For some applications or uses , It is necessary to change the formatting on a hard drive to Fat32. This tutorial will help guide you to achieving this. I will be showing you how to do this by creating a partion on my drive and then formatting it.
If you would like to know how to create a partition , click on the following link to go to that tutorial. You do not need to format the drive after you have shrunk it , as you will only need to delete this partition again later.
How to Partition a Hard Drive in Windows
Before we get started , please read the following precautions and information.
- Fat32 cannot hold any continuous file over 4Gb.
- Security features available in NTFS format like permissions are not available in FAT32.
- Remember to remove/backup any data from the drive you wish to convert to fat32 as it will be lost when formatting.
- If the process is interrupted (power outage or system crash) just repeat all steps to complete the format.
Okay , now let's get started.
There are many ways this can be done. I prefer a little program called FAT32Formatter
which is written by Tokiwa as this allows you to format a drive larger than 32Gb and because it's really easy to use.
Download Fat32Formatter HERE
Original Release Page , click HERE
This program works on XP , 2000 , Vista 32 and Win7 32. It may work on other operating systems , but I tested it on these.
After you have downloaded fat32formatter , simply unzip it and run it. No installation is required.
Now run the program.
This is fat32formatter. On the top there is a drop down menu on which you can select the drive you wish to format. Now select the drive from the list.
Now on the graph , select the partition you want to format to fat32. It will turn green when selected.
The partition I created was very small (the green sliver on the far right of the bar). Double check that you have selected the correct drive and partition before continuing as all information on the drive or partition will be lost during this process.
Now select delete partition while the correct partition or drive is selected in green. After you have deleted the partition , the area selected will turn from green back to gray. The formatting options will be available once the empty space from the deleted partition is selected.
1) Select the size of the partition you want to create. The Max is automatically selected and should be fine for most users.
2) If required , select a name for the drive after it has been created. This step may be skipped.
2b) Check the Quick Format option if required. Not checking the quick format will mean that Fat32formatter checks the disk for bad sectors. This is not necessary if you know that the drive is good and if you have formatted the drive in the past. For a full explanation , click HERE
to go to Microsoft's support page.
3) Click start to start the process.
This could take up to 10 hours depending on the size of the drive if "Quick Format" is not checked.
In Quick format this process should not take more than 20min.
Once this process has completed , your FAT32 Drive / Partition is ready for use.
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