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I want to format my SD card for use within a SKY3DS+ Flashcart for the Nintendo 3DS, it needs to be formatted to FAT with a 64kb cluster size. The Disks Utility is not giving me the option to choose cluster size and the recommended DiskWriterV203b4.exe supplied does not run on Wine.

Is there any kind of format utility for Ubuntu 16.04 that will give me this option??

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mkfs.fat(8) has the options -s and -S for custom cluster and sector sizes.

  • -s SECTORS-PER-CLUSTER

    Specify the number of disk sectors per cluster. Must be a power of 2, i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, ... 128.

  • -S LOGICAL-SECTOR-SIZE

    Specify the number of bytes per logical sector. Must be a power of 2 and greater than or equal to 512, i.e. 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, or 32768.

So the command you want should be something like with the correct device name, 128 clusters per sector and a sectors size of 512byes:

mkfs.vfat -s 128 -S 512 /dev/name

for this purpose vfat and fat are probably the same although the 3DS might only want to read filesystems from partitions marked as vfat rather than fat. fat is from the msdos era and vfat is from the win95 onwards era.

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  • Thank you for your advice but I'm kind of new at Linux and terminal entry etc. how do I install mkfs.fat? I will need step by step instruction, type this then that style step by step. Sep 27 '16 at 14:56
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    @Amias From man mkfs.vfat: -S LOGICAL-SECTOR-SIZE Specify the number of bytes per logical sector. Must be a power of 2 and greater than or equal to 512, i.e. 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, or 32768. Your idea is good, but it should be mkfs.vfat -s 16 -S 4096 /dev/name (16*4096Byte=64kB), other variants are possible to get 64kB. OP added information in comment after you answered. I just see he want 64 kb, that might be different...
    – mook765
    Sep 27 '16 at 15:13
  • good spot mook765, i've updated the answer to include it , thanks !
    – Amias
    Sep 27 '16 at 15:27
  • thats vfat not fat but it should be the same for these purposes. Given the relative age of the 3DS i'd guess its vfat not normal fat
    – Amias
    Sep 27 '16 at 15:29
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    BTW, I tested it with Sky3DS+ yesterday. It should be -s 128 -S 512, the micro SD card isn't recognized otherwise. Oct 3 '17 at 9:58

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