What file system is compatible with multiple operating systems?

Shibesh Mehrotra September 29, 2012
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I’m using a Sony 8 GB pen drive, and four kinds of devices, a Windows 7 PC, a Windows XP machine, a laptop running Fedora 17, and a Nokia 701, which has support for USB On-The-Go. I formatted my pen drive using GParted, and created a FAT32 file system, after reading somewhere that it is the most compatible kind of file system, that runs with virtually every operating System. Unfortunately, my Nokia, and the Windows XP machine refuse to recognize the drive, and ask it to be formatted. Any help on the same would be appreciated.

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  1. Shahbaz Amin
    December 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    FAT32 works on all three platforms but has maximum file size limit of arond 3GB per file
    which is not the ideal situation sometimes...

    Also, try exFAT for some time?
    It works equally well with Windows and Apple platforms

  2. salim benhouhou
    October 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    i think FAT32 should work on all your devices but for nokia 701 i don't know which file system is compatible with it .

  3. Abidhusain Momin
    October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Can you please tell Motherboard manufacture ?

    New MB has a BIOS option for USB boot and USB recognize while booting..
    so please check your MB manual. You will get answer.

  4. anindya sur
    September 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    better format it under windows, linux doesn't have any issue recognising windows partitions but windows being the snob does not want to recognise others capabilities. moreover when you use linux to read partitions made under windows you can see all the hidden folders which you can never find under windows.

  5. GrrGrrr
    September 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    FAT32 is the best choice.

    Also read below
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems

    • Ahmed Khalil
      October 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

      i think it is limited for limited harddisk size

  6. ReĆ½ Aetar
    September 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

    use exfat

  7. Anonymous
    September 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I've found that nearly always when I format a drive as FAT32 on my Mac it isn't recognised by Win and other systems. However if I start by formatting it as FAT32 in Windows, all the other OS will recognise it and mount it with no difficulty. Strange but true.

  8. ha14
    September 29, 2012 at 7:51 am

    use testdisk to fix partition table
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

  9. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 29, 2012 at 6:26 am

    your best option is to format the device under a windows environment. most of the modern linux OSs are capable of mounting windows friendly formats such as FAT,FAT32 and also NTFS ( but I dnt think NTFS would work with OS versions before widows Xp. )

  10. HLJonnalagadda
    September 29, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Have you tried t odo a basic scan of the drive to check if there were any errors with it?

  11. Bruce Epper
    September 29, 2012 at 1:39 am

    The XP machine should recognize it. I have sometimes seen XP get confused over a device formatted by Linux systems. Formatting under XP and using between multiple machines seems to work without a hitch. Not sure why the Nokia is having issues.

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