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Veazer

Drastically Speed Up Flash Drives In Vista

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I was playing around with a friend's laptop and noticed that the command line version of 'format' in Vista allows you to use the UDF file system typically used for optical media.

Using my PQI USB flash drive, I've been comparing UDF versus NTFS and FAT32 and it is at least double the performance of anything I could achieve with either of them.

Please note that this is something I just discovered and I don't know what problems might be caused by doing this. If you wish to experiment with me on this, please take necessary precautions and keep backups of your data until we know if this is safe.

Also note that:

  • Despite the performance increase, the drives cannot be used for ReadyBoost anymore (unless someone knows a way to force it?)
  • WinXP machines can only read the drives. I'm trying to find a solution to this.
  • Cameras, mp3 players, etc. are probably not able to use this file system

I used the following format syntax:

format x: /fs:udf /q

x is your drive letter, /fs:udf specifies to use the udf file system, q is used to perform a quick format.

Enjoy!

EDIT: Bold and underline formatting to emphasize that I don't know if this is safe. :o

Edited by Veazer

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I was playing around with a friend's laptop and noticed that the command line version of 'format' in Vista allows you to use the UDF file system typically used for optical media.

Using my PQI USB flash drive, I've been comparing UDF versus NTFS and FAT32 and it is at least double the performance of anything I could achieve with either of them.

Please note that this is something I just discovered and I don't know what problems might be caused by doing this. If you wish to experiment with me on this, please take necessary precautions and keep backups of your data until we know if this is safe.

Also note that:

  • Despite the performance increase, the drives cannot be used for ReadyBoost anymore (unless someone knows a way to force it?)
  • WinXP machines can only read the drives. I'm trying to find a solution to this.
  • Cameras, mp3 players, etc. are probably not able to use this file system

I used the following format syntax:

format x: /fs:udf /q

x is your drive letter, /fs:udf specifies to use the udf file system, q is used to perform a quick format.

Enjoy!

EDIT: Bold and underline formatting to emphasize that I don't know if this is safe. :o

So my flash drive will be only half useful in XP machines?

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So my flash drive will be only half useful in XP machines?

If not less :o ... In short, yes.

IMHO MS should have including this valuable update in SP3 but they didn't. There seem to be some third party solutions for writing UDF in XP but I haven't been able to test any yet. Still, if I was using the drive in vista only i would use this file system based on my testing.

Here's a sample of the performance increase...

I used a test folder that is a large folder of many small files (the 'tinymce' plugin for Drupal to be more specific). The folder consists of over 480 files in 144 various folders. Large numbers of small files are notoriously poor performers on flash drives.

Between FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS the highest performance i could get was FAT16. The transfer time for my test folder was 2:38. Using UDF file system the transfer time was just 50 seconds. That's a performance increase of more than 300%. Compared to FAT32 or NTFS, it's even faster.

EDIT: typo

Edited by Veazer

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By default UDF format under Vista is 2.01, though you can select revision {switch r:}. natively XP doesn't support writing to any revision of UDF.

Some of the *nixes can read & write, and I think the very latest OSX can, through a utility call.

There is a program you can buy to add the read write functionality to XP but I recall it was about a 100USD.

Regards

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I was playing around with a friend's laptop and noticed that the command line version of 'format' in Vista allows you to use the UDF file system typically used for optical media.

Using my PQI USB flash drive, I've been comparing UDF versus NTFS and FAT32 and it is at least double the performance of anything I could achieve with either of them.

Please note that this is something I just discovered and I don't know what problems might be caused by doing this. If you wish to experiment with me on this, please take necessary precautions and keep backups of your data until we know if this is safe.

Also note that:

  • Despite the performance increase, the drives cannot be used for ReadyBoost anymore (unless someone knows a way to force it?)
  • WinXP machines can only read the drives. I'm trying to find a solution to this.
  • Cameras, mp3 players, etc. are probably not able to use this file system

I used the following format syntax:

format x: /fs:udf /q

x is your drive letter, /fs:udf specifies to use the udf file system, q is used to perform a quick format.

Enjoy!

EDIT: Bold and underline formatting to emphasize that I don't know if this is safe. :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Disk_Format

NOTE: its very useful to read this site as disks arent STAYING readable.Ie, absolutely useless if used for read/write media!!

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