How come I can't copy a 4gb VMware image file onto an 8gb USB drive?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Spin, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Spin

    Spin Guest


    Running Windows XP Pro SP3, with NTFS. I remember having a conversation
    with a Microsoft tech about this way back, but never encountered it before
    until today. The basic question is, how come I can't copy a 4gb VMware
    image file onto an 8gb USB drive? Basically, I want to copy a VM image (4GB
    in size) from machine to another. to do that I want to use an 8GB USB drive
    as the transport medium. However, every time I try to copy, I get an error
    message indicating the destination drive is full. But destination drive is
    in fact totally empty!!!
    Spin, Aug 13, 2009
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  2. Spin

    Lem Guest

    Is the USB drive formatted NTFS? That you're using NTFS on both of your
    XP boxes has no bearing on how the USB drive is formatted.
    Lem, Aug 13, 2009
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  3. Spin

    rf Guest

    A USB "drive", assuming you mean those memory stick things, are formatted
    FAT, not NTFS. The maximum file size for FAT is 4GB minus one byte.
    rf, Aug 13, 2009

  4. Note that it is not Windows XP that is NTFS, it is (or is not) a
    particular drive that is using NTFS.

    The error message you get is a terribly misleading Microsoft
    message--one of their worst. What it is really saying--very poorly--is
    that you are trying to write a file bigger than 4GB to a FAT32 drive.
    FAT32 has a 4GB limit and you are running up against it.

    Simply reformat the 8GB external drive as NTFS and the problem will go
    Ken Blake, MVP, Aug 13, 2009
  5. Spin

    Tim Slattery Guest

    Most likely because the USB drive is using the FAT32 file system,
    which can't handle files larger than 4GB. NTFS can handle files that
    are larger than currently available drives.
    Yes, the error message is misleading (at least).
    Tim Slattery, Aug 13, 2009
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