Discussion [POLL] FAT32 vs. exFAT | issue discussion

Discussion in 'Switch - Emulation, Homebrew & Software Projects' started by lordelan, Aug 13, 2018.

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  1. FAT32 - no issues yet

    64 vote(s)
    13.7%
  2. FAT32 - I had issues

    4 vote(s)
    0.9%
  3. exFAT - no issues yet

    315 vote(s)
    67.6%
  4. exFAT - I had issues

    83 vote(s)
    17.8%
  1. lordelan
    OP

    lordelan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Jan 4, 2015
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    UPDATE: This thread is completely pointless. ExFAT is a ticking timebomb. It might work with Horizon OS and Switch games but as soon as you use any homebrew related stuff it can (and will) happen, that it corrupts over time and might lead to a complete loss of data.
    Also there's absolutely no reason to stay on exFAT at all. Installed games are splitted into <4GB chunks. The only problem would be too big XCI or NSP files and both can be splitted.
    Also (instead of splitting) too big NSP files can be installed with tinfoil either over network or USB from a PC.

    So don't use exFAT! Use FAT32 with 32 k cluster size (using GUIformat) and don't cry if you're not.

    Original post:
    The community is currently divided into two camps when it comes to how to format the micro SD card for the switch.

    While exFAT allows bigger files than 4 GB which comes in handy for "backup" users dealing with large XCI or NSP files, some people are saying it has issues with some homebrews and leads to corruption. It's an often read thing especially in the RetroArch thread.
    However there are also people which were using exFAT since day one and never had any issues so far, even with RetroArch.
    Also many of you said here that one should join the exFAT master race train.

    I'd like to have people posting here their issues they had while using FAT32 and/or exFAT to get a better picture what's causing those issues and which would be the preferable one to stay with.

    Two notes:
    1. Formatting a mSD card to exFAT using a Mac has been reported multiple times to lead to issues like data corruption or folders like the switch folder being invisible for the hbmenu.
    2. Tinfoil is about to receive a network installation update so installing NSP files bigger than 4 GB might be doable on FAT32 cards in the future. XCI files can be splitted since ages. ;)
    Consider adding your Horizon FW version to your post as that might be helpful to find out where issues appear and where not. Don't hesistate to edit your post if you already replied.
     
    Last edited by lordelan, Dec 10, 2018 at 8:44 AM
  2. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru

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    It might be worth mentioning (for those that post) which method did they use to format the SD to exfat, and also if they updated the Switch manually (with the no-burn fuse method for exfat/firmware) of if they updated the Switch officially through the usual method.
     
    lordelan likes this.
  3. epickid37

    epickid37 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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    Jan 4, 2017
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    I use exfat. The only issue I've had with it so far is layeredFS didn't work on SX OS v1.3. This issue has been fixed with the latest update, so I'm not having any issues with exfat now

    Edit: My card came with exFAT. I didn't format it
     
    Last edited by epickid37, Aug 13, 2018
  4. lordelan
    OP

    lordelan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'm using a 64 GB FAT32 card right now. Formatted it with GuiFormat_x64 to have 32 k cluster size and never had any issues.
    I installed NSP games with SX OS, with tinfoil, used ReiNX, RejNX, Atmosphère, SX OS, updated my firmware with raj's long guide, made a full NAND backup before with hekate, used RetroArch a lot switching between multiple games and everything worked so far.

    FW 5.1.0
     
    Last edited by lordelan, Aug 15, 2018
  5. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Using exfat here. Not had an issue yet, but don't really use homebrew, only used hekate to backup nand. I updated firmware normally and got the exfat update through Nintendo.
     
  6. Rune

    Rune GBAtemp Fan

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    Feb 15, 2017
    I'm on a exFAT card but haven't used homebrew extensively since reading about these issues. Normal Switch games have zero problems of course.
    Anyone know why these corruption issues aren't affecting everyone? Is there anything homebrew devs can do on their end to make their projects more exFAT friendly?
     
  7. JK_

    JK_ GBAtemp Fan

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    Sep 4, 2015
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    I actually switched back to FAT32 from exFat because of corruption. It's not really consistent either. I could do multiple "dump everything" test runs without issue, but then randomly a screenshot or moving a single file from save to sd would corrupt. I just wound up going back to save myself the constant formatting while testing stuff.
     
  8. chocoboss

    chocoboss GBAtemp Fan

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    Jun 25, 2016
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    ExFat sandisk 128Gb no issue.

    Hekate + LayeredFs + SigPatch + Tinfoil + DevMenu = no error
     
  9. Rune

    Rune GBAtemp Fan

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    Feb 15, 2017
    Something like DevMenu and Switch games were the intended use of the device, especially with its official exFAT update, so Nintendo wouldn't put that out there if it had the possibility of corrupting your mSD card data.
    My understanding is that its things like homebrew and emulators that cause the issues.
     
  10. Vinnymac

    Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    May 15, 2005
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    I went from Fat32 to ExFat on a 64GB SDXC SanDisk and I could not run homebrew until I did the following

    1. Plug in SD Card
    2. Select all files and folders at root
    3. Right click on selection, choose properties
    4. Go to Advanced, uncheck Archive files and folders (apply to subdirectories)
    5. Safely Remove, Done!

    Seems this has been an issue for a while.
     
    mdmachine likes this.
  11. ShadowOne333

    ShadowOne333 GBAtemp Guru

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    Jan 17, 2013
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    Archive files and folders?
    What does that do?
     
  12. jakkal

    jakkal GBAtemp Addict

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    if you use fat32 for anything other than lakka you need to be slapped
     
    xdpirate likes this.
  13. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Maniac

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    Jan 20, 2010
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    >Tinfoil is about to receive a network installation update so installing NSP files bigger than 4 GB might be doable on FAT32
    For realz? Sounds extremely useful.
     
  14. jakkal

    jakkal GBAtemp Addict

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    Apr 27, 2018
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    you still wont be able install large games if the nca is bigger than 4GB
     
  15. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Maniac

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    I thought Horizon takes care of that. Anyway, I'm on exfat, hyped about network part. No double space you know
     
  16. Treeko

    Treeko GBAtemp Fan

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    Sep 29, 2012
    I have had a few issues with exfat, RetroarchNX corrupted some files on my sd card, thankfully I made a backup of my SD card contents beforehand so it was as easy as formatting and copying the files over again, also I just use the normal windows formatting tool, quick format with restore device default allocation size option, backup games work flawlessly but its homebrew thats the issue, so just got a separate 32gb fat32 formatted card for retroNX and other homebrew stuff, I'd recommend people stay away from RetroNX kind of homebrew if they are using a large SD card which is formatted as exfat because it can definitely corrupt files, but it won't damage your card, just get a cheap spare card for homebrew its the best route you can take for homebrew or experimenting with different cfw's.
     
  17. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Maniac

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    I reccomned a lifehack. Format your SD using Samsung branded tool (using full 'overwrite' method). They work better after this. Dunno how, magic. Trick back from DS days.
     
  18. bobdamnit

    bobdamnit Think some kind of psychedelic experience!

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    No, you need to be slapped. I used exFAT for quite some time on my Switch only using RetroNX. Card corrupted. Formatted it back to exFAT and copied everything back over. Three days later... Corrupted.

    Even the homebrew developers suggest using FAT32/32k cluster cards. Obviously they're wrong and you're right though.
     
  19. Vinnymac

    Vinnymac GBAtemp Regular

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    May 15, 2005
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    I used ChoiDujourNX to get 5.1.0 w/ the exfat update. After everything was successful I shut down the system and removed my SD card. Formatted to ExFat on Windows 10 (Quick Format) and moved the files to the SD Card. I checked the files and they all had the archive bit enabled. You can see some discussion around how Horizon has expectations for this here. Although in that thread they seem to imply adding the bit helps under specific circumstances.

    In any case I thought I would share in case anyone looks here for a potential solution to move from Fat32 to ExFat successfully.
     
    lordelan likes this.
  20. magico29

    magico29 GBAtemp Maniac

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    exfat on 5.1.0 and 3.0.0 with no problems so far!!!
     
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