What's the best way to format an external microSDHC disk?

I’ve read that formating with windows XP may create too small a block size causing the disk to read very slowly. How can I read the block size of the disk in XP and what can I use to format the disk to the prefered 32kb block size?


You can check the status of the Sansa’s memory if you connect in MSC mode and use chkdsk to have a look at the disk.  Unlike the common task of repairing corrupted files, we won’t need to use the /f toggle this time.

In the results for the disk check, the allocation cluster size will be shown.

Remember chkdsk is a command line utility, accessible via the run box or a DOS prompt.  Look at the Sansa using Windows Explorer to find the drive letter assigned to it.  The command will be baseed upon the drive letter assigned to the Sansa by your PC.

Say, for example, the drive letter is E.  Our command would be chkdsk E:

The reply from the utility will list “###### bytes in each allocation unit”.   This must be close to 32000.

You can format from Windows (it does erase your music, so have a backup copy), and specify 32K.  If you don’t see this option, no worries!  Then unplug your Fuze and use the internal format command: Settings > System Settings > Format > Yes.

The Sansa will optimize the cluster size to 32KB.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

For external 4GB uSDHC or higher  use the format command as

format e: /FS:FAT32  /A:32K

 Assumes the cards drive letter is e:  change it to whatever drive letter is assigned to the card.

IF card is 2 GB or less use

format e: /FS:FAT  /A:32K

Thanks ! Chkdsk was so obvious that I forgot all about it.  When I went to reformat the external disk in windows there were no options so I didn’t know if I would get 32 k blocks, but after checking it looks like that was set by default. I should have checked the command line options for format. 

Message Edited by narf on 03-09-2009 10:04 AM