Formatting to FAT32

Discussion in 'hardware' started by alex4848, Dec 24, 2009.

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  1. alex4848

    alex4848 Registered Member

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    Hi,



    I recently bought a seagate 1TB external hard drive..I'm not possitive what kind it is since I don't have the box with me. It's all black though and the S/N is 2GHKHFJM if it matters. I'm wondering if someone could tell me how to format the whole thing to FAT32 since windows won't do it because it's too big. It's currently RAW and I'm in the process of of using the command prompt to try and format it by using " format f: /FS:FAT32", thing is, last time I tried this I was formatting a partition (greater than 32GB) on a different external hard drive to FAT32 and it started, went through the whole process, and an hour or so later, after it reaches 100% it tells me the partition was too big for FAT32 and it couldn't be completed..so I don't want to have that happen again. So what can I do to format it? Also, haven;t had any luck with a program called swissknife that I always see people suggesting.



    Thanks,

    Alex.
     
  2. Fajo

    Fajo Registered Member

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    Make a bunch of 32gig Partitions. Problem solved.

    Why you are at it. Read this it will explain why you don't want to do this.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table
     
  3. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    Post eleven's the same as in the external links section above. Post eighteen suggests a similar program. Confirmations for both follow.
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Just out of curiosity why would someone prefer FAT to NTFS?
     
  5. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    The advice in post fifty, echoed in ninety-six and one-O-eight sounds feasible as well. I doubt you'll be needing much luck.
     
  6. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    FAT32 should support drives up to 2TB with a 32KB cluster size. Have you tried a GParted live CD? Partition Magic is also good. It can convert NTFS partitions/drives to FAT32.
    Compatibility with DOS and 9X systems.
    FAT32 can be read and written to by most any operating system.
    No concerns about data and malware hiding in alternate data streams.
    NTFS and other journaled file systems causes more wear to a hard drive than FAT32 and other non-journaled file systems.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  7. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your answer. I always thought the better format was NTFS as there would be less lost space and fragmentation due to gaps left if data did not fill the cluster. Sounds like a trade off type of situation although I don't get how malware would be less likely to make it onto a drive formatted as FAT.
     
  8. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    It is a tradeoff and a matter of preference. Each has their good points. Some tests say that a system on a FAT32 drive is faster than the same system on an NTFS drive. I plan on testing that as soon as I have the time. NTFS provides better separation between different users data. A limited user can be prevented from accessing the administrators documents. NTFS is claimed to be more stable. This much less of an issue now that hard drives are made better.
    It's not less likely to get on a FAT32 formatted drive. The malware just can't hide in an alternate data stream as FAT32 doesn't support that. It has to use other methods to hide. See these for more info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_data_streams
    http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1822
    http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Alternate_Data_Streams.html

    FAT32 will definitely work for partitions over 32GB though. My external drive has 2 larger FAT partitions than that. They work fine with every OS I use, 9X thru XP, including DOS.
     
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