Now over the past 20 years, Secure Digital or SD Cards have improved its data speed and storage capacity. So fast and more data to store that 4K Camcorders and Digital Cameras can store higher MegaPixel photos and finer details. But just before you buy those expensive SDXC cards which are Secure Digital eXtended Capacity cards, then this will disappoint you and make you feel like you got lured into a trap. Now I won’t explain into too much detail but most devices and Operating Systems work well with SD or SDHC card that are formatted as FAT32 Filesystems. File Allocated Tables or FAT was devised and patented by Microsoft near the late 1970s. FAT32 can only work and can be formatted for SD and SDHC cards but NOT for SDXC cards. Why? Because of the patented royalty fee that other electronic manufactures need to pay – which can also increase their prices of their phones, tablets as well not making their Linux OSes free. SDXC can be formatted as exFAT but isn’t 100% compatible for Android, Linux and various distros. If you want to learn more specific details on exFAT and FAT32 formatted SD cards you can learn more below here:-

Now I’ve been experimenting on how to maybe bypass and to force my SDXC card to be formatted as 128GB FAT32, using guiformat.exe that was provided in the links from Raspberry Pi site for NOOBS. But the problem is that NOOBS needs to create partition for the Recovery and other partitions, and when I inserted my Micro SDXC card into my Raspberry Pi 3B+, the NOOBS failed to create the partition and couldn’t continue on. I then tried to reformat my card but only this time on my Linux Mint using Gparted as ext4 as well as FAT32; for good measures, and the same error occurred. So I’m guessing using NOOBS for the Pi wasn’t a wise choice except using Etcher to have the SDXC card formatted and installed as a Standalone Raspbian OS. I didn’t gave up just yet as I also tried PINN which is the unofficial enhanced version of NOOBS for the Pi. And well...sadly the results were pretty much the same. So this shows that the Raspberry Pi Foundation doesn’t appear to allow support nor paid for including the exFAT Filesystem data to be loaded in the BIOS boot system. And using Gparted for forcing the SDXC card to be formatted as FAT32 cannot give you the guaranteed results.

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In other devices like the Nintendo Wii, Wii U and Android phones and Tablets it appears that it can only support at a maximum of 32GB SDHC cards. Now I wasn’t fussed or bother on having a higher capacity SD card for my Wii nor Wii U as I got just enough storage for my Wii and Wii U Homebrew and my Saves. But you can also use an external self-powered HDD drive up to near 2TB. Unlike common external USB powered HDDs like the WD Passport, the Wii U won’t work as it needs an additional power supply from the power plug. You can find out more in here:-

For the latest Nintendo Switch however it appears that it DOES support exFAT SDXC cards which is great news for players who want to buy more Switch Games from eShop. Now that the Switch can support SDXC it is recommended to afford the largest capacity as you can, because despite having Nintendo Cloud storage subscription payments as well using Nintendo Switch Online membership, but unfortunately not ALL Switch games can be backed up or copied. Because for games like Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee from eShop, they do not allow saves to be backed up. The reason is that Nintendo is trying to reduce cheats as well having hacked Pokemon into their Pokemon Bank that can blow things outta proportion as well prevent rare Pokemon from being cloned. So sorry but you best off buying a 400GB or 256GB SD card and BE SURE NOT TO LOSE THAT TINY MICRO SD CARD WITH YOUR PRECIOUS SAVES!

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Whew…! So for Android SDXC cards well you maybe best off not using it. Because if you format it as either FAT32 or exFAT, then you will get a nasty shock as I’ve tried that for my Motorola Android phone as my phone requires me to reformat my card as either as Internal Storage or Portable Storage. But it became corrupt after a while as I’m guessing it created a partition with a exFAT partition when I had my 128GB card preformatted as FAT32. I don’t know if this will apply the same error for Samsung, LG, HTC even those OnePlus phones but nowadays most high-tier smartphones are becoming more expensive and it depends on which ones support exFAT cards – that can cause the selling prices to be higher. For iPhones and those discontinued Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 10s its kinda different. Personally I never had an iPhone in my life, but I do know they never support SD slots, USB or Flash Players. And of course Windows Phones had the advantage as Microsoft produced their own phones when they bought over Nokia’s Lumia series – that allowed exFAT and even NTFS support. But now Windows Phones 10 aren’t in active development anymore and will terminate any support by Xmas 2019. NTFS isn't widely supported for Linux but you can use ntfs-3g to allow support.

So before you shop and buy those SD cards for your Phone, Camera, or even for your Linux Single Board Computers, be sure to think twice and check the compatibility for your device...until you are sure it is legitimate to do so. Besides... I’d be disappointed to see you buying the wrong SD Card that will make your device hate it and say “Hell no to exFAT”. Hope this guide helps you to save money as well preventing you wasting too much efforts and be sure to keep your important documents, photos and your album safe!