I have a external media storage drive where I (believe that I) have formatted the partitions as 2048 kb (or 2,048 kb for any Googlers searching) cluster sizes and there are a couple of smaller clustered partitions on the same USB drive. This might be termed as 2049 kb or 2,049 kb ( or 2M / 2 M / 2MB / 2 MB ) in some places, but 2048 is the number that Windows provides when you format.

I'm pretty sure that is the number that I chose when I formatted them, however the actual number in the cluster report is 2097152 or 2,097,152 from this command:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo [drive]

However whenever the physical device is correctly recognised by Android operating systems it will not recognise the large cluster partitions. Is this an Android specific fault, or is it working as designed, and wasn't ever supposed to read clusters / file allocations of that size?

I have (I believe exhaustively) searched for answers on this (at 2048 and 2049), but as you can appreciate I get a lot of unrelated stuff. I'm aware of how to Google well (quotes, brackets, intitles, etc), and have searched this network, too, and not found a solution. This is a bit of a pain, is all, as it means that my drive can essentially only be used on my Windows computers, and then (I think) only a couple of them.

On Android I've tried ES File Explorer on a Shield, and CX on a Galaxy Tab S4. I can't afford the NTFS plugin for Total Commander, but I would guess it's an OS restriction, not an App one. KODI doesn't see the partitions, and I'm not sure where to go next to be honest.

I mention linux in the title because my router ( stock TP Link Archer C1200 v2 ) also won't recognise the large clustered drives. I'll be testing on a pi, later, to see if that gives me any joy, and a mint box at my parents, when I can.

Windows 10 devices have no issues with the drive, I have a VISTA box that I can test, but I have a feeling that it won't recognise the drive as I may have tested it months ago. This post has been in draft for a LONG time. ;-)

With the greatest respect (and I think Stack avoids this well, but still) let's not delve in to why I chose NTFS or these cluster / file allocation sizes.

Best E

2 LARGE File size drives at this configuration NOT seen by Android devices:

Bytes Per Sector  :                512
Bytes Per Physical Sector :        4096
Bytes Per Cluster :                2097152
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    :  1024

1 SMALLER File size drives at this configuration ARE seen by Android devices:

Bytes Per Sector  :                512
Bytes Per Physical Sector :        4096
Bytes Per Cluster :                32768
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    :  1024

2 EVEN SMALLER File size drives at this configuration ARE seen by Android devices:

Bytes Per Sector  :                512
Bytes Per Physical Sector :        4096
Bytes Per Cluster :                4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    :  1024
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    NTFS is Microsoft's proprietary filesystem. It means that unauthorized entities don't have the right to include an open source implementation of the driver in their products. That's why NTFS has never been fully supported in Linux/Android kernel. So if it works on your device, it's a bonus. If it doesn't, you cannot blame. The current in-kernel driver implementation (not being developed for years) is buggy and supports read-only mounting. There are FUSE implementations of NTFS drivers (which I've been using in Linux distros for years) and many OEMs/developers include that in their ROMs. – Irfan Latif Jun 20 at 16:37
  • Same was the case with exFAT, but now MS open-sourced it a few months back. Some details here: android.stackexchange.com/a/223592/218526 – Irfan Latif Jun 20 at 16:37
  • Cheers, @IrfanLatif, I didn't think it'd be as simple as bloody closed source horribleness. So the irony that routers, TVs, etc, won't recognise any other formats than FAT32 or NTFS (ie not exFAT), coupled with no decent cluster/file allocation methods in other file systems means that I'm basically banjaxed for large file storage ... would that be about right? – Eliot Jun 22 at 10:46

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