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How To Fix The File Is Too Large for the Destination File System

how to fix The File Is Too Large for the Destination File System

How To Fix The File Is Too Large for the Destination File System. If you are getting the error “The file is too large for the destination file system” error when trying to copy a large file with size more than 2 GB to a USB Flash drive or Hard disk which have lot of free space then this means your Flash drive or Hard disk is formatted using FAT32 file system.

Why Failed to Copy a File ?

Have you ever received the message – “The file is too large for the destination file system” when you copy or move a file to a drive? As it suggests, this problem is exactly involved with the file system of destination drive.

When saving large files to either local hard disk or removable device, you may receive the error “File is too large for destination file system”. If study this code closely, you will find that this problem always occurs on files of which the file sizes are larger than 4GB. In this case, you may wonder what could possibly cause this issue. In this post, we will introduce the reason as well as corresponding solution.

Why File Is Too Large for the Destination File System?

When facing the “The file is too large for the destination file system” issue in Windows 10/8/7 or any other previous version, you might not figure out that why you would not be able to copy the file to your external hard drive, USB drive or some other storage devices when there is sufficient free space.

The problem occurs because one of the files you want to transfer is larger than 4 GB and your external hard drive or USB flash drive is using the FAT32 file system, of which the maximum file size is 4GB. There is a built-in limitation in the FAT32 file system: Although the total size of the files you can store on a FAT32 drive could be up to 2TB, you cannot save an individual file that exceeds 4GB on it.

1. What is file system?

File system is the way and structure that operating system used to identify and organize the files on the disk. It is also used to refer to the disk or partition that stores files, or the type of file system. In Windows, the most commonly seen file systems are exFAT, FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. What are their differences?

2. What is FAT, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS File system?

The earlier version of Windows such as Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, and Windows Me used an updated version of the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system. This updated version of FAT is called FAT32 which allows for a default cluster size as small as 4KB and include supports for EIDE Hard disk size larger than 2 GB. 

But in the current environment, they cannot support large file size and therefore, have been replaced by NTFS (New Technology Files System) file system since Windows XP.

What is FAT, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS File system?

FAT, also known as FAT16, is a simple and robust file system. It does offer good performance but still cannot provides the same performance, scalability and reliability as the later file systems. For FAT, the maximum file size of a single file it supports is 2GB.

FAT32 is a file system suitable for small capacity hard disk. For FAT32, the maximum file size of a single file it supports is 4GB. The advantage of FAT32 is that it has the best compatibility can be applied on many platforms.

exFAT, also known as FAT64, is a file system that introduced in Windows Embedded 5.0 and above (including Windows CE 5.0/6.0, Windows Mobile5/6/6.1) by Microsoft. exFAT was rolled out to fill the gap of FAT32 and is more suitable for flash memory. However, it has bad compatibility and can be recognized by a few OS.

NTFS is the most widely used file system in PC currently. For NTFS, the maximum file size of a single file it supports reach up to 16TB. NTFS is recommended to be applied on large capacity external hard drives.

Today the most popular file systems in Windows are FAT32 and NTFS. Below is a table showing their differences.

3. Why file is too large for destination file system?

By saying all of the above, you must have realized the point. Yes you guessed it right. If you save files larger than 2GB to FAT16 partition or save files bigger than 4GB to FAT32 partition, the error “File is too large for destination file system” will emerge. Under these kinds of situations, the best way is to convert file system.

How To Fix The File Is Too Large for the Destination File System

Now you know why you’re receiving the above error it’s time you should know how to fix this error. So without wasting any time, let’s see how to fix this error via the below-listed troubleshooting steps.

Method 1: Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 1. Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt (Admin).

Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 2. Check what letter is assigned to your USB flash drive or to your External hard drive.

Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 3. Enter the following command in cmd and hit Enter:


Note: Make sure to replace the driver letter to your own Device drive letter.

Convert G: /fs:ntfs /nosecurity

Step 4. Wait for few minutes for the conversion process to complete as it will take some time depending on your disk size. If the above command fails then you need to run Chkdsk (Check Disk) command in order to fix the drive.

Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 5. So in the command prompt window type the following and hit Enter: chkdsk g:/f

Note: Change the driver letter from g: to your own USB flash drive letter.

Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 6. Now again run the Convert G: /fs:ntfs /nosecurity command and this time it would be successful.

Converting FAT32 File System to NTFS Without Data Loss

Step 7. Next, try copying large files in the device earlier giving the error ‘The file is too large for the destination file system.’

Step 8. This would successfully Fix The file is too large for the destination file system error without losing your existing data in the disk.

 
 

Method 2: Format Your Device Using NTFS File System

Formatting is the easiest way for you to convert FAT32 to NTFS. But it will erase all the existing data on the drive. So, it is recommended only when there are no files on your external hard drive or USB flash drive. If there are files existing on your storage device, you can back them up by manually copying or using free backup software in advance. Here’s how to do it for free with Windows built-in format feature.

Step 1. Right-click on the USB drive or external hard drive.

Step 2. Click “Format”.

Step 3. Change the type to NTFS.

Format Your Device Using NTFS File System

Done!! Now you have fixed the issue “The file is too large for the destination file system” and can successfully copy a file larger than 4GB to the external USB drive or hard drive.

Method 3: Reformat in Disk Management

  • At first, press “Win” + “R” to bring up “Run” dialog box.
  • Then, input the “diskmgmt.msc” in the “Open” field and press “Enter” key.
  • Subsequently, in “Disk Management” window, locate the destination drive.
  • Later, right click it and choose “Format” option.
  • In the small popup dialog box, choose “NTFS” in “File System” box.
  • Ultimately, click “OK”.

How To Fix The File Is Too Large for the Destination File System Using Third-Party Software

Generally, users will be allowed to change file system when formatting partition, but this will lead to data loss. Aiming at this situation, we give a solution which helps to convert FAT to NTFS or NTFS to FAT without losing any data, that is to make use of the free partitioning software

1. Converting FAT32 to NTFS Without Data Loss Using EaseUS Partition Master

If there are important data on your external hard drive or USB drive, you might need a better solution. Converting FAT32 to NTFS without data loss using the partition tool.

EaseUS Partition Master, popular third-party partition software is an optimal choice. It allows you to fix “The file is too large for the destination file system” issue without formatting. The program can work in Windows 10/8/7 or any other previous versions. Here is the guide.

Step 1. Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

Converting FAT32 to NTFS Without Data Loss Using EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2. Select a FAT32 partition, right-click on it and select “Convert to NTFS”. If you need to convert a storage device such as SD card or USB flash drive to NTFS, insert it into your PC first and repeat the previous operation.

Converting FAT32 to NTFS Without Data Loss Using EaseUS Partition Master

Step 3. Click “OK” on the pop-up dialog box to continue.

Converting FAT32 to NTFS Without Data Loss Using EaseUS Partition Master

Step 4. Go to the upper left corner, click the “Execute 1 Operation” button and you will see the operation details. Click “Apply” and “Finish” when the process completes.

Converting FAT32 to NTFS Without Data Loss Using EaseUS Partition Master

After finishing all the steps, you can convert your USB flash drive, SD card, or external hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS and copy files larger than 4GB successfully.

2. How to Convert File System without Losing Data Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

A solution which helps to convert FAT to NTFS or NTFS to FAT without losing any data, that is to make use of the free partitioning software – MiniTool Partition Wizard free edition. 

Step 1. Run this free partitioning software to get the main window.  Here, we take converting FAT32 partition to NTFS partition for example, so we need to select the partition whose file system is FAT32 and choose “Convert FAT to NTFS” feature.

ow to Convert File System without Losing Data Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Step 2. After that, a small box interface showing the process will appear as follows.

ow to Convert File System without Losing Data Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Step 3. Click the “Start” button to start converting file system. When the free partitioning software shows the conversion is completed, the work is done. 

Now you see MiniTool Partition Wizard makes it so easy and safe to switch file system. Next time when you see the error message “File is too large for the destination file system” again, try taking this solution

The Bottom Line

Once you understand “the file is too large for the destination file system” is caused by the FAT32 file system, the solution is specific: change the file system. If you use the Windows built-in features or utilities to convert the file system, you need to back up the files on the storage device first since the operations will erase the files on your device.

I (Naveed) know that I am special and there's no one else out there that's like me... so enjoy! (smile). I planned in working in the field of Education as a Social Worker and Preach the Word of God. I like books, website designing, SEO strategies, android and windows apps, Technologies and Troubleshooting related to these.

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