WD external HD - size of default FAT32 format ?

  setecio 09:00 07 Jun 2007

WD external drivs come already formatted in FAT32. A note in the manual says

**This WD drive is preformatted as a single FAT32 partition for compatibility with all Windows operating systems. The FAT32 file system has a maximum
individual file size of 4 GB and cannot create partitions larger than 32 GB in Windows 2000/XP. Windows 2000 and XP users can overcome
these file size limitations by reformatting the drive to NTFS using the Disk Management utility. Windows 98SE and Me do not support NTFS.

If I buy a 250GB WD ext drive, does it come formtted in FAT32 as 32GB in size, or do Western Digital have some way of formatting it in FAT32 that means it arrives with 250 GB (or 230) available ? I know I can reformat it in NTFS, but I would like to keep it as one ~250GB FAT32 partition if it arrives like that, or will it be only 32GB ?

  johndrew 09:33 07 Jun 2007

The WD drives I bought came formatted NTFS. If you buy a FAT32 formatted drive you should re-format/convert to NTFS if you are using XP or later as your partition size will be restricted otherwise.

  wee eddie 10:32 07 Jun 2007

FAT32 is usable by almost all PCs and can easily be re-formated as NTFS.

It is said to be impossible to re-format an NTFS Drive as FAT32

  setecio 10:47 07 Jun 2007

Yep, the reason for wanting FAT32 is that it deletes all the user permissions associated with files saved from XP, and thus makes restoring anything in the event of failure much simpler ... there will be no issues with user permissions.

My question is about the available size of a 250GB ext hard drive that arrives pre-formatted in FAT32 - does Western Digital have a tool to allow them to format the drive as near 250GB of FAT32 space or will the drive have only 32GB available. The manual seems to say that if I formatted it from XP as FAT32, then I would only have 32GB available, but am wondering if the manufacturers have a way around this.

  wee eddie 11:03 07 Jun 2007
  setecio 19:27 07 Jun 2007

Thanks X7

  ICF 20:21 07 Jun 2007

wee eddie said:-

"It is said to be impossible to re-format an NTFS Drive as FAT32"

You can do it with Partion magic

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