Size Constraints for FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS

This document was supplied by Microsoft and is republished by permission.

Description FAT16 FAT32 NTFS
Maximum file size 2 to the 32nd power - 1 bytes 2 to the 32nd power - 1 bytes 2 to the 44th power - 64K bytes (design to 264 - 1)
Files per volume 2 to 16th power 2 to 28th power 2 to the 32nd power - 1
Minimum volume size 4085 clusters 65535 clusters 1 MB
Maximum volume size 65536-12 clusters

Maximum volume size: 2 GB
Theoretical: 228 clusters.


- Windows 2000: Can format to 32 GB; can mount and convert larger volumes

- Windows Me: Up to 2 to the 28th power - 12 clusters

- Windows 95/98: 4,177,918 clusters

Theoretical: 2 to the 64th power clusters

Actual: 2 to the 32nd power clusters

Cluster size For all file systems:

- Windows NT/Windows 2000: A power of 2 between 512 bytes and 65536 bytes, inclusive

- Windows 95/98/Me: A power of 2 between 512 bytes and 32768 bytes, inclusive

Directory size 2 to the 16th power - 2 physical directory entries; special limits on root directory 2 to the 16th power - 2 physical directory entries No limit

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