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// Tales from software development

Why do I get a 'disk full' error copying a large file to my USB hard drive ?

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I was at a client site. They had a VM image that they wanted me to take away and do some work on. I wasn’t prepared for this and didn’t have an external disk drive with me.

Then I remembered I had my 60gb iPod in my coat pocket. And, luckily I had a spare iPod-USB cable in my rucksack.

I connected the iPod to the PC with the ZIP file containing the VM files and tried to copy it to the iPod. After 30 seconds of thinking about it Windows Explorer threw up an error message: 

This was crazy – there was over 30gb free on the drive and I was only trying to copy a 4.5gb file.

It took a few minutes of frantic Googling to realise what the problem was. Despite the text of the error message, it was nothing to do with the amount of space on the iPod. The problem was that the iPod was formatted as FAT32 which has a 4gb maximum file size limit. I’ll avoid drawing comparisons with Bill’s apocryphal “640K is enough for anyone” comment (oops, too late).

The only practical solution was to use WinZip’s Split action to save the ZIP file as a set of smaller (than 4gb) files.

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Written by Sea Monkey

April 14, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Debugging, Hardware

Tagged with ,

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