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Unable to format as FAT32...

Posted on 2006-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
In my WinXP Pro workstation, I try to format a new drive as FAT32 but in the GUI the dropdown only lists NTFS as an option. Can I force it to reformat as FAT32 in command line?
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Question by:smetterd
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by:smetterd
ID: 16445080
Would this work? I don't mind wiping the drive... it's new and quite empty.

format D: /fs:fat32
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ZabagaR earned 2000 total points
ID: 16445417
In Windows XP, you can format a FAT32 volume up to 32 GB only.  If your drive is greater than 32GB, the option for FAT32 will not be available.
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by:nltech
ID: 16445640
the drive manufacturer's install utility (available as a free download from their respective web sites) might allow you go get around windows xp's limitation on formatting fat32 partitions.

otherwise something like partition magic would work, or you could boot to a win98 boot disk or cd. just be careful of which partition you're formatting, as letters could get confusing with a mix of ntfs (which win98 won't see) and empty or fat32 partitions. since you're going to format the entire additional drive, i suggest temporarily unhooking the other drives just to be safe. :)
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by:WillHudson
ID: 16446067
Just out of curiosity smetterd, why would you want to format the drive as fat32 instead of NTFS?
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by:smetterd
ID: 16446268
The reason WillHudson is that I want to have complete access to the data when I boot into Linux... Linux has limited support for NTFS and even when I can get it to work it's read-only.

I have recreated the partitions on the drive to be 32gb or less and formatted them FAT32... All is well! thanks to all for your input!
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by:ZabagaR
ID: 16446935
smetterd - Although Windows XP won't format a FAT32 > 32GB, it will support one already formatted FAT32 by another OS.  So you can work around the problem.
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