[CUSTOMER ADVICE] Using USB sticks with more than 32GB will not be bootable
Dear Acronis customers,
while availability of cheap, voluminous and fast USB 2.0 or 3.0 sticks is really a good thing, there are caveats you need to consider.
I am personally very satisfied with the speed and usability design of the Sandisk Extreme series, that really deliver USB 3.0 Speed adantages in read and write actions at a good price.
Be cautious to use any sticks larger than 32 GB capacity when you want to make sure that you can use them as a boot device, or to be recognized in your BIOS / UEFI firmware.
Regularly I am unable to boot from a 64GB sized stick or being able to use it to flash a BIOS / UEFI Firmware on the mainboard because they cannot handle it correctly.
This is especially the case when you are using such a large stick in UEFI mode, which needs to be formatted with FAT32.
I have tried this on several computers of several age and all of them were not able to boot from this stick, nor being recognized correctly for flashing with BIOS / UEFI internal tools like Asus EZ Flash etc.
I have contacted Asus and they confirmed that even the lastest UEFI firmware they have, do not support 64GB or larger sticks yet.
So just in case you like to buy an USB stick, make sure that you consider the limitations.
This is also and especially valid for using an USB stick as Acronis bootable device. When trying to create a bootable media with a 64GB stick the wizard will quit with an error message "Media cannot be formatted". The Acronis KB link does lead to no explaination.
The major issue is apparently the limitation of the filesystem FAT32, which is quite old but still commonly used for USB sticks.
If you need an USB stick to make it bootable or to flash your mainboard firmware, make sure to avoid an USB stick larger than 32GB size. Pretty usual 8 GB or 16 GB are enough to serve these tasks.
More official information about FAT32 limitations is available here:
(in contrary to the articles header it is not limited to Windows XP)
Sidenote: Tools like Rufus does ease the creation of Bootable sticks of any Windows or Linux ISO file you have. Especially uncommon things like creating an bootable Windows 7 UEFI compatible USB stick.
When using a 64GB USB stick under Windows 10, Rufus will still format it, as Large FAT32 or exFAT, which is not compatible to FAT32.
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