT16 is reported as by Windows) then there is no need to format. If it's formatted FAT32 that's quite useless and it can be quick formatted FAT16 in just seconds.

    When you're buying, and then using a memory with a flashcart, your main concern and pickyness isn't its size, it's its speed. Freezes with certain games and movie intro lags are consistent with slow read/write and access times. These slow times have causes at two ends. 1. The memory is too slow 2. The firmware or its settings are too slow. Efficient formatting is thus very important, as important as speedtweaking the kernel it's running on. Cluster sizes are also known to enhance speed, though by less than FAT type formatting.

    I personally recommend reformatting a drive formatted in factory for safety reasons: you never know. It is also very possible that the drive is NOT formatted and still shows up as empty on your computer. Sometimes formatting procedures performed in factory testing leave the file tables in such a way that the system considers it formatted when it isn't. If you remember back in the 90s this was a very prelevant issue with diskettes as they showed up as formatted, but you would copy files onto it it would act bizarrely slow and when inserting into the comp a second time, or when inserting it into another comp it would show up as not formatted. Windows doesn't check the WHOLE meemory when you insert it, it just checks if basic partition data is on("the partition is FAT32 4GB" metadata written on the first few blocks), it is possible that further on the cluster structure is missing, but without a marked closed end(partially formatted as part of a factory test?) and when your file writing gets to the unformatted part the whole partition table will crash, think of it as a bridge in the fog, there is a sign that says the bridge is complete but in reality, halfway its planks are missing. Thus to avoid the issue I recommend formatting it.
     
  10. matrix121391

    Member matrix121391 GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks a bunch!
     
  11. geokilla

    Member geokilla GBAtemp Regular

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    What program do you use to format? The Windows Explorer formatter doesn't give you the option to choose cluster size.

    Edit: Nvm. Computer Management lets me set the allocation size to 64KB.
     
  12. Aerundel

    Newcomer Aerundel Advanced Member

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    If anyone's wondering about comparative speeds...I have a 4GB SanDisk MicroSD with around 35 .nds files in a folder. The difference between FAT32 and FAT(16) is about 9 seconds. As in, FAT32 takes 10 seconds to load up the unique icons and stuff every time I enter that folder, whereas FAT(16) takes 1 second. That gap will only increase as more .nds files are added. Formatting properly is crucial to avoiding annoyances like this.
     

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