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How do I format a large capacity HD in FAT32

by jladder / September 5, 2005 5:33 AM PDT

I'm trying to format a large capacity HD (100G+), but Windows XP will only allow partitions of ~32G in FAT32. I have an old 100G HD that I've been using as a secondary drive for a longggg time that is in FAT32. Unfortunately, I don't remember how I did it! I've search through CNET but was unable to find any methods to do so. Can anyone help?

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(NT) (NT) I used a DOS boot disk from
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2005 6:06 AM PDT
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I don't have a floppy drive
by jladder / September 10, 2005 1:52 AM PDT

The exe file needs to install on a floppy, but I do not have a floppy drive. Any suggestions?

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I used a boot cd.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 10, 2005 1:58 AM PDT

I used Nero to turn the boot diskette into a boot CD.

Works great.

Did you look around on to see if they have a ready to use .ISO file? I didn't do this for you.


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Still can't
by jladder / September 12, 2005 4:17 PM PDT
In reply to: I used a boot cd.

When I launched the exe file, a window popped up requesting a diskette. I can't even generate an iso image to burn on a CD. I was able to use an old Maxtor bootable CD, but it was not able to recognize my drive. I should mention that I'm trying to format a USB external HD.

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I used my machine with the floppy drive.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 12, 2005 9:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Still can't

Have a friend make this boot CD if you don't have the equipment.

But with the external USB HD, the expert level just went up a notch. Try LINUX and other partitioning programs or find a Windows 98se machine.


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mfg tools
by linkit / September 5, 2005 11:38 AM PDT
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I've tried DiscWizard from Seagate...
by jladder / September 5, 2005 12:26 PM PDT
In reply to: mfg tools

But was unable to get a partition bigger than 32G. Will try both yours & R Profitt's suggestions when I get home. Thanks.

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by linkit / September 5, 2005 6:01 PM PDT

Before any utility will work, the hard drive controller MUST have a driver that supports FAT32 drives larger than 137GB (48-bit LBA).

1. You need to get controller's name from the ''SCSI and RAID controllers'' in the Device Manager.

2. Go to the controller mfg's website to download a Windows XP driver that supports hard drives > 137GB.

Since you mentioned Seagate, I am assuming you have a Seagate drive. Seagate describes the problem HERE and also provides links to some controller mfg's at the bottom of the page.

If you need help, just post the names of your hard drive controllers in this thread.

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Still doesn't work
by jladder / September 10, 2005 1:56 AM PDT
In reply to: GET DRIVER FIRST !!!

Windows XP recognize my drive, but still only allow me to partition 32G in FAT32. The drive I'm currently trying to format fully in FAT32 is Western Digital 120G. I've tried using their software as well as Seagate's, but still cannot pass the 32G barrier in XP.

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Look at this
by jcd / September 12, 2005 6:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Still doesn't work
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I've tried it already
by jladder / September 12, 2005 4:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Look at this

I get a message that it's trying to access AUTOEXEC.NT "The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications."

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(NT) this works and it's fast!!
by jaybruce / September 30, 2005 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: I've tried it already
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maybe one small problem?
by jonah jones / September 30, 2005 1:26 AM PDT

the way it's written, it only works when you're trying to format the main drive?


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by jaybruce / October 2, 2005 8:47 PM PDT

Did you actually try the program? It would be pretty useless if it only formatted the "main" drive,i.e. the one with your OS on it. It will format any drive you follow the instructions for and map a drive letter to.

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Your AUTOEXEC.NT issue is spyware damage.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2005 12:14 AM PDT
In reply to: I've tried it already
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this may work
by ackmondual / October 12, 2005 5:26 AM PDT

for HDs larger than 137GB, u need at least SP2+ for winXP. For win2k, i think it's SP3+

To format a HD brand new w/o windows, as u install windows, u'll be asked to choose a file system. Choose the file system u want.

If it's a slave drive, right click it in My Comoputer and choose format, and the file system u want to format in

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