FAT32 What am I doing wrong? Doesn't show up in "My Computer"

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Tymmz, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Tymmz macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I got myself a 160 portable HDD.

    I formated it in FAT32 so I could use it in a Mac and a Windows-PC environment.

    The drive shows up fine on my Mac but not in "My Computer" on Windows, but it's registered as a Mass Storage Device in the Device Manager.

    What went wrong?

    What do I need to do?

    cheers
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    Is this on a real Windows computer (or Boot Camp) or in a VM? Did you format the drive using OS X or Windows?

    My initial guess is that it's using FAT32 inside GUID/APM, which (as far as I know) Windows can't read.
     
  3. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    I formatted it under OS X and want to use it on "real" Windows machines.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #4
    Partition and format it in Windows, then both will be able to read and write to it.
     
  5. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    But doesn't that mean you can only create 32 GB partitions?
     
  6. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    Langley, Washington
    #6
    FAT32 is limited to Drives of 137GB or less. You will either need to format it in HFS+ and find a way to read it in Windows, format in NTFS and find a way to write to it in OS X, or try formatting it into multiple FAT32 drives.

    TEG
     
  7. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    How do I partion it in FAT32 on OS X?
     
  8. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #8
    In Disc Utility, there should be an option to create multiple partitions of the HD. Each one should have the option for different formats. This WILL wipe the drive, so if you have anything on it, back it up.

    TEG
     
  9. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #9
    I'm afraid it's not that easy, not at all.

    I formatted it in NTFS and will carry MacFUSE + NTFS-3G on my USB stick with me around, in case another Mac doesn't have it.
     
  10. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
  11. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #11
    Yep, but FAT32 is a really bad choice if you wanted to make larger partitions.
     
  12. cuestakid macrumors 68000

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    San Fran
    #12
  13. 1dterbeest macrumors regular

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    Waupun, WI
    #13
    that's funny, because i formatted a 200gb external drive with FAT32 and it worked fine...
     
  14. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #14
    There's no reason why it wouldn't format fine... the limitation is the 32MB partition limitation.

    If you have any files over 32MB, you're screwed. It's just an awful file system, too... HFS+ all the way... if you need to use it with Windows, get MacDrive or something like it.. that's my advice.
     
  15. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

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    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #15
    That's all kinds of wrong. There is a 4 gig file size limit. I have a 250 gig external HD formatted as FAT32 that I use to transfer large videos and files back and forth between Leopard and Vista.

    OP - go into the command prompt on the PC and type the following:

    format X: /FAT32

    Simply substitute X with the current letter assigned to your drive and you're fine. It'll confirm you want to format and erase data, then just let it do it's work. No problems!
     
  16. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #16
    Thanks, I'll give it a try.
     
  17. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2007
    #17

    My mistake, you are correct... 4 gig file size limit. But I still think it's awful.... in my experience anytime I try to transfer large quantities of data to FAT32, it freezes up every after several gigs.
     
  18. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

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    #18
    Be sure to let us know how it goes. I think this'll be the best solution for your needs.

    I agree, but it's the only solution that actually works without having to have extra software installed on one or both platforms. If wireless network transfer speeds were faster I'd just do that, but I convert videos on my MBP then move them to my Vista PC for desktop storage. It'd take forever to move that much media without an external drive acting as a medium.
     
  19. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #19
    It says

    invalid parameter - /FAT32

    when I try it your way.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  20. nplima macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #20
  21. platypus63 macrumors regular

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    Zanzibar Land
    #21
    Tymmz

    Which version of OS X are you running, Leopard???

    From experience, I tried to format an external FAT32 to use on my PS3, and leopards MSDOS formatting just would not show up on the PS3... Then tried formatting on a laptop running Tiger and it worked just fine. I don't know if they've addressed this issue with 10.5.2 or not though.

    Goodluck
     
  22. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #22
    I'm running Leopard.

    But so far nplima's approach seems to work.
     
  23. Tymmz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23

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