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FAT32 on an IDE 300 MB HDD

Posted on 1999-01-06
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Any problem with partitioning an IDE 300MB HDD with win95 FAT32?
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Question by:moontwo
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mikecr earned 50 total points
ID: 1760993
Yes, it wouldn't work. Your cluster size wouldn't compensate for the use of Fat32. You would still be having a cluster size of 16k or larger so their would be no benefit. To be of benefit to you the drive would have to be 540mb or larger . Sorry!

Mike
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1760994
Not true mikecr.  The cluster size would be 8K, not 16K.  Yes, Fat32 would give you smaller cluster size of 4K.  The cutoff point is 256Meg.

Here is the breakdown.  I tried to line it up, but it will probably not be lined up properly.

From:   To:     Cluster:
0MB     128MB   2K
128MB   256MB   4K
256MB   512MB   8K
512MB   1024MB  16K
1GB     2GB*    32K

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by:bushhead
ID: 1760995
u can actually for fat32 to format small drives with a cluster size that you choose. note however that you might come into some strife doing this. the more clusters you have, you might save SOME space, however the added length in scandisk, defrags etc might cause you more heartache.

the space that you save would be absolutely minimal unless you fill the whole drive with 1 byte files.

bush
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by:mikecr
ID: 1760996
Okay, then someone explain to me then why when I used fat 32 on a 410mb hard disk, it wouldn't go under 16k? I also tried a 480mb drive with the same result. Your going to lose disk space though because your fat table is going to be bigger also. The more clusters, the more entries in the fat table, although it would actually be a negligable increase if you really look at it. If that's true what your saying Jason, then what happened when I tried to do it on a smaller hard disk? I'm not saying your wrong Jason, I would just like to know for my benefit so I can be straight on it. I used Fat 32 on a 500mb partition and my cluster size was 8k but why did it suddenly increase when I went under 500mb?
Just a point to ponder!

Mike
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1760997
Hmmmm??  Hard to say.  I would have to test it.

moontwo:  I don't necesarily recomend using FAT32.  I myself don't use it because of compatibility issues with older programs.  But thats just my prefrence.  The only time "I" would use it is on a secondary drive larger than 2Gig.  Just a thought.
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1760998
Come to think of it, I know I have run Fdisk on some small drives, and not been asked for FAT32 support (Large disk support Y/N).  I believe they were below 500 Meg.  Just a thought.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1760999
I think your absolutely right Jason! I don't remember being asked to use the FAT32 support when I did those drives. As a matter of fact, let me go and try it now. I have a drive thats 410mb and I'll try it out.

Mike
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by:bushhead
ID: 1761000
what you guys are saying is right.. on drives that are smaller than a certain size.. 512 i think.. fat32 automatically chooses it's own cluster size of whatever it is. however with certain flags, you can FORCE fat32 to make a smaller cluster size. search on the web for this, i've done it before as well but can't remember the flag.

note however what i and mikecr have said about not making any worthwhile advantage in making it this size.

bush
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761001
Well guys, I've just did it and I was not prompted at all to use large disk access when using fdisk. However, I installed Windows 98 and used the FAT32 conversion utility and I saw no increase in cluster size. The default on the 410mb drive was 16k. I tried!

Mike
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by:bushhead
ID: 1761002
umm.. didn't you read my comment? by DEFAULT fat32 does not do it... u have to use a certain flag..

bush
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by:mikecr
ID: 1761003
Sorry Bush, I tried it before I saw your post.

Mike
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by:bushhead
ID: 1761004
that's cool.. just thot i was getting ignored.. will try and find that flag if i have the time... :)

bush
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by:bushhead
ID: 1761005
Go to this URL http://www.billssite.com/fat32a.htm

i cut and paste some particularly interesting parts.

--------

Note that the minimum size of a FAT32 partition created with FDISK is 512MB, that is, you cannot make FDISK/FORMAT format a drive with the FAT32 file system if it is smaller than 512MB. If you are using Partition Magic 3.0 to convert a FAT16 partition to FAT32, it will convert partitions smaller than 512MB. I believe the smallest partition Parition Magic 3.0 will convert is 261MB, but I am not certain.

19 Feb 97 TIP: There is an undocumented flag for OSR2's FDISK, namely, /FPRMT. If you do a FDISK /FPRMT, you are able to format partitions smaller than 512MB as FAT32. For advanced users only!

17 Mar 97 TIP#3: There is an undocumented switch in the FORMAT command in OSR2. Then syntax is:


     FORMAT  /z:n

where n*512bytes = cluster size

-------

Bush
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