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  • Formatting Tools

    If you want to format your Corsair Flash Voyager USB drive and would like to review a comparison between the various formatting tools and software often recommended in this forum, then this posting may be of value to you.

    This article compares HP's USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0 and Panasonic's SD-CARD Organization software, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3, and Windows XP's command line syntax FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /U, where X denotes the drive letter.

    The following format-related tests were conducted with a Corsair 16GB Flash Voyager, model CMFUSB2.0-16GB, using HDBench 3.40 Beta 6 testing software with 100MB file size. In addition, under Hardware / Device Manager / Disk Drives / Flash Voyager USBCorsair Flash Voyager USB Device Properties / Policies / Write caching and Safe Removal, the "Optimize for performance" setting was selected.

    HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0
    setting > FAT32 default
    setting > Quick Format - NOT SELECTED
    setting > Create a DOS startup disk - NOT SELECTED
    - Read 31801
    - Write 8390
    - RandomRead 31960
    - RandomWrite 358
    RESULTS include HDBench 3.40 Beta 6 with 100MB file. This software sets cluster size to 8192, a common size for typical usage.

    Panasonic's [B]SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3, software has multiple setting options associated with its format procedure. These settings options include:

    #1
    FORMAT TYPE = QUICK
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = OFF

    #2
    FORMAT TYPE = QUICK
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = ON

    #3
    FORMAT TYPE = FULL [Erase OFF]
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = OFF

    #4
    FORMAT TYPE = FULL [Erase OFF]
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = ON

    #5
    FORMAT TYPE = FULL [Erase ON]
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = OFF

    #6
    FORMAT TYPE = FULL [Erase ON]
    FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT = ON

    For additional information regarding the above settings, please refer to the current Panasonic SD Memory Card Formatting Software Instruction Manual, dated October 1, 2008. At the time of this posting, this Instruction Manual (PDF file) may be found here http://panasonic.jp/support/global/c...SDF_manual.pdf

    It is important to note that Panasonic specifically states: "Do not format recordable media other than SD/SDHC Memory Cards using this software. If you have mistakenly formatted a recordable media other than the SD/SDHC Memory Card, reformat the media using the appropriate formatting software that came with the media." However, since this software has been recommended (by others) in this forum, as Corsair USB drive owners, it is IMPORTANT to share the following results.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #1

    setting > QUICK
    setting > SIZE ADJUSTMENT OFF
    - Read 31960
    - Write 9943
    - RandomRead 32425
    - RandomWrite 369
    RESULTS include a format that creates a cluster size of 32768 which may be too large for typical usage. For an explanation regarding typical usage, refer to SUMMARY section, noted below.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #2

    setting > QUICK
    setting > SIZE ADJUSTMENT ON
    - Read 31960
    - Write 9927
    - RandomRead 32120
    - RandomWrite 366
    RESULTS include a format that creates a cluster size of 32768 which may be too large for typical usage. For an explanation regarding typical usage, refer to SUMMARY section, noted below.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #3

    setting > FULL [ERASE OFF]
    setting > SIZE ADJUSTMENT OFF
    - Read 31960
    - Write 9898
    - RandomRead 32110
    - RandomWrite 366
    RESULTS include the FULL [Erase OFF] option which is exceedingly slow, and the resulting format creates a cluster size of 32768 which may be too large for typical usage. For an explanation regarding typical usage, refer to SUMMARY section, noted below.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #4

    setting > FULL [ERASE OFF]
    setting > Format SIZE ADJUSTMENT OFF
    - Read 31960
    - Write 9854
    - RandomRead 31960
    - RandomWrite 366
    RESULTS include the FULL [Erase OFF] option which is exceedingly slow, and the resulting format creates a cluster size of 32768 which may be too large for typical usage. For an explanation regarding typical usage, refer to SUMMARY section, noted below.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #5

    setting > FULL [ERASE ON]
    setting > SIZE ADJUSTMENT OFF
    RESULTS are inconclusive the FULL [ERASE ON] setting was not supported by our 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager USB drives.

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3
    #6

    setting > FULL [ERASE ON]
    setting > SIZE ADJUSTMENT ON
    RESULTS are inconclusive the FULL [ERASE ON] setting was not supported by our 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager USB drives.

    Windows XP command line syntax FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /U /A:32K
    - Read 33773
    - Write 9929
    - RandomRead 33941
    - RandomWrite 411
    RESULTS include the switch /A:32K which formats a 32768 cluster size. This switch was chosen to specifically ensure an apples-to-apples comparison with the SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software's DEFAULT cluster size setting of 32768. Once again, a cluster size of 32768 which may be too large for typical usage. For an explanation regarding typical usage, refer to SUMMARY section, noted below. And for additional information regarding Windows XP command line syntax, refer to another posting found here http://www.asktheramguy.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=72440

    SUMMARY
    HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0 - cluster size 8192
    - Read 31801
    - Write 8390
    - RandomRead 31960
    - RandomWrite 358

    SD-CARD Organization, SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 - cluster size 32768
    - Read 31960
    - Write 9898 > FULL [ERASE OFF] option, similar to the Windows XP command line syntax /U switch
    - RandomRead 32110
    - RandomWrite 366

    Windows XP command line syntax FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /U /A:32K - cluster size 32768
    - Read 33773
    - Write 9929
    - RandomRead 33941
    - RandomWrite 411

    HP's USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0 software works quickly and includes an option to Create a DOS startup disK (i.e. create a bootable USB drive), an added value to many USB drive owners.

    SD-CARD Organization SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software sets cluster size to 32768, which may be too large for typical usage if that usage involves primarily small files. This cluster size wastes storage space unless large MB and or GB files are being transferred. A cluster size of 32768 may increase Write speeds and, if so, the HDBench 3.40 Beta 6 test results may support this.

    Windows XP command line syntax FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /U /A:32K cumulatively out-performed both the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0 and the SD-CARD Organization software, and the HDBench 3.40 Beta 6 test results support this fact summarized as follows:

    CONCLUSION
    If your objective includes creating a bootable USB drive, then the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8.0 software works nicely. In this regard, the SD-CARD Organization SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software is USELESS.

    If your PC is capable of executing Windows XP (SP2 or greater) command line syntax FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /U /A:32K, then the SD-CARD Organization SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software is USELESS.

    In short, given Panasonic's warning (as noted above), with respect to our 16GB Corsair Flash Voyager USB drives, the SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software is inferior to the Windows XP command line syntax and therefore any recommendation associated with this SD-CARD Organization SDFormatter 2.0.0.3 software is inappropriate and borderline irresponsible.

    T4USD
    Last edited by CurlySue; Jan. 25th, 2009, 23:26.
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