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Reformatting A New NTFS 500 GB USB Ext Hard Drive to FAT32

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#1
monroe

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.... I first posted this information back last March 2010 , thought I would repost it again for any new people that have recently bought a new USB drive that is NTFS and they would like to change it to FAT32. My last post is now 9 pages back into history. I checked to see if Verbatim still supplied the little free software program ... the link in the original post no longer works but I found the program under a new link.

Verbatim FAT32 Tool: How to Reformat a Verbatim Hard Drive for Windows

Verbatim provides a FAT32 format utility that eliminates the 32 GB partition limitation.

http://www.verbatim....id=5395&aid=197

Handy little FAT32 tool ... You don't have to have a Verbatim hard drive since mine was a 500 GB External Seagate drive. You will need an XP computer or some newer OS since the USB hard drive has to be "seen" to be changed. I went to a friend's XP computer and hooked the USB drive up and ran the FAT32 utility. It took about 20 seconds and it was now a USB FAT32 500 GB external hard drive. Tried it on my Win 98SE machine ... showing up as a 500 GB drive as Drive "E" ... it is also backward compatible to USB 1.1 ... I hooked it into a computer that is USB 2.0 (Windows 98SE) and then I hooked it into an older USB 1.1 hub that I still use. Not sure if this tool will work on every external drive, can only speak for the Seagate USB drive.

Edited by duffy98, 21 December 2010 - 05:18 AM.



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#2
M()zart

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Well, I formatted my external 320Gb Team (I'm not sure if I remember this vendor name correctly) HDD to FAT32 with recent Paragon Partition Manager (under Windws 7). With NUSB it is seen correctly on Windows 98. Paragon Partition Manager is not limited by 32 GB per FAT32 partition.

#3
Multibooter

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Handy little FAT32 tool

Hi duffy98, somehow your approach runs counter to what I do:
1) I use exclusively PartitionMagic v8.01.1312 to create and format partitions, especially FAT/FAT32 partitions. Somehow I prefer to stay away from other tools for partitioning and formatting HDDs as FAT32
BTW, PartitionMagic can convert NTFS partitions containing data and programs from NTFS to FAT32.
2) I do not use 500GB FAT32 partitions. dencorso suggests 250GB FAT32 as max. partition size, I am even more cautious and use only 192GB.
3) I create FAT32 partitions only under Win98, never under WinXP
4) My preferred size for a SATA HDD is 1 TB, not larger and not smaller. A larger capacity uses too many drive letters, a smaller capacity would result in too many HDDs lying around. I have found 4x192GB FAT32 + 1x 163GB NTFS partitions quite practical and have partitioned all my external USB/eSATA HDDs in this way.
I have also quite a few SATA HDDs which are not 1TB. I have relegated them to more or less computer junk status and I am storing grandfather backups on them. They are all early SATA Seagates, tend to get hot and I don't trust their reliability as storage media.
5) I try to stay away from SATA HDDs by Seagate.

Edited by Multibooter, 22 December 2010 - 12:51 AM.


#4
monroe

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Multibooter ... thanks for posting all your information on hard drives. It will probably be of more help to someone in "todays" world. I had previously bought two smaller USB hard drives about 5 yrs ago, both 80 GBs ... all I could afford at the time, anything larger up to 250 GB was really expensive, at that time ... so I settled on the 80 GB size. Always wanted a larger external hard drive, so earlier in the year I saw that Office Max had a Seagate 500 GB USB on sale and I also had a $10 off coupon so I thought I'd grab one .... it did not list Windows 98SE on the box, only 2000 through Vista, if I remember. I had hopes it would work anyway ... tried it out right away when I got got back home and nothing ... Win 98SE didn't "see it" ... of course I didn't understand any of this until I started searching Google and found other people with the same problem. Someone explained the problem in detail and suggested the Swiss Army Knife tool and someone else said they had used the Verbatim FAT32 software tool and was able to use their new hard drive with Win 98SE. So I tried that and Win 98SE was showing me a brand new 500 GB hard drive (Drive E) in just a few minutes. I am not having any problems so far ... I wasn't aware that dencorso has suggested 250GB FAT32 as the maximum partition size or that a Seagate drive might not be a good thing to buy. I thought Seagate was a good make at the time, could have researched all that on Google at the time I guess. The earlier 80 GB drives that I had bought in 2004 and 2005 were really heavy metal (well made) and both had an "on -off" switch, which I like ... the newer drives are much smaller, not heavy and no "on-off" switch but the the extra GBs are so much cheaper. So I have a 500 GB Ext hard drive for some extra storage unless you are saying I will not be able to use all that space for storage since I didn't partition it to 250 GB.

Both you and M()zart mention PartitionMagic ... I had heard of it but had never used it and the mention on Google of the little Verbatim FAT32 tool sounded like a quick, easy solution to my problem in getting the new hard drive to work with Windows 98SE ... but all the information posted by you and M()zart will be helpful to others wanting to buy a newer USB external hard drive. I had been looking for almost a year for a larger ext drive but nothing was listed as working with 98SE anymore so I took a gamble on the Seagate drive and that somehow I could make it work. If I hadn't found that Verbatim FAT32 tool then I would have been on this forum asking for help.

thanks ...

Edited by duffy98, 22 December 2010 - 04:33 AM.


#5
jaclaz

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Just for the record, there is at least another tested and working FAT32 "large" formatting freeware.

Here:
http://tokiwa.qee.jp...Fat32Formatter/

More generally Partition Magic and similar "advanced" tools are only *needed* when you need to do "advanced" things, (like converting a NTFS to FAT32) there is no need for them to simply create or format a partition.

There is also an "outsider", which is represented by partition logic:
http://partitionlogic.org.uk/
which, since it contains it's own OS can be a solution for those that have not a XP machine, but there are not AFAIK "extensive" test results for it's FAT32 creation and formatting.

jaclaz

#6
dencorso

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Hi, duffy98:
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.

#7
Comos

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Handy little FAT32 tool

2) I do not use 500GB FAT32 partitions. dencorso suggests 250GB FAT32 as max. partition size, I am even more cautious and use only 192GB.


More than 2 years I use USB Toshiba 320GB drive which was originally formatted to FAT32 from the factory,till now no problem at all and 3 years a WD250RE whole in FAT32 and also no problem :-) Both also workin on Win98SE ,seems there is no issue with partition size greater than 250GB ... :-)

#8
dencorso

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@Comos:
Do you have NSW2003 or 2005? If so, can you run NDD32 without getting a BSOD?
SCANDSKW and DEFRAG should work OK with a 320 GB HDD... do they?

#9
monroe

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dencorso ... thanks for posting the info on Seagate hard drives and the hard drive info in general. After all these years with Windows 98SE my knowledge in certain areas is limited and I still am learning "new " things about the OS, which includes DOS and such. I certainly know more than I did 10 yrs ago from reading this forum and stumbling across information here and there. I came across that little Verbatim FAT32 tool that allowed me to have that new 500 GB USB drive work with Windows 98SE. I didn't know about the Harware Hangout Storage Media subforum, so I will be spending some time there from now on. Thanks for the info on the Ridgecrop utility ... also, thanks jaclaz for the Fat32Formatter info .... I have downloaded everything to save on a CD for the future, if needed. I also want to add about FreeAgent, since you mentioned it, a backup program was on the Seagate drive so I got rid of it ... I didn't think I really needed the program and I wanted the extra space for storage.

thanks ... a good 2011 for all !

#10
Comos

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@Comos:
Do you have NSW2003 or 2005? If so, can you run NDD32 without getting a BSOD?
SCANDSKW and DEFRAG should work OK with a 320 GB HDD... do they?


Patched Scandisk and Defrag is workin fine. NSW I don't have, sorry!

#11
Prozactive

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Just to chime in with my experience. I tried that Verbatim FAT32 format utility a while back but it did not detect my USB HDD. I also tried the SwissKnife app recommended by someone else but it was a disaster. I finally used my tried and true GDISK method to manually partition and format the HDD with FAT32.

Edited by Prozactive, 23 December 2010 - 12:27 PM.


#12
jaclaz

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Forgot to mention Swissknife.

The (old) Freeware edition runs on 9x too:
http://www.devsite.c...ment&Itemid=193


The download is not anymore available from the homepage (as it is superseded by the new, commercial version that only runs on XP and later)

Via Wayback Machine:
PE edition:
http://web.archive.o...nife-BartPE.exe

"Normal":
http://web.archive.o.../swissknife.exe

jaclaz

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#13
risk_reversal

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Apologies for resurrecting an older thread but as regards formatting tools I use BiNG. Although not freeware, there is a trial period.

Furthermore (and similarly to PM which I also use), it can be run from a bootable CD with no installation, which is the way I like to run any partition manager utility.

BiNG will detect hard drives connected via USB2 and will allow formats, resizing, etc. My use of PM was superseded to an extent by BiNG simply because I was under the impression that PM8 (which I understand Norton has now dropped from its line up) could only handle max partition sizes of 320GB.

On previous PM versions that I used eg PM6 there was also a size limitation officially of 40-50gb but would work to 80gb. Beyond the safe limits PM would just crash the partition on any attempt to create or resize..

I too have external USB drives formatted to FAT32 my largest is 500gb (465GiB) and works fine. Not sure if I feel confident having a larger partition than that.

As an aside (and I am sure that a lot of you are well aware of this) one can also use GParted as a (free) partition manager (create, resize, etc) this prog can either be downloaded as a standalone utility or can be run from a Linux Live CD (I particularly like Puppy Linux, which I also have installed on a dual boot system). GParted is quick efficient and as safe as BiNG.

Good Luck

Edited by risk_reversal, 21 March 2011 - 06:58 AM.





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