Format an USB Device as NTFS in Windows XP
The question came up just recently and I thought it would be nice to address it here in case other users are searching for a similar solution. If you want to format an USB device in Windows XP you notice that you can only select the FAT filesystem in the options. NTFS does not seem to be available which is rather strange at first glance but it becomes obvious pretty soon that this was not just another evil Microsoft plot to frustrate users.
By default USB devices are optimized for quick removal in Windows XP. If you want to format your USB device as NTFS you need to change that to optimize them for performance. This has however direct impact on how you remove the device from your system. You need to remove it safely if you really changed that option otherwise severe data loss might occur.
I don't want to go deeper into the topic but I guess it does not make sense to format your USB device as NTFS considering the prospect of data loss if you miss to plug it off safely. Still it`s good to know I think.
NTFS formatted drives on the other hand offer several advantages over Fat32 formated drives, including the ability to use encryption, compression or a permission system.
To enable the NTFS format option in Windows do the following:
- Open the Control Panel via the start menu
- Load the Device Manager here and locate your connected USB Flash Drive
- Right-click the drive and select Properties
- Switch to Policies and there to Optimize for performance from Optimize for quick removal
- The NTFS format option should now be able when you select to Format the drive in Windows.