View Full Version : Pioneer CDJs do NOT support over 32GB USB harddisks/sticks in Windows 7

02-24-2012, 04:23 PM
I am a bit surprised how little discussion there has been about this issue.

I realised a few months ago (by first trying and then googling) that all Pioneer new CDJ models (CDJ-2000, CDJ-900, CDJ-850 and CDJ-350) do not support NTFS or exFAT, the only practical file formats for Windows user. Of course if you are a Mac user there is no problem as all of them support HFS+ file format which does not have an upper limit (or it is unlikely for you to reach it in the near future). The other format that the CDJs support is FAT32. In windows you cannot create larger partitions than 32GB. Or actually you can do it with a 3rd party tool (e.g. HP format or something) that you have to download separately, but I realized by trying that Windows (at least Windows 7) does not handle larger FAT32 partitions than 32GB correctly. I tried to copy something the large FAT32 partition I created but Win7 didn't allow me to do it because it claims that the partition is full (although it is empty or almost empty). I did some googling and found out that Win7 has problems with FAT32 that are larger than 32GB which is the reason that the OS does not allow you to create them (but offers the option of NTFS or exFAT).

If you are a Mac user it really doesn't matter because Macs format (HFS+) works with the CDJs. But in a club setting it is a totally different story and it is there where most of the CDJ-2000s will be sold. A club owner would want the majority of the artists to be able to use available equipment to full potential. I am a promoter, in a few years there has been about 100-200 different artists visiting our events, many of them with laptops (both DJ and live sets) and most of them are Windows PCs, maybe 20-33% of the laptops are Macs. So in my view Pioneer doesn't seem to care about very large portion of DJs out there. I read from Pioneer forum that the reason for dropping NTFS/exFAT support is that "Microsoft is a money hungry company" (asking too big license fees from the technologies).

How come there can then be NTFS support in Numark NDX-400? It costs 233eur (CDJ-2000 costs 1766eur), and actually seems to be very capable device for its price. Of course quality of components is not as good as in Pioneer but I would say that it might work in a bar/lounge, maybe even a smaller 2nd stage. I tried it for a few hours with a pretty short duration crossfades and that is my opinion.


A lot of people ask me opinions about DJ equipment and for a club owner I really cannot recommend to invest to a player that does not support adequately all used platforms. I read a rumor that new CDJs are on their way, does anybody happen to know if they are going to correct this issue?

I must say I am really happy to see that Traktor S4 has been now very long time (maybe over a year already) in the most sold products in Thomann. Pioneer seems to be just too slow bringing new technologies, doing it wrong (at least this time) and milking every euro from customers (or is it just me, but I have the feeling that in last 10 years the prices of Pioneer DJ products has gone up in a much faster rate than the general inflation rate). I mean, think about DJM-900nexus. Pioneer MUST have known when doing DJM-900 that to do really a useful audio interface based mixer you have to have two audio interfaces and two USB slots there so that when one DJ plays, another DJ can connect his laptop to the mixer and prepare his set so that there will be no setup pause between the sets. But do you know why they didn't do that?

Because soon they will do it, for sure, and gain even more money as DJM-900 buyers have to also upgrade. For a monopoly (Pioneer is not the only one, Microsoft is another sad example) for purely maximizing profits you have to bring new features to the products as slowly as possible. I am sure that the DJ world would innovate much faster if there was more serious players.

10-30-2013, 12:26 PM
Still nothing new in this front... I witnessed a situation where laptop of a famous artist went broken 30min before performance. Backups were on NTFS --> 500 people had to wait, performance got delayed while FAT32 USB stick had to be acquired and everything copied to them.

Pioneer PLEASE bring at least exFAT (preferably exFAT and NTFS) support to the players. As a market leader you are making loads of money and you claim that you cannot afford to pay "unneccessary" license fees for Microsoft for using these formats. It is nothing more than bad customer service and ignoring needs of your customers to assume that they would use 3rd party tools format USB-sticks and harddrives to a 15 year old disk format.

10-30-2013, 01:38 PM
artist should have had a beckup CD's to do his set. So that is no excuse for him. But yes this does sucks. I was planing to by two 64GB memory sticks and use them since I didnt know about this

10-30-2013, 01:38 PM
I use 32GB SD cards in my CDJ-2000s, 32 seems to be the biggest size they accept. I also use no larger than 32GB USB sticks in my players. If you link two CDJ-2000s together, that gives you 128GB worth of media space for songs among the four drives. That should be more than enough for even a mobile DJ. If you need more than 20,000 songs on the regular, I don't know what to tell you. I also bring my 160gb iPod which fits another 30,000 something songs so it's plausible to bring a maximum of 50,000 songs to a gig this way.

10-30-2013, 02:58 PM
ummmmmmmm not sure where you left off on this but you can format a FAT32 drive using a 3rd party utility like HP FORMAT TOOL. I use 256gb SSD drives with my 2000's formatted FAT

from their website:

Drive Formatting Utilities


HP USB Disk Storage Formatting Tool (Free)
For some reason or another, the built-in Windows formatting tool does a piss-poor job of formatting things in FAT32 (when it lets you). This HP tool is fantastic for any version of Windows to format flash drives and hard drives to FAT32. Always remember to double-format! Again, we're not sure why but we just know that it's important to format your drive not once but twice with this utility.

FAT32format (Free)
For users who have had an error using the HP tool above, try this utility by Ridgecrop Consultants. A couple of users have had success with it after being faced with error messages when connecting their USB drives to the CDJs.

Swiss Knife Premium (Trial / Pay)
It's free to try ... and format your drive, which is all you'll really need it for. It's a proven success for DJs who have had problems with the HP formatting utility above.


Disk Utilities (Free - built in to OSX)
OSX has this feature built-in for formatting drives, just go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. From there you can select which drive to format, then click the Erase tab up top of the right screen, then select the Volume Format as either MS-DOS(FAT) or HFS+ (which will also work with Pioneer products).

Dj Peter
12-28-2015, 01:08 PM
Don't know why this is or should be a problem for anyone. I use a 128 GB SSD drive in my CDJ-2000's and have had no problems what so ever. I also use the SSD on CDJ-850's on a club where I'm resident and on them it's not as noticeably faster as it is on the CDJ-2000-Nexus. To format the SSD and a number of USB's over the last few years I use a small free program: guiformat.exe. Doesn't even have to be installed. just run the .exe. Google & download. The benefit of using a SSD drive instead of a regular USB stick is the time it takes to export music from my computer. It's a lot faster than any USB3 sticks I've used and my Patriot Supersonic Rage 32/64GB's is still with me as backup. They are pretty fast but can not compare to the SSD drive.

01-08-2016, 03:08 PM
Stick to Fat32. It's universally recognized on all DJ media players. I use the HP Disk Storage Format Tool. My music drives are all Fat32. You're just limited to 9,999 files total per drive and 999 per folder. I can get the Hanpins to recognize 500GB drives full of WAVs just fine. With lossy, obviously the drives don't need to be that big.

Daniel S
01-08-2016, 10:22 PM
You don't even need to use a third party tool to format a drive in Windows. It's just that you can't use the GUI tool, you will need to use the command prompt to do it.

01-09-2016, 06:13 AM
My 128GB Sandisk Extreme Pro (formatted in FAT32) works perfectly fine. But, I'm a Mac user... :lol:

01-09-2016, 07:26 AM
Some people feel limited with 64 gb?. I mean even by CD standards, that's over 64 hours of music, or over 400 mp3 albums, 12.000+ songs.

01-17-2016, 01:54 AM
Using a 64 gig SSD in a USB enclosure I have copied over music successfully running Windows 7, is this limited to versions of Rekordbox past version 2?