exFAT >2TB

Hi. I have recently purchased a Drobo, and I’m having some difficulty formatting it. I have set it up to be seen in Windows as a 16TB disk (Actual is 2x1TB and 2x500GB). I have created a 16TB NTFS Volume. I am attempting to convert this volume to exFAT using the command line:


F: is of course the drive letter assigned to the volume. I am typing the command from an elevated command prompt in Windows Vista 32bit enterprise SP2. Here is the response I get:

C:\Windows\system32>format f: /fs:exFAT /Q
The type of the file system is NTFS.
The new file system is EXFAT.
Enter current volume label for drive F: DROBO

Proceed with Format (Y/N)? y
QuickFormatting 16777087M
Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)? DROBO
The disk is too large to format for the specified file system.

So based on the above, am I to assume that creating a 16TB exFAT volume is not possible? I’ve looked all over and cannot find any concrete answer to this question (either Drobo specific, or general).

I have tried a few different configurations, and the most I have managed to be able to do is to create a 2TB exFAT volume - however, I know our storage requirements will exceed this. In addition, I don’t want any security on drive, as it will be moved between domain and DMZ, as well as potentially standalone machines from time to time - security will just get in the way.

Any help would be appreciated.

Any particular reason you’re preferring exFAT over NTFS?

From my readings, NTFS can support volumes up to 256TB currently, though in the Drobo world, seems it’s 16TB supported?
No mention at all of exFAT in there… also, exFAT is a Microsoft-licensed spec (ie, someone’s gotta pay)

NTFS up to 256TB

An old, but still applicable Q&A transcript that points to exFAT really being “super-sized” FAT32 oriented toward flash media whereas NTFS still retains its advantages for non-write-limited media.

Hope that helps.

thanks for your response. ExFAT wasn’t really my decision, so I havn;t really put much though into the reasons why - The person who made the decision to use exFAT is on holiday at the moment, and has asked me to set the Drobo up in his absence - requesting it be set up in exFAT specifically.

They mentioned a couple of reasons for this, but the main reason for not wanting to use NTFS is to ensure the files are open to everyone, security wise. As mentioned in my first post, the Drobo will be plugged into several different machines, and having NTFS security will just get in the way.

Interesting… Hmm, I guess the key question is whether Drobo supports ExFAT.

Honestly, I had to Google exFAT. Not sure why you would want the Drobo formatted to that file system.

I will be surprised if you can get it working properly with the Drobo. I can tell you this, it is not supported. If you do have to call Technical Support and you are having issues with data corruption, lost files, permissions issues, DWF, error 51; the first thing we are going to ask is how do you have it formatted. The moment you say exFAT, we will inform you that exFAT is not supported and we will advise to format either in FAT32 or NTFS which is supported. (HFS+ too.)

I would highly recommend against formatting to exFAT. If you have to, format to FAT32.

Looks like NTFS with permissions on Everyone
You can use cacls and/or subinacls to do bulk management on the files.



Not sure if that’ll completely solve your permissions issues, but hopefully it helps.

Thanks everyone. I guess I’ll use NTFS then, and direct my colleague towards this forum for confirmation that exFAT is not supported. I’ll let them sort out the security :slight_smile:

Thanks again - your help is greatly appreciated.