Before we get into the point of how to change FAT32 cluster size, we would like to start with what is cluster size. Here is the explanation published by Microsoft for your reference:
“All file systems that are used by Windows organize your hard disk based on cluster size (also known as allocation unit size). Cluster size represents the smallest amount of disk space that can be used to hold a file. When file sizes do not come out to an even multiple of the cluster size, additional space must be used to hold the file (up to the next multiple of the cluster size). On the typical hard disk partition, the average amount of space that is lost in this manner can be calculated by using the equation (cluster size)/2 * (number of files).
If no cluster size is specified when you format a partition, defaults are selected based on the size of the partition. These defaults are selected to reduce the space that is lost and to reduce the fragmentation that occurs on the partition.”
When creating a new partition in Windows Disk Management, the cluster size will be set by default if we do not make a choice, i.e. 4096. However, different cluster size should be set to different partitions. For example, you have partition D for work paper, and partition E for blue-ray movies. The it is better that partition D has small cluster size and partition F have large cluster size. Why you do this? Because this will balance the storage space and the read-write speed at the same time.
Generally speaking, the way to change cluster size is to format the partition and re-allocate the cluster size during the process. However, you should know that formatting will lead to data-loss if no backup is made. Well then, is there a way to change cluster size of FAT32 partition without any data loss?
Luckily, professional partition manager can help achieve this aim. Next, we will go through how to change cluster size without formatting, please focus on.
Change Cluster Size of FAT32 Partition without Formatting
Here, we suggest MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition for non-server users and Server Edition for server users. This program is powerful, safe enough, and easy to use. Next, let’s see detailed operating steps.
Step 1: Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard to computer. Then, launch it to get the main interface.
Step 2: Click on the FAT32 partition of which the cluster size needs changes, and select the feature “Change Cluster Size“.
Step 3: Choose the appropriate cluster size and click “Yes“. Then press “Apply” to start changing cluster size FAT32 without formatting. Based on the data amount on the partition and your computer configurations, the spending time varies.
Now use this partition manager to change the cluster size of your FAT32 partition or NTFS partition reasonably by considering file size and data read-write speed. Here this post gives suggestions on how to choose cluster size.