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Extended File System (exFAT)

Extended File System (exFAT) is a successor of FAT family of file systems (FAT12/16/32). It has similar design though renders many significant improvements:

  • Larger volume and file size limits
  • Native Unicode file names
  • Bigger boot area allowing a larger boot code
  • Better performance
  • Time zone offset support
  • OEM parameters support

exFAT vs. FAT32 Comparison

Feature FAT32 exFAT
Maximum Volume Size 8 TB* 128 PB
Maximum File Size 4 GB 16 EB
Maximum Cluster Size 32 KB ** 32 MB
Maximum Cluster Count 228 232
Maximum File Name Length 255 255
Date/Time resolution 2 s 10 ms
MBR Partition Type Identifier 0x0B, 0x0C 0x07

Windows cannot format FAT32 volumes bigger than 32GB, though itsupports larger volumes created by third party implementations; 16 TB is the maximum volume size if formatted with 64KB cluster.

According to Microsoft KB184006 clusters cannot be 64KB or larger, though some third party implementations support up to 64KB.

See Also:

Volume Layout | Directory Structure | Defined Directory Entries | Cluster Heap

Data Recovery

Data Utility

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