Greetings from BestCustomFlashDrives.com, your leading source for custom made USB flash drives!
Here’s a useful little How-To for PC users who’ve tried to copy a file bigger than 2GB over to a USB flash drive and received that annoying error message “Your file is too big to copy to drive F:” If you’re copying your Outlook .PST data file onto a USB drive, this is practically guaranteed to happen since most PST files are gigantic.
And you already know you have enough space on the USB drive because it’s a nice new 8GB, and the file you’re trying to copy is only 3GB (let’s say for our example here..), so what gives, why the error?
You get this error message because USB drives come formatted in FAT32 format, so that they can operate on both PC and Mac. This is good in most cases, however the one major limitation to this format is, as you’ve inconveniently discovered, that it can’t deal with big files. To be exact, anything bigger than 2GB it can’t work with and will get an error message.
Now the solution:
This is only for PC users, by the way. You need to re-format the USB drive, changing the file format to NTFS, “New Technology File System”. This will enable you to copy files bigger than 2GB to and from your USB drive. (This of course must be done when there is no data you want to keep on the drive, as reformatting will delete all data on the drive, so be careful.)
Here’s a great little tutorial we found on how to format your USB drive to NTFS on the NTFS.com website.
Once you reformat your USB flash drive to NTFS, which only takes a few mouse clicks and a couple of minutes, you can copy files of any size, no matter how huge, to your flash drive! Sweet!
And if you’re feeling a bit upset about having to do that in order to carry around a 4 GB file on your keyring, just think of these guys trying to transport 5MB of data back in 1956…not so easy!