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darryl
12-21-2006, 03:19 AM
I bought an mp3 player a few days ago. Because I run win 98 , I had to instal a driver from the included disc. Fine. Computer sees the player, I can drag and drop files onto it, fine. But after about 400 mb or so of files, I get a message that says 'the directory or file cannot be created'. That's it, can't put more files on it than that. I can erase files and then load some more on, but it caps out at anywhere between 400 megs and 460 megs. This is a 2 gb capacity player.

Here's the funny part- this is the second player I've tried. The first one seemed to work fine, filling up to about 800 or so megs before I got tired and went to bed. Next day I hooked up my old 512 meg player to transfer some of it's files onto the computer- I had to load it's driver before it would show up as a drive, but ok, did that and it worded ok.

Then I took that one off and plugged in the new one. First file transfer I tried to do, no go. 'directory or file cannot be created' shows up. After lots of frustration trying to rectify this, I decide to re-format it. That goes ok, computer shows that it's a 2 gig drive with that much free space. So I add the files again and this time it capped out at about 400 or so megs. Error message again. Hmmm.

I take it back and the guy hooks it to his computer and it reads as a 2 gig drive, all looks good, but he can't transfer any files to it either. It has capped out at 400 and some megs. If files are erased, the same files can be put back. If enough files are erased, then some others can be loaded. But it still won't load past 460 megs. That is the most I got it to hold.

It's decided that this player is defective and because they can't replace it, I get my moolah back. I buy a different one somewhere else. Run the instal disc, blah blah. Load it up, hunh? Quits at about the same point as the other one, at about 1/4 to 1/5 of it's capacity. Because this second one has an SD slot, I put a card in to see if that would work. Sure enough, I was able to fill it. It's a 256 mb card and every bit got used.

Something in my computer seems to have made a permanent restriction on the 2 gig drive, and did the same on the second new player. Two in a row, similar problem, different manufacture, - not likely to be the devices themselves.

What's going on here?

Evan
12-21-2006, 09:12 AM
The player flash ram is formatted using FAT 32 file system. The FAT 16 (edit from 32) system has an inherent limit to the number of files that may be placed in the root directory of the drive, any drive. This limit depends on the format of the file names. If it is all the 8.3 dos name format then the limit is 512 file names. If the file names are long file names then it is 256 files. If the file names are both long names and have capital letters then it is 128 names. It isn't dependent on the size of the files. When the limit is reached it will give a disk full message.

This does not apply to sub folders of the root directory.

Error correction. The above problem applies to the FAT16 file system, not FAT 32. Make sure the device isn't being formatted as a floppy drive which uses the FAT16 file system. If the device is preformatted it will be FAT32. If you format it on your Win98 system it may format it as a floppy because it is a removable drive.

darryl
12-22-2006, 04:51 AM
Thanks, Evan. That helped me figure out what was going on. When I first tried the first player, it was 'good'. After I installed the driver for the older player, the new one was mucked up. I don't know how, but the fix for this latest player was to format it from the player itself, not from the windoze OS. I didn't realize I could format on the player itself- now I know.

By the way, the window that opens with 'properties' showed the file system on the player as FAT - nothing more, just FAT. Since I formatted using the players own menu, windows now shows it as FAT32. Works fine now. Thanks again.

Evan
12-22-2006, 06:49 AM
Yep, if it just says FAT (File Allocation Table) instead of FAT32 then it was FAT16 and the above description is the cause of the problem. The thing that can really get confusing about it is the total number of file names depends on the file names themselves, up to 512.

I slightly misremembered which was what. The FAT (16) file system was only used for hard drives in the first version of Win 95. That was ten years ago. That's like a century in the computer business. Computer years are worse than dog years.

dp
12-22-2006, 11:13 AM
My recollection is that because a subdirectory is actually a file, it has no limit to how many files it can reference. I bumped into a similar problem with a Unix system that has a 32k limit of files or subdirectory entries, but the subdirs could grow forever.

A solution, if it's possible, is to create a subdirectory on the player and put everything in there.

Evan
12-22-2006, 12:02 PM
There are limits to the number of folders and files that may exist in subdirectories depending on the operating system. It's not all that high in the FAT16 file system and is also limited in the FAT 32 system. I believe FAT 32 is limited to a maximum of 2^16-1 files and folders total or 65535 maximum. NTFS also has limits but they are extremely high and never likely to be approached. There are also files size limits depending on the operating system and often those limits aren't imposed by the file system itself but by other factors. FAT 16 on win 95 has a maximum partition size of 2GB but if formatted by XP can be 4GB. Fat 32 can, in theory, address up to a terabyte of disk space but the formatting tool for FAT32 in XP will only format 32GB max.

Don't ask.