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  • #2226409

    Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive


    by mbm3001 ·

    I am trying to back up my friends Compaq computer via USB drive, preparing to upgrade to XP. The Compaq is running Windows ME. Its hard drive is a Maxtor 30Gb(I think), running in FAT32. My USB drive, is formatted for my laptop running XP Home Edition, NTFS. The Compaq doesn’t acknowledge the USB drive in any way, I have tried installing the drivers for the USB Drive, it still doesn’t work. I know that the drive setup(my normal hard drive) is operational since it works with no hassles on my laptop.

    I have also tried removing the Hard Drive from the Compaq and installing it in the external case and attaching it to my laptop. I have tried the jumper in all possible positions. The laptop doesn’t acknowledge the USB drive.

    I am wondering if the issue is in the difference in the file format. Is there some way to back up the Compaq drive with out reformatting the USB Drive to match? Or is it something else that is making the computer not recognize the drive?

    Please help!

All Answers

  • Author
    • #2635096


      by mbm3001 ·

      In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive


    • #2635091

      A couple of questions

      by gary56789 ·

      In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

      Does the BIOS of the XP machine recognize the USB drive? If so, do you see the drive at all in Disc Management (click Start–right-click My Computer–select Manage–click Disk Management under the Storage option)?

    • #2635055

      One obvious problem and some suggestions

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

      You don’t provide a lot of information, but let’s see what we can figure out.

      The Windows 9x-based operating systems did not support NTFS, therefore Windows ME will not recognize your NTFS-formatted USB drive. The BIOS should recognize the hardware, though; it’s possible the USB port is bad.

      I don’t understand why your laptop did not recognize the Compaq drive in the enclosure unless there is a physical problem with either the enclosure or the drive.

      Some questions that I hope will lead you in the right direction:

      – Can you install a second internal hard drive in the Compaq and back up the original data that way?

      – Does the Compaq have a CD writer installed? If so, why not back up the data to CDs? A DVD drive will read them no problem.

      – Check the Device manager on the Compaq. Verify there are no errors in the USB section. If there are, download and reinstall the proper drivers from

      – Verify that the USB ports on the Compaq work; insert a thumbdrive, camera, or other hardware and verify that the hardware recognizes a connection.

      Edit: added link

    • #2956966

      Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

      by lmshatraw ·

      In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

      Maximum Sizes on FAT32 Volumes
      The FAT32 volume must have at least 65,527 clusters. The maximum number of clusters on a FAT32 volume is 4,177,918. Windows 2000 creates volumes up to 32 GB, but you can use larger volumes created by other operating systems such as Windows 98. Table 3.11 lists FAT32 size limits.

      Because of the MAX size a FAT 32 file format can handle, the file is too large to “fit” on the external drive. Go to the CMD prompt and run

      convert driveletter: /fs:ntfs
      For Example convert e: /fs:ntfs

      Close the program running/using the file, then try the copy again. Still not work? Restart the PC and then try the COPY. it should work.

      • #2956945

        You are way off beam and 2 years too late anyway !!…

        by older mycroft ·

        In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

        Why not try to help someone in the Here & Now ??!!

        Answering a two-year-old post is one thing, but answering it wrongly is just too much to bear.

        Try reading the TEXT of the question, rather than just looking at the TITLE. 😉

    • #2995342

      Try formatting to NTFS

      by happirock ·

      In reply to Windows XP can’t recognize FAT32 Drive

      I was tearing my hair out trying to remedy a “Disk not formatted ” error for a USB flash drive on my Windows XP SP3 machine.
      I reformatted from FAT to NTFS and the flash drive as recognized. The procedure is at:
      Hope this helps someone.

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