Format to FAT

  Leepaci 08:49 15 Sep 2008


I have an external USB hard drive that I need to format as FAT (not FAT32). I thought I could do this by simply formatting the drive via My Computer bu the only option is to use NTFS. Please can someone tell me how I can format my external hard drive using FAT.

Thanks in advance.

  Technotiger 09:15 15 Sep 2008

Read through this whole thread ... click here, it might help ...

But if you want to to this in order to use the drive on a Mac, it would be better to do it via the Mac.

Or - why do you want to reformat to a very old format like FAT??

  Technotiger 09:16 15 Sep 2008

Ooops - to to - should read ... to do

  Diemmess 09:19 15 Sep 2008

Just to kick off...
If you have or can borrow a "PQ Magic" disk, the rest is simple. The computer is booted from the disk leaving its own OS untouched.

I assume you need it formatted as FAT16 (usually called just FAT)

  mgmcc 09:20 15 Sep 2008

Is it not the case that a FAT (FAT16) partition cannot be larger than 2GB? Larger than this and you need to create the partition with "Large disk support", which is effectively FAT32.

  Leepaci 09:37 15 Sep 2008

I am trying to recover some data from a laptop which will no longer boot up. The software I'm using is called Data Rescue PC and the program searches for a FAT partition to use as a destination for the recovered data. The external hard drive is currently formatted with FAT32 and therefore not recognised by the program.

  Technotiger 10:08 15 Sep 2008

There are loads of other recovery programmes out there, why not choose one which will work properly with NTFS. You should be able to choose your own destination for the recovered items.

  Technotiger 10:09 15 Sep 2008

Hmmm ... NTFS or FAT32.

  woodchip 11:34 15 Sep 2008

As above you can only create a Partition no bigger that 2Gig using Fat

  DieSse 14:00 15 Sep 2008

click here

This link to Data Rescue PC says

"Recovers all Microsoft Windows file systems including: Windows Vista, 2003, XP, NT, 2000, ME, 98, 95, 3.x and DOS (NTFS, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and DOS file systems) must recover to FAT32 volume."

The chances that it would only recover to a FAT16 or FAT12 partition are vanishingly remote, as it would be pretty useless if it did, as such partitions are limited in size.

  DieSse 14:04 15 Sep 2008

If you absolutely must format to FAT16 - then you first need to make a partition of 2GB or less.

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