Why can't I format in Fat32 on my ext. HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by i4k20c, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. i4k20c macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    Currently the drive is in HFS+ with 4 partitions being HFS+. I want to convert one to FAT32. When i go to disk utility, if I make one partition smaller and create a new one, FAT32 isn't a option. If I simply pick one of my HFS+ partitions and hit erase, under format, the MS DOS (FAT) option goes away.

    My only option seems to be if I decide to erase the WHOLE HD, I can format it to FAT 32? Is that right? Is that the only way? :confused:
  2. i4k20c thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    Ugh, no one? is there a better way to do this in Windows XP? :confused: :confused: :confused:
  3. PeterHolbrook macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2009
    It's a long time since I last used FAT32, but there was a limit in the size of the partition, possibly 32Gb. The system shouldn't let you format any disks as FAT32 over that limit. You might want to choose a different file system, such as NTFS (using, for instance, Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X).
  4. kalakov macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    I agree, go for NTFS. NTFS-3G or Tuxera NTFS will help you there.
  5. Susurs macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    FAT32 partition has a size limit and file size limit (around 4Gb I think) you can put on it...
    There is such a thing as exFAT by the way, though older Windows needs an update to support this filesystem...
  6. i4k20c thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    Yeah, I see that paragon or w.e. is only $20. that's not bad at all for having such ease.

    Now the problem is I was messing with the drive since I couldn't get it to work and formatted everything to HFS+

    In order to format part of it back to NTFS, i'll have to use windows right?

    Is it easy enough in windows xp to decrease the HFS+ and add in the NFTS or should I first decrease the HFS+ partition and leave the rest as free space and than in windows convert that free space to NTFS format partition?

    Hope this makes sense. :p

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