Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Formatting a FAT32 volume from Win XP

Hey folks,
We have 3 machines in our house, 2 Win XP home HP laptops and an older Dell Win ME desktop. I'd like to be able to back them all up with the same 80 GB external USB hard drive.

Hooking it up to the XP machines is easy, as is formatting the drive for NTFS. Of course, then the ME machine can't read it.

What's the best way to format the drive? From the XP or ME machine? From the XP machine, I can only find NTFS if I use Computer Management. From the ME machine, I can't seem to find the drive, as no lettered drive shows up.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Formatting a FAT32 volume from Win XP
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Formatting a FAT32 volume from Win XP
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Keep in mind it's just a copy. Not backup.

In reply to: Formatting a FAT32 volume from Win XP

Collapse -

In reply to: Keep in mind it's just a copy. Not backup.

Thanks. I did as you suggested, and used FDisk from the ME machine to format it to FAT32. All the computers recognize it.

I'll try to keep the critical stuff backed up to CD also, but do I have to worry about the finite life of a CD-R?

FWIW, the hard drive I needed to format is an 80GB Toshiba 2.5" drive, mounted in a non-descript aluminum enclosure.

Collapse -
The finite life defined.

In reply to: Thanks!

In gritty detail:

"It is demonstrated here that CD-R and DVD-R media
can be very stable (sample S4 for CD-R and sample D2
for DVD-R). Results suggest that these media types
will ensure data is available for several tens of years
and therefore may be suitable for archival uses."

"Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs ?A Guide for Librarians and Archivists"

Hope this explains it.


Collapse -
Converting Partitions to NTFS

In reply to: Formatting a FAT32 volume from Win XP

Windows comes with a Convert command that can convert a FAT or FAT32 partition to NTFS(the Convert command can't convert anything to FAT or FAT32).To convert a partition to NTFS(after backing it up!),follow these steps.1.Choose Start/All programs/Acessories/Command Prompt to open a Command Prompt window 2.Type convert n:/FS:NTFS and press enter,replacing n:with the drive letter of the partition you want to convert.If you want verbose mode,in which you see extra explanatory messages,type/v at the end of the command.*If you need to convert to a file system other than NTFS,try PartitionMagic.Be sure to get the latest version,since earlier versions don't support NTFS 5.0,which is new in Windows XP.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.