Multibooter is more stringent (or, perhaps, cautious) with his requirements than I am.
I do use Seagates (it remains my favorite brand), despite the recent problems that put a big dent on their image...
You can read (much) more on the issues, by visiting our Harware Hangout Storage Media subforum.
In any case, the problems seem to be mostly, if not all, related to the 7200.11 HDD series.
External USB Seagates usually are not of that type, being usually part of the 5900 (3.5") or 5400 (2.5") series.
I presently have a FreeAgent Go SE 500 GB (with a single 465 GiB primary FAT-32 LBA, i. e., all the HDD in one partition) and a Seagate Expansion 1500 GB (with a 460 GiB primary FAT-32 LBA partition and two logical FAT-32 LBA partitions, one 460 GiB and the other 474 GiB, both inside an extended LBA partition). They work well in Win 9x/ME and in DOS, in so far as copying to, reading from, moving and deleting goes. But to defrag them (and this I rarely do, they are backup drives, I don't keep copying and deleting things around in them) and to check their consistency are tasks that cannot be done in Win 9x/ME, and are best performed using Win XP, which is my alternate boot. I also have an older IOMEGA MDHD500-U 500 GB, also an USB 2.0 external disk, which is divided in two 232 GiB FAT-32 LBA partitions (one primary and the other logical, inside an extended LBA partition, as per the MS standard procedures), and this one I can fully manage in Win 98SE, whithout ever needing to reboot into XP.
So, in fact, it depends on exactly what one wants to do. FAT-32 LBA partitions just under 1TB, spanning a whole HDD also do work with 9x/ME, whithin the same limitations as my 400+ GiB partitions. You only need partitions of not more than 320 GB, preferably about 250 GB, if you want to manage them fully in Win 9x/ME exclusively.
BTW, thanks for the info about the Verbatim app. I have downloaded and saved it. Just for the record, there's one more very useful utility which does the same, but is a command-line app, also for XP+, which is Ridgecrop's FAT32FORMAT
. That's the one I use routinely, while on XP, to create my FAT-32 partitions.