Eliminate errors when copying large files to a hard drive or USB

Over the years, the storage units that we find in our equipment have improved both in capacity and in speed and reliability. At the same time, we increasingly have a greater number of applications and functions to maintain the health of these components.

Reasons why large files cannot be copied

One thing we should know is that the computer’s storage system can support different file sizes. This is how we have the possibility to easily transfer the files between the internal drives and external. But from time to time an error may occur in the process. This tells us that the file is too large to be copied while some files are being transferred. If we are experiencing this error that the file is too large for the target file system, let’s fix it.

The first thing to know at this point is that the appearance of this error does not mean that the destination storage has no space. It simply means that the file system cannot support individual transfers of certain file sizes. For example, if you copy a file larger than 4 gigs and a USB drive that uses the FAT32 file system, the error is likely to appear. Also, copy a file larger than 2 gigs to a file system FAT16 it can cause errors.

This happens because FAT32 and FAT16 can handle a maximum of 4 gigs and 2 gigs respectively for any individual file size. Luckily converting the file system from FAT32 or FAT16 to NTFS will fix the problem. Also, compressing and dividing the files into smaller sizes will make the transfer process easier.

But let’s see the most effective and detailed solutions to solve this failure we are talking about. Of course, many of these will erase the data on the drive. That is why first of all we make a backup of this data.

Fix problem when copying files that are too large

Well, in the event that you are going to copy a certain file to another disk drive and you find that this gives an error, let’s see how to fix it. In addition, it is worth knowing that this is a failure that we can suddenly find with both external and internal drives. However, like almost everything in the world of technology, this flaw has a solution.

Format the drive to NTFS from Disk Management

Most Windows systems use the NTFS storage system. But when transferring files to a external USB device With a FAT32 or FAT16 file system, we cannot find that it does not support large files. To solve this problem we can always format the drive to support the largest files. So next, we will see how we can use Disk Management to change the file system.

The first thing will be to open the execution window with the combination of keys Win + R, where we write the command diskmgmt.msc to access the Disk Management window. Here we right-click on the drive that needs the change and click on Format. As you can imagine before this we should make a backup copy of the data stored in the unit.

Disk management

In the list of the file system we select NTFS and we mark the option of fast format to finish by clicking on OK.

Convert FAT32 file system to NTFS from Explorer

Windows allows us to convert the file system to NTFS or exFAT, which is a great idea for the problem we are facing now. The reason for them is that these file systems support larger files and therefore ideal for transferring files that exceed 2 or 4 gigs. Thus, to open the System File Explorer, we use the Win + E key combination.

browser format

Next, we locate the unit we want to convert and right-click on it. We select the Format option and open the File System drop-down list and select NTFS or exFAT if available. We mark the option of Quick format and click Start.

Compress and split large files

Another solution that we can use to solve the problem with these large files is to compress or divide them. As you can imagine, this will allow us to transfer them between disk units. To achieve this, the process is quite simple, for example, from the File Browser. We access this section from the Win + E key combination and select This computer to locate the file that you want to modify.

After that, we select the option to Add to or Compress to, depending on the compressor we have installed, we use the operating system by default.

add to

In addition, these programs allow us to divide these files, so we locate the option to Divide into volumes, where we only have to specify the maximum file size that you want to use, for example, one gigabyte. In this way, by re-copying the new files created, we avoid the problem described.

Use CMD to convert FAT32 units

As many of you will already know first-hand, CMD or the command prompt window will allow us to have more control over Windows. from here we also have the possibility of converting units of unformatted disk to change your file system to one that supports large files. To do this, the first thing we do is open a command prompt window by typing cmd in the search box. We recommend that you run this function as an administrator.

open cmd manager

Once we have the CMD functionality on the screen, we just have to write the following command:

convert D: /FS:ntfs

In this specific case, D: is the name of the drive that we want to convert to NTFS. Once the process is complete, confirm that the File System now it is NTFS where we can copy large files.

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