Monday, March 29, 2004

Formatting USB Flash Disk as NTFS

If you're using removable USB sticks, keys, or pen drives, you can format them as NTFS. This is handy if you want to apply permissions to the files contained thereon, as you might want to if you're, say, an administrator. However, the default setting for removable devices is "optimize for quick removal", meaning that write caching and NTFS formatting are turned off. If you use Device Manager to inspect the properties of the USB stick while it's mounted, you can change that setting to "optimize for performance", and NTFS will become available. You may be able to format sticks as NTFS from the command line, but this doesn't work consistently across all models and drivers.

The biggest benefit from formatting a thumb drive with NTFS is that you can use EFS on it.

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