exFAT file system and recovery
The FAT file system has been used since early 1980s, first seen on floppy disks for MS-DOS V1.0. Although largely replaced by NTFS for PCs, FAT is still used extensively for external drives and memory chips. The big advantage of FAT is that it is simple to implement, hence it’s appeal in devices such as cameras. It also makes a compatible bridge between a PC and a MAC, or Unix/Linux based system.
FAT has been updated over the years to first allow for subdirectories (MS-DOS V2) and then long file names, Windows 95. There are also three basic version, FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 to allow for larger disks. FAT32 will work on a TB disk.
Two significant problems with FAT is that is not very fast or secure, and has a limit of 4GB for a single file. The new exFAT file system overcomes some of these problems, and also works hard on reducing fragmentation. Although it is still basically a FAT32 system, file allocation can be slightly different. There is a flag within the directory which indicates that the file is sequential, and so avoiding reading the FAT for each cluster being read. For recovery, this does mean that the FAT may not always be used, and so can not always help in finding files with no directory entry.
CnW data recovery software will handle exFAT disks allowing them to be read and recovered. To try the software, download