Go Back   TechArena Community > Technical Support > Computer Help > Windows Vista > Vista Help
Become a Member!
Forgot your username/password?
Register Tags Active Topics RSS Search Mark Forums Read

Sponsored Links



How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

Vista Help


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 103
How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

I have a External Hard drive. It is NTFS I think. When I connect the same to my computer I can access all the content in it. It is nice and easy to manage. I also have a Xbox 360. When I connect the drive to the gaming console it is not detected there. I searched on google and found that Xbox can read Fat32 partition. I do not know how to do that. There is lot of data in that. They are mostly video files. I need some tools that can help me to do this. What should I know do here to make this thing work. Thanks.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 73
This is not possible without formatting the drive completely. Copy the entire data to somewhere for backup. Because when you format the same back again all will be wiped out. Connect the drive to your PC. Copy all the data first to some safe place. Then right click on the external drive and click on Format. In that you can see a small drop down box from where you have to choose FAT32. Click on Quick Format and then click on Format. No wait for some time. Once it is done you will get the message on screen that format is complete. Now connect the drive to Xbox and then check whether it is readable or not. Most of the usb drives are in Fat format. You can check the same by connecting them directly.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 144
I face a bit weird issue with that. My cousin has a 250GB external hard drive. When we connected that directly to Xbox it was not detected. It is a NTFS file format. So this looks that Xbox does not read NTFS. Later on we formatted the driver completely and converted the partition to FAT. Now when connected I found it shows only 200GB space while it is 250GB. There are some different partition in the drive which is detected as single one disk. I had lots of music file in that. Yet I had not tested again. Hope it will work.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 150
It is a old limitation of FAT partition which does not support over 32GB. But the FAT32 is cable of supporting 2TB. So better format your drive in FAT32 not FAT or else your system will be limited to read that. You can use many third party tools for that formatting. There is no way of converting the file system from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. Gparted is one the tools that did the same work. Remember that you must use the correct partition type and avoid formatting the same again and again. It reduces the disk life.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 127
If you have a old computer running on XP or 98SE then there will be limitation related to formatting. My old system does not provide me to read partition above 32GB. Now in your Xbox it must be detected. If the hard drive has a size of 250GB then it must show the same. There are only a few mbs less which is kept for information. Gparted is a good tool that can do your job. Backup is important. You can also try to create a new fresh partition with the help of Windows installation disk. Just boot your system with that and then choose the external partition. In the next window you will find the formatting option.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16-04-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 129
I had searched on tons of website to find a way to convert a NTFS partition to fat without formatting. But there is nothing such thing mentioned. To some extent you need system like Vista to make partition formatting work better. It is best for external drives. I have a second internal hard drive which is of 160GB and is not working well with XP. First of all it is on NTFS and I had never updated my old operating system. I had then installed Vista on second drive which is performing well. Once you formatted your drive to FAT32 you will need to use that everytime. The transfer speed compared to NTFS is very low on FAT.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-12-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
It might be limited but there is a way by which you can format the drive in Windows Vista. It can be done through command line. Just open CMD with admin rights and type the following. Chdir to change the dir. and /fs:fat32 for formatting the drive. The command is as follow - chdri F: <hit enter>. Type F: <hit enter>. Then type /fs:fat32 <hit enter>. This is a low level format and takes time depending on the size of your hard drive. CMD is the best way to format your drive. There are not quiet limitation of file, size but it is a bit complicated to divide disc into partitions. If you find this complicated or facing errors on fixing this stuff there is one more thing you can do. You can try software life Gparted or CloneZilla. There are different LiveCD that comes with installed software. You can use them boot your system and run to format your drives. Linux Distro comes with Live Disc support. You can use the formatting utility in that to format your drive through a CD. There is no need to install them. I did that to format my internal 40GB hard drive. It worked fine. It is not worth to right too much here as some of things are worthless. You can go on Microsoft site to read more about exFAT file system.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24-02-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 208
How you are trying to format your drive. Is it through Disk Management. Because partitioning the volume size is a bit complicated. I had seen many people try to format a single partition with different file system which popups a error on the screen. Older edition of Windows XP are bit complicated to handle. The last size that I had formatted without any error was around 120GB. I was trying to create a bigger size but that does not worked out. While if you are using Windows Vista then the FAT32 put limit to a partition of 32GB and higher. So the remaining part of your drive is not missing. It is just not formatted properly. This kind of issue must be removed in newer editions. There are some reference below which will put a bit more highlight on the system partition stuff.

File Systems
Description of the exFAT file system driver update package
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 22-04-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
re: How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

formatting in vista to fat32.....

here is a way it can work
First of all, you have to activate your SUPER ADMINISTRATOR!!!

open your cmd prompt and type in: Net user administrator /active:yes

-note, you have to open your cmd prompt by finding it in your start menu, right clicking and select run as administrator. or if you didnt find it, look through your file explorer by searching for accessories (folder)

anyway, once you have done that, you need to select a password, and then you can log out of your account, log into the administrator account and open the command prompt again.

get your drive letter, mine was h:

you have to know the volume name of your drive as it does ask you, and to find that out type volume at the command prompt and then select 'n' to NOT change it.

and you type this at the prompt: format h: /FS:FAT32
enter your volume name and it should work great.. I don't know if it would work on the 360, but I should try it..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 22-04-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 79
I am bit struggling to get the right formatting way in Windows 98. There are ample of limitations in that. I had seen some thread which discussion about getting FAT32 on this but will that work properly. What if I had to format a larger drive in Windows 98. There are lack of tools which are available and offer you that much support. Somehow compared to Windows, I found linux as far more better. There are very less limitations on the same.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 31-05-2009
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
re: How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

I downloaded fat32format; easily findable on google. it works on vista sp1 and is extremely fast.

after you unzip the file, put the "fat32format.exe" file into your C:\Windows\System32 folder, run it from command prompt. type "fat32format X:" where X: is the drive letter. voila. it did 48 GB in a few seconds. if you're anal, there are some clustering options that I didn't bother with.

neither swissknife nor command prompt worked for me but didn't use the "net user" command. perhaps it would've worked if I had but i was skipping around different forums and didnt see snowenvy's post until just now.

i just started backing up my ps3 data so we're good to go. according to their support site, ps3 will not recognize exFAT since it's owned by MS; I wonder if the xbox can read exfat? question for another thread i suppose.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-06-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
re: How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

A programme called Easeus Partition Master (free for home use!) reformatted an external USB Fat32 (38+Gb)drive for me in 2 minutes yesterday after 10 hours of command tries and other battles with the obstructive Windows system tools. How I wake this morning to find MS Bling installed as my default laptop search engine is a mystery - had to downgrade to IE7 t'other day to get rid of a myriad MS self-promotions.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25-06-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
re: How to format External Hard drive to Fat32

Hi, I have a major problem here.. My pendrive is accidentally formatted to FAT. Initially it has 4GB but now it displays that it has only 2MB! Its really frustrating for me because I've tried everything that's said here including cmd and countless other softwares but the same message pops up: everytime I try to format it, it says "the volume is too small for fat32". But my pendrive has 4GB, and suddenly it now becomes 2MB only! How do I get back my original memory space?

Please help.. I'm out of ideas.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25-06-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 104
There are third party software available. Among them the best is Acronis. It offers you a advance options to format your partitions and make it usable. To some extent if that drive is not readable in Windows, then you can try other software to make it work. You can simply avoid Windows utility to get desired affect.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-11-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Like others, I have registered to answer this question.

Just go into command prompt in Vista and in 7.

Make sure you run as an adminstrator.

Then type:

format /FS:FAT32 X:

Replace the "X" with the drive letter you wish to format. Using this command you can format drives up to 2TB and not using the limitation of windows of 32GB or without using exFAT which doesn't work for DD-WRT (The reason I scoured the internet for a solution.)

For more information check out this website

format your drive in NTFS and after it is done it will let you format the the whole drive in FAT32
Reply With Quote
Reply

  TechArena Community > Technical Support > Computer Help > Windows Vista > Vista Help
Tags: , , ,



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads for: "How to format External Hard drive to Fat32"
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Format External FAT32 Hard Drive in Vista Jecco Windows Software 5 16-11-2010 11:14 AM
How to format external Hard drive to Fat or Fat32 Benjamin Hardware Peripherals 4 11-09-2008 07:08 PM
Partition and format to FAT32 on an USB external hard drive WarRen! XP Hardware 3 19-07-2008 08:30 PM
Maximum USB Hard Drive side for FAT32 file format CaspaR Window 2000 Help 2 06-03-2007 06:58 AM
Window XP does not recognize external hard drive FAT32 M.Scarlet XP Hardware 1 27-01-2007 01:47 AM


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:25 PM.