Jan Leow's Press Blog

Format USB flash drive to NTFS file system

I came across this from PC World and it looked intriguing. So I gave it a try and formatted my USB flash drive from FAT to NTFS file system. The steps were easy to follow, and by using NTFS I could get some additional features which the FAT or FAT32 did not provide. I could compress folders, encrypt folders or even set user quota, though setting user quota would not be very useful since I will be the only one using it. The files inside the USB formatted in NTFS system could also be indexed for faster file searches. Cool!

So here are the steps to format the USB flash drive into NTFS file system. The steps are for Windows XP and similar in Windows Vista. For file encryption you will need the pro version of XP or premium versions of Vista.

1) Right click the drive icon in the Explorer window
2) Select properties
3) Click the Hardware tab
4) Select the USB drive from the list
5) Select Properties again
6) Select Policies tab
7) Check the “Optimize for Performance”

Voila! When you want to format the USB drive, the NTFS option is now available in the drop down list in the format dialog box.

After formatting, repeat the steps above and change back step #7 to “Optimize for Quick Removal”. This is to avoid dealing with the Safe Hardware Removal dialog box to avoid losing cache writes when removing device. Do note however it is still a good idea to use the safely remove hardware before pulling out the USB device. On the occasion where Windows becomes buggy and refuse to stop the USB device even though you are very sure you have closed the appropriate application accessing the USB drive, then no choice but to pull out the device without stopping the USB flash device.

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1 thought on “Format USB flash drive to NTFS file system”

  1. NTFS wears out your memory cells faster than FAT32 thus reducing life of your flash drive. Using NTFS on flash is NOT recommended.

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