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Can't Write to Hard Drive

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Last Modified: 2012-05-30
I have a 500 GB external USB hard drive with the FAT32 file system.
The properties show 15.8 GB used and 449 GB of free space left.
Whenever I try to write  more files to it a message comes up saying there is not enough room on the drive and it aborts the copy. A Windows 2000 computer can't write any more to it.  A Windows XP computer will write some as long as they're not too big.
Any idea how to fix this?
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
test it on another PC - best windows 7 to be sure about free space, and if it works ok or not.
you can also run a chkdsk on the drive, it can have problems
Chris BRetired

Commented:
Copy your files off first and confirm the copies are good / readable, then format it NTFS. Don't convert, it is already corrupt.

Chris B
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or just run a disk diag on the drive
you can download ubcd for this :    
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                              ultimate boot cd
http://ubcd.mirror.fusa.be/ubcd511.iso                        direct link ultimate boot cd
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
Motnahp00 might be on to something.  How large are the files you are trying to copy?
Fat/Fat16/Fat32 were/are limited especially to today's computers...
http://www.cknow.com/cms/articles/why-cant-i-copy-a-large-file-despite-having-larger-free-space.html

Have you tried copying small falls?  maybe a document?  or a picture?  
What is the EXACT error message you are getting?
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Commented:
time for the asker to give some feedback imo

Author

Commented:
I played some more with this drive.  It seems to work OK if I use it with my Windows XP SP2 computer, reading and writing from the computer's internal hard drive.
It does not work from the Windows 2000 computers.  The files I am trying to copy are about 1 Gb in size.

I also have a 150 GB external hard drive (connected through USB to computer, same brand as the one I am having trouble with) formatted NTFS, and this one works fine on all computers.

Interesting though, if I plug both drives in my XP SP2 computer and try to copy files from the 150 GB NTFS drive to the 500 GB Fat32 drive I immediately get
"Cannot copy FSDBMR:  There is not enough free disk space.
Delete one or more files to free disk space, and then try again"

From your answers it seems like the thing to do is convert or reformat the 500 GB drive to NTFS.  I'll try that as soon as I get a few minutes.
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Commented:
windows 2000 pc have USB1 - right - plse confirm !
that can cause the problem : not compatible with USB 1
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Commented:
The Cannot copy FSDBMR error is likely due to a large file that works on your 150 GB NTFS disk, but doesn't work on your 500 GB FAT32 disk.

USB1.1 may be a problem, but it may possibly be the following:

Natively, Windows 2000 only recognizes up to 137 GB, so it may have trouble seeing anything larger than that without some finagling to make the USB disk an LBA format or installing newer drivers to recognize the size properly.  I remember dealing with this way back on NTFS4 and 2000 when drives larger than 120 GB were first appearing.  I "fixed" all the systems where the junior admins only used 128 GB of the 160 or 200 GB drives, because the onboard BIOS could not see anything larger than 128 GB.  I had to bring my home system's PCI IDE card to work to format it with LBA and then it worked on the onboard BIOS.  The same goes for the external Firewire and USB cases I used to use.  I had to install the proper drivers or preformat them LBA for Windows 2000 to see them.

Also, Windows 2000's NTFS doesn't recognize some of the features that later versions have added.  If you're going to convert the disk to NTFS, you'll have to do it from a Windows 2000 system, or it may not be seen by it.  Back when I was dealing with 2000, XP, & 2003, I always had to format the external disk on 2000 and avoid upconverting it if I want it to still be seen by all the Windows 2000 systems.

If you want to transfer data from the Windows 2000 system to the current disk, without wiping it, you can only mount it on XP or newer systems and share it to the Windows 2000 system.  That's assuming your files are small enough to fit a FAT32 partition.
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This one is on us!
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This one is on us!
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
agreed - but windows came out with a new FAT32 format
if that was used - it should be able to recognise - but as you say - it's possible

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all your help. I don't want to deal with the Win 2000 system any more than I have to, so I'll do as serialband last suggested "convert the drive to NTFS on your XP system and use that 150 GB drive to sneaker net it over to the 500 GB drive."  Or quit being so cheap and buy another 150 GB drive with NTFS on it.
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