Some Limitations of FAT32 file system

There are some limitations of FAT32 file system with Windows Operating Systems. So whenever these limitations are crossed your system gets corrupt and you need recovery software to get it recovered. Following are some of the limitations existing in FAT32 file system.

  • Clusters cannot be 64 KB or larger. If clusters were 64 KB or larger, some programs (such as Setup programs) might calculate disk space incorrectly.

  • A volume must contain at least 65,527 clusters to use the FAT32 file system. You cannot increase the cluster size on a volume using the FAT32 file system so that it ends up with less than 65,527 clusters.

  • The maximum possible number of clusters on a volume using the FAT32 file system is 268,435,445. With a maximum of 32 KB per cluster with space for the file allocation table (FAT), this equates to a maximum disk size of approximately 8 terabytes (TB).

  • The Scandisk tool included with Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows 98 is a 16-bit program. Such programs have a single memory block maximum allocation size of 16 MB less 64 KB. Therefore, The Windows 95 or Windows 98 ScanDisk tool cannot process volumes using the FAT32 file system that have a FAT larger than 16 MB less 64 KB in size. A FAT entry on a volume using the FAT32 file system uses 4 bytes, so ScanDisk cannot process the FAT on a volume using the FAT32 file system that defines more than 4,177,920 clusters (including the two reserved clusters).

  • You cannot decrease the cluster size on a volume using the FAT32 file system so that the FAT ends up larger than 16 MB less 64 KB in size.

  • You cannot format a volume larger than 32 GB in size using the FAT32 file system in Windows 2000.

In case your system gets corrupt and FAT32 file system gets damaged Windows recovery software helps in recovering the lost, inaccessible, deleted data.

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