Retrieving Files on Fat32 External HD

  RegScriv 11:37 17 Jul 2012

Does anyone know how to retrieve files from a Fat32 formatted external hard drive. I need to transfer them to a Window 7 NTFS pc.

  lotvic 12:11 17 Jul 2012

Just plug it into a usb port. It will show up as a drive and be assigned a letter. Then use as normal, copy paste etc.

NTFS can recognise and use FAT32. Most, if not all, ext drives are FAT32.

  RegScriv 15:55 17 Jul 2012

Hi lotvic, thanks for your response. When I plugged my Fat32 formatted external hd into a usb port, my pc told me that it had to be formatted before it could be used. At the time the hd didn't have any files on it. I gave up at that point. Maybe if the hd had had files on it Windows Explorer would then have recognized them. Do you think that is the case?

My FreeSat box exports files only in Fat32, which I want to use to play on another DVD player.

  lotvic 16:19 17 Jul 2012

Do you think that is the case?

no, if the HDD was formatted to FAT32 and was empty of files then your pc should have recognised it as empty and not said it needed formatting.

Are you sure the HDD is formatted to FAT32 and you have since successfully exported files from FreeSat box?

What is the make and model of your FreeSat box? sometimes what you are trying to do can be a bit tricky.

  robin_x 17:53 17 Jul 2012

Try a Windows shutdown and switch on, with drive connected. Windows may just have got confused.

Or there may be damaged or corrupted sectors.

I found a utility called Find and Mount, which looks interesting. Don't know if it will help but it's free and quick.

Google partition find and mount, (PCA playing up with links)


Source - Google Search "Format it now?"

  RegScriv 10:37 19 Jul 2012

I formatted a 500Gb hd using the cmd and "format /fs: fat32 X:" It took ages & I think I may use the Easeus Partition Master Home Edition next time. I'll have to try again but if my Windows 7 pc will read the Fat32 file it will make things a lot easier. I was thinking that I would have to convert the file system to NTFS before I could use the files.

I want to convert the TS files from my Humax Freesat box, which exports only in Fat32 format, into DVD format so that I can play them on another dvd player.

Thanks for your help guys. I'll give it another go.

  robin_x 11:10 19 Jul 2012

The partition must be FAT32 format, not the files. they are always the same and Windows can read them whether they are stored on a FAT or NTFS partition.

Use DVD Flick, or any number of free apps, to convert and burn ts files to DVD format.

I would suggest practice with sample recordings of say, 5 mins, and DVD-RW re-recordable discs till you get the hang of it.

If you try and do a 2hr movie when not sure, it usually ends in tears and takes ages as well.

  lotvic 12:54 19 Jul 2012

First thing to do is make sure W7 can see the FAT32 500Gb hd in My Computer and has assigned it a drive letter. make sure it works ok by copying a few practice files to it and can open them. (then delete the files) then plug usb 500Gb hd into the Humax Freesat

Are you having any problems with Humax File Manager when trying to copy a film to the 500Gb hd? Remember that FAT32 has a file limit of 4GB so any films that are over 4GB you will not be able to copy. (NTFS file system does not have this problem but Humax won't recognise NTFS)

(note: Harddrive File systems NTFS, FAT32 etc are not the types of files you put on them - which could be anything .TS, Word.doc, .txt, .jpg, .mp3, etc etc.)

Think of this comparison: Warehouse one big empty space (NTFS) lots of parcels inside (your folders and files) some bigger than 4GB .

Convert Warehouse to Flats (FAT32), each flat can only hold a 1 parcel maximum size 4GB or several parcels totalling 4GB max.

(sorry if that's too simplistic, I like to break things down so I remember them easily)

  RegScriv 12:25 20 Jul 2012

Thanks guys, that's really helpful stuff.

I tried downloading & installing Swissknife yesterday because it's supposed to be an easier/quicker way of formatting to Fat32. The app took over all my browsers & I couldn't get rid of it. I tried everything & then used System Restore. That caused more problems. Thankfully I use Acronis True Image & take a disk image quite regularly so I managed, once again, to get my computer back ok.

I'll try again anyway and thanks again.

  lotvic 13:29 20 Jul 2012

If your W7 comes up wanting to format the drive, maybe it sees it as 'dirty'. It may be able to be fixed - Run CHKDSK if you don't want to delete the partition, make a new one, format and start again.

Can you confirm whether this is a bought Ext hd in it's own caddy, or is it one you have 'made'

Facts: If you format the drive it will wipe it and you will lose any files you have on there. (that's okay if you're wanting to start from scratch)

Humax File Manager: there are no problems/funny business, copying to a usb ext hd formatted to FAT32 and then copying to pc (did it myself last night, 28GB, 14 films using a spare hd that I made into an ext usb hd with a kit - cable and own power source) If you try to copy a film that is more than 4GB Humax pops a message up to say 'can't copy files over 4GB' so then you can untick it and make a note of which film is a nono on FAT32.

Whatever means you use to format to FAT32 you need to make sure the drive is fully functional in W7 (is assigned a drive letter and you can copy and put files on it) before you start plugging it in the Humax.

  lotvic 13:41 20 Jul 2012

not used it myself but GO HERE and scroll down to post by 'Smartmom' who had success with the format and quick, with a tiny program that is free (Fat32format)

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