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Formatting a 500 GB External Drive with Windows XP

by stbernard1973 / September 9, 2007 9:48 PM PDT

I need to format my external hard drive and I read on the Internet that Windows XP will not allow an FAT32 format for a drive larger than 32GB. My external drive is a Western Digital My Book Premium ES 500GB. The drive was originally formatted from the factory as FAT32 and I'd like to format it that way again if possible.

Are there any programs that will bypass the "not over 32GB" XP thing and format the drive with FAT32 or will I have to format this drive as NTFS?

I share this drive between two computers that both currently use Windows XP.

Thanks in advance,


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Re: formatting external drive
by Kees Bakker / September 9, 2007 9:53 PM PDT

The inbuilt maximum for FAT32 is 137 Gb; I don't think the 32 Gb is right.

So it's your choice:
(a) Four (or more) FAT32 partitions
(b) One (or more) NTFS partition

I can't see any objection against using NTFS. What's yours?


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How I did this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 10, 2007 12:32 AM PDT

Sticking inside the limits of FAT32 is possible so I'll share how I did this. It was not with XP but a LINUX LIVECD and their program called GPARTED. I must decline how to use such but you can look it up on google or other search engines.

Frankly I'd just use NTFS since it's damage resistant and FAT32 isn't. I'm demonstrated how to lose a few 100GB by losing power to an external USB FAT formatted drives to non-believers a few times. The NTFS volume survived.


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Try this
by BubbaDan61 / April 5, 2008 6:12 AM PDT
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