FAT32 - for external/portable hard drives

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Saraceno, Sep 26, 2010.

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  1. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    I seem to be collecting more and more portable hard drives as time goes by.

    I noticed however that some media players will only read external/portable hard drives if they're in FAT32 format. Which means your small USB memory sticks will run fine, but most external hard drives which seem to come default as the standard NTFS format, will not play on many media players.

    So if you're wondering how to format an external hard drive as FAT32, so your PS3, or media player (connected to your plasma/LCD for example) can actually read the contents, this program should help out:

    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm - It's s a single .exe file which allows you to format drives in FAT32 format. Quick format option is fine. Takes a minute. VT results are all clean. :thumb:

    Limitations of using the FAT32 file system, is single file sizes must not exceed 4GB. Most avi files etc seem to be under 1GB, so no problem.
    Positives are that FAT32 can be read on Apple operating systems as well.

    guiformat.png
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  2. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Most of the partitioning tools I've used will work on USB drives, including Windows built in tools from both NT and 9X systems. GParted works fairly well. Partition magic works great. I've also formatted an 80 GB external drive with a DOS bootdisk that has USB drivers added. For standard FAT32, nothing special is needed.
     
  4. anandee

    anandee Registered Member

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    Pretty cool utility, thanks for posting!

    On a related note, I understand that NTFS is encumbered by MS patents and FAT32 is far more simple to support, but it is a pity that so many external readers still does not reads NTFS partitions.
    NTFS is just so superior to FAT32 under any respect (expecially if you are going to plug-unplug the memory often!) that is foolish to not support it --- even Linux is struggling to contantly improve support to NTFS nowadays!
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I thought it just the opposite. As I recollect on my dualboot Vista64 & PCLOS (Linux). I can access my Vista NTFS partition through PCLOS. But I was under the impression Linux can't read FAT32 because of legalities.
     
  6. anandee

    anandee Registered Member

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    Quite strange, as for I remember Linux supported FAT12/16/32 earlier than NTFS, about that Wikipedia seems supporting my memory.
    However Wikipedia also states that not only NTFS (as I recalled) but also FAT32 is partially encumbered by patens, enforced by Microsoft in recent years, so it may be that something changed in the old trend and now on Linux NTFS support is better/wider than the one for FATs.
     
  7. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Why to use a utility when you can do same with windows itself?
     
  8. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    For the average person out there, when you format an external drive, it gives you the option of exFat, or NTFS.

    I read that even through the command prompt, windows may still give an error towards the end, and doesn't support larger drives (more than 32GB, and definitely not those closing on 1TB). For example, with a 750gb drive, I kept receiving an error even through the command prompt.

    For those wanting something easier, why wait for an error when a simple program will do the job with one click. Through command prompt, I usually have a few drives connected, I wouldn't like to format the wrong drive. The programs above also identify the drive you intend on formatting.

    SwissKnife is another one which is recommended. http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/formatting-external-hard-drive-to-fat-32/

    majoMo, thanks for the recommendation. :thumb:
     
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