Why can’t you copy this large file?

July 17, 2009



You’ve been asked to backup a large video file that is just over 5 gigabytes of disk space. You have a new empty 500 gigabyte external USB hard drive to store the backup file. However, when you try to copy the file to the empty USB drive, you get an error message that there’s not enough disk space to complete the file transfer. What’s the most likely cause of this error?

A) USB connections can’t support large file transfers

B) The new USB drive is faulty

C) The video file is corrupted

D) The USB drive is formatted with a FAT32 file system


The answer: D) The USB drive is formatted with a FAT32 file system

The maximum individual file size supported on a FAT32 file system is 4 gigabytes, so copying a file larger than 4 GB will result in an error.


The incorrect answers:

A) USB connections can’t support large file transfers
The USB interface does not have any type of limitations over the size or amount of files that can be transferred over it.

B) The new USB drive is faulty
A bad hard drive will usually give an error very different than an out of disk space message.

C) The video file is corrupted
The contents of the video file won’t prevent it from being transferred to an external USB disk drive.

Want to know more? Watch “Working with Disk Partitions and File Systems.”

Before you can use a disk in Windows, it must first be partitioned and formatted with an appropriate file system. In this video, you’ll learn how to partition a disk and understand which file systems are available for use in Windows.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , ,

Category: CompTIA A+ Pop Quizzes

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Paul Denton says:

    This is a good question…and it’s happened to me on a number of occasions!

  2. Ivan says:

    That have also happend to me 🙁

  3. Terry says:

    I have been collecting professormesser questions.
    How long can we keep them before they no longer connect back to the questions/answers page?

  4. grantb says:

    So funny that by trying to copy a file over 4gig you would get this error message. I could never figure this out until I searched the net for “max file size fat32”. Years ago this caused me all kinds of stress. (side note) Now with PS3 it can have the same problems, as far as I know the PS3 likes the FAT32 file system as well. Grant