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How to partition an external USB drive?

Posted on 2003-11-09
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Hey all,
I bought a Western Digital 120gb external usb drive for my laptop. It's preformatted in FAT32 and I was reading about using  FDISK to partition drives @ http://fdisk.radified.com/ and I noticed that you need to use a floppy to boot from? My laptop doesn't have a floppy drive. Is there a way I can run FDISK on my laptop since I'm not going to partition the laptop's drive, just the external drive? My laptop has Windows XP Professional.  I've never done this sort of thing before, so I like guides and step-by-step intructions since I don't want to screw up. =) Thanks in advance for suggestions!
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Question by:sayhi
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8 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9711444
start > settings > control panel > administrative tools > computer management > storage

You should see your drive and it's partitions there
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by:sayhi
ID: 9711522
I didn't know XP could partition.  I read a bit more on Microsoft's site (http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/troubleshooting/pc/ls/013102.asp) and it said that "Windows XP Professional allows a maximum of 32 GB volume size for FAT32 logical drives". I want to partition my 120gb into 4 sizes -- 8gb, 40gb, 10gb, and lastly 62gb for all my video and music files. Hmm, I don't know what to do, should I re-format to NTFS? But I know FDISK can partition over 32gb... I still need my previous FDISK question answered...
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Assisted Solution

by:b_vishwajit
b_vishwajit earned 111 total points
ID: 9711587
Use acronis partition magic. It is realy easy to use and it takes few seconds to create a new partition.Or try these freeware and shareware partition utilities:
http://download.com.com/3120-20-0.html?qt=partition&tg=dl-2001
More info on: http://dmoz.org/Computers/Hardware/Storage/

and some other utilities: http://dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Disk_Management/Partition/ (U will  love this link).

http://windows.about.com/cs/diskpartitionutils/
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
chicagoan earned 111 total points
ID: 9711869
Although Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional can mount FAT32 volumes of any size, Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional can format FAT32 volumes up to 32 GB only. If your BIOS has USB support, you can use a regular ole Win98 Boot disk and use that version of FDISK to create the partition (with Large Hard Drive Support)
www.bootdisk.com

Just make sure you change disks in fdisk's opening menu.

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:sayhi
ID: 9716196
Okay... back to my orginal question... do I need a floppy drive or not to use FDISK?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9716311
You could boot from a CD, dual-boot your hard drive, boot from a bootp server, but YES - for all practical purposes.
If you want large drive support it has to be 98SE.
Doesn't WD supply a formatting utility with the drive?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:sayhi
ID: 9773052
>> Doesn't WD supply a formatting utility with the drive?

Nope.
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Expert Comment

by:etasse
ID: 12669711
HP/Compaq provides an MSDOS or WinXP utility that is not bound by the 32GB FAT32 requirements of Windows XP:
   http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/hpcpqdt/us/download/21284.html
If the link above is stale, search for SoftPaqs SP27214 and SP27608.
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