Installing Windows from Media Formatted with exFAT


hsehestedt

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I know that some UEFI based systems don't like to boot from removable media formatted with NTFS, for example, thumb drives that are formatted with NTFS. However, I'm wondering how many such systems will tolerate booting from exFAT rather than only plain FAT32.

Just out of curiosity, I created Windows installation media using exFAT and booted an 11 year old laptop (this one is not a UEFI based system) and was pleasantly surprised that it worked flawlessly.

If anyone has tried creating bootable thumb drives using exFAT, I'd like to hear what your results were. I have a program that I wrote that always creates bootable media using a FAT32 partition along with a secondary NTFS partition, but if exFAT works in most instances I may consider reworking this code to allow the user the option of using exFAT instead. I just simply don't have enough data yet to know if this will work for most people or not.
 

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Hazel123

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I don’t know enough about it but was under the impression Fat 32 was better for safe data storage - so I just use this program to change ex fat to fat 32

 

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Berton

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exFAT works better on Mac OS X than NTFS and is better for drives larger than the limit of 32GB for FAT plus getting around the 4GB single-file-size of FAT32. If using the MCT/Media Creation Tool of Windows to format/prepare the bootable USB drive be aware it formats as FAT32 and a maximum partition size of 32GB [found that out when mistakenly using a 64GB drive].
 

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NavyLCDR

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The UEFI specification states that UEFI must be able to boot from FAT32, FAT16 and FAT12. All other filesystems are optional. My Dell laptop will not boot in UEFI from NTFS nor exFAT. I did not attempt to see if it would boot in legacy BIOS mode from exFAT.
 

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Try3

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I've also had a mixture of responses to exFat.
Some would boot from it whilst others would not.
Only Fat32 has proved bootable on all.

As a result, I now only use exFat for a large [non-bootable] SD card that my phone can read.

Denis
 

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hsehestedt

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The UEFI specification states that UEFI must be able to boot from FAT32, FAT16 and FAT12. All other filesystems are optional. My Dell laptop will not boot in UEFI from NTFS nor exFAT. I did not attempt to see if it would boot in legacy BIOS mode from exFAT.
Thanks! That directly addressed the concern I had. I'll simply stick with what I have now since that works universally on everything. Less work for me as well :-)
 

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Ed Tittel

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I'd like to observe that Ventoy supports exFAT and NTFS for the "big partition," and does some tricks to boot (briefly) from a 32 MB FAT partition, then mount and hand over control to an ISO on the "big partition." This offers a lot of advantages, including no need to split images larger than 4GB in size. Here's snapshot of the disk layout:
1635784577499.png
You can also store as many ISO files as will fit on the Ventoy partition and boot to any of them. According to File Explorer, I have 28 such items in that disk for 144GB of storage consumed (averages out to 5.14GB per image).
HTH,
--Ed--
 

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Steve311

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exFAT is working better as storage device instead of bootable device. Both my Mac and laptops won't recognize exFAT USB created with ISO burning software.
 

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hdmi

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I'd like to observe that Ventoy supports exFAT and NTFS for the "big partition," and does some tricks to boot (briefly) from a 32 MB FAT partition, then mount and hand over control to an ISO on the "big partition." This offers a lot of advantages, including no need to split images larger than 4GB in size. Here's snapshot of the disk layout:
View attachment 12178
You can also store as many ISO files as will fit on the Ventoy partition and boot to any of them. According to File Explorer, I have 28 such items in that disk for 144GB of storage consumed (averages out to 5.14GB per image).
HTH,
--Ed--
Yes, BUT... what you have described is the EASY way. Can't you understand the simple fact that the vast majority of ppl on here will insist on doing it the hard way? 😂
 

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ZhuMa

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Many years ago, I installed and booted Windows on the exFAT partition.
exFAT boot Windows 10 v2004.jpg
I was the first to study the exFAT file system boot, among the minimum Windows version that supports exFAT boot is 6.1.7850.
This is a detailed installation tutorial I wrote in Simplified Chinese (because I am from China)
http://bbs.wuyou.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=388226&mobile=no
I appologize for my grammatical mistake because English isn't my main language.
Note:
To access this forum by non-Chinese IP, you need to modify the "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts" file and add:
117.25.130.178 bbs.c3.wuyou.net
117.25.130.178 bbs.wuyou.net
117.25.130.178 wuyou.net
 

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zbook

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There are scripts in TF that are being revised before they become resources in EF.

We've not tested exFat yet and are looking for various partition structures (different types, large numbers, etc.)

If possible please logon to TF (as needed) to run them and post share links in this thread using one drive, drop box, or google drive.


Latest diskparinfo bat script:

 

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Ed Tittel

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@hdmi Still laughing about your response to my observations, months later. Great bon mot!
Keep it up, and keep 'em laughing...
=Ed=
 

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