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unable to format hard drive as fat32

By rg_529 ·
I bought a maxtor 6 hard drive and I am trying to format it on my pc (windows xp) as fat32 but when I click on it to format the only option is that appears is NTFS and not Fat32. Is there another way I can format it as a Fat32?

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by TheChas In reply to unable to format hard dri ...

What size hard drive, and which Service Pack level on XP?

There is a limit on the way Microsoft implemented the FAT32 file system that limits you to 137GB for a FAT 32 volume.

Also, for drives larger than 137GB, you need XP SP1 or SP2 in order to work with the drive.

Chas

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by TheChas In reply to

I don't know Mac's.
I thought that the Mac used a different file system.

Like all things at Microsoft, I find conflicting information.

Theoretically, FAT32 is capable of volumes up to 8 Tera-bytes.

Yet, there are pages that state that XP is limited to formatting no more than 32GB per FAT32 logical drive:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkc_fil_cycz.asp

Why do you need the drive as a FAT32 volume?

If it will be used on a XP system, there are advantages to using NTFS.

If you do format the drive as a single FAT32 volume, the resultant large cluster size will eat up your hard drive space very rapidly.

Remember, each 1K file will use an entire cluster. At 32K per cluster, 32 small files will use up 1MB of drive space. Also, a 33K file will use 2 clusters, or 64K of drive space.

If it will be used on a W98 / Me system, I STRONGLY recommend partitioning the drive into smaller logical drives.
Perhaps, 2 64GB drives and the remainder as a 3rd drive. For Windows 98, I limit logical drives to 32GB to avoid issues with large drives and to keep the cluster size from getting too large.

Please check out the articles on partitioning posted at www.aumha.org

One possible option for formatting the drive as a large FAT32 drive would be to boot from the Maxtor utility disk or CD and format the drive using Maxtor's utilities.

Chas

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by TheChas In reply to

Alright.

Have you tried the Maxtor tools?

http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Maxtor/menuitem.3c67e325e0a6b1f6294198b091346068/?channelpath=/en_us/Support/Software%20Downloads/ATA%20Hard%20Drives&downloadID=58

If you cannot format the drive as a FAT32 volume with Max-Blast, then your only option is a third party utility such as Partition Magic or Partition Commander.

Just out of curiosity, since this is a data drive, are you using a hot-swap bay or an external drive enclosure?

Chas

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by TheChas In reply to

Found this information at Maxtor's site:

Maxtor External Storage devices are shipped with the FAT32 Windows file system installed. The drive will mount as a Windows-formatted disk on the Macintosh desktop; however, the Macintosh disk repair/recovery tools cannot repair or recover data from Windows-formatted drives.

For the highest performance and compatibility, we recommend you reformat the drive using the Mac OS Extended format. However, if you will be transferring files between a Windows system and a Macintosh, leave the drive in the FAT32 format, you will have to either:

*
Limit the FAT32 Volume sizes to no more than 32GB in capacity.
*
Format the drive with a Mac OS Extended Volume. Use a Third-Party Utility that allows you to view (read/write) Mac Volumes from a Windows PC. Click here for more information.

Caution: Formatting the drive destroys all data contained on that drive. Make a backup copy of all your data before formatting your drive.

http://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/maxtor.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=908&p_created=1012839999

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75320

http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive6/

So, it looks like you have some decisions to make, and / or a utility to buy.

Finally, OS X.3 is supposed to be able to read NTFS volumes.

Chas

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by rg_529 In reply to

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by mikex In reply to unable to format hard dri ...

Boot from win 98 start (loook in internet for boot disks)floppy and do in DOS:

1. Fdisk =>erase any existing partition
2. Create a single active partition
3. restart to DOS and type : format c: /sys

After that install WinXp without reformating the hard drive over the existing partition

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by rg_529 In reply to

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by rg_529 In reply to unable to format hard dri ...

the hard drive is 160 gigs. im not sure about the service pack.
But if i can't format it as fat32 on xp can i do it on a mac?

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by willcomp In reply to unable to format hard dri ...

Information in answers above is correct. Little added info.

You can have a partition up to 120GB using Win98SE to format drive with FAT32. Still will be necessary to have 2 partitions.

Like Chas, don't know why anyone would prefer FAT32 over NTFS.

32GB limit for FAT32 in XP is MS way of persuading everyone to use NTFS.

Dalton

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