Will Windows 7 work on FAT 32? (using < 32GB), also, 32-bit vs. 64bit

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by matthughes64, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. matthughes64 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Hi I want to use bootcamp to install windows 7 for games. I want the safety and convenience of being able to access the windows partition in mac osx, and I understand that to do that I need to use 'FAT' format on the partition, and I know that this limits it to 32GB, but I'm fine with that.

    I have researched and found that some people say it's not possible to use windows 7 on 'FAT', but some say it is. Please could someone tell me, considering that it's using bootcamp (I don't know if this makes a difference but I am using a 13" macbook pro, bottom spec, 250GB (not SSD), bought just a few days ago, august 2010).

    Also another quick question - I know there's the option of 64-bit in windows 7, and I know the mac OS I'm running is 64 bit. Is it better? Will it work? Does that mean I need FAT 64 (or NTFS if FAT won't work). Will most games work on 64 bit (will they work on 32 bit)? I read one thing saying it needs patches and drivers and things like that - I don't really want to have to do that cos I'm not very good at windows.

    All information and advice is much appreciated.

    P.S. please do not post more questions to far off the subject unless this had been answered. Thanks. :D
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Windows 7 will not install to FAT32 volume, it needs NTFS. XP used FAT32 if I recall correctly. Download and install NTFS-3G to OS X and you'll be able to read and write NTFS volumes (i.e. access the files in Windows partition). Nearly all games will work in 64-bit version of Windows, only some very old games might have issues but they have issues with Windows Vista and 7 in general. I would get 64-bit version of W7 because it can utilize more than ~3.3GB of RAM
  3. matthughes64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Ok that's perfect, I'll do exactly that, and I have 4GB RAM so I'll use 64 bit. Thanks :D
  4. Grannyville7989 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2010
    You are correct about Windows XP. You can choose to format the hard drive to either FAT32 or NTFS to which you can install Windows XP onto. Though, I'm notsure if there is a size limitation for the OS drive to be FAT32.

    I run 64-bit Windows 7 on my laptop and desktop for gaming and I can run nearly every game. The only games that don't seem to run/install are those built for Windows 9x/ME and below (though, some have worked on my mum's 32-bit Windows 7). However, I managed to aquire a Windows 98 "gaming machine" so it's not a problem (until you get a random BSoD when you so much as cough near it). :D

    MS-DOS based games work fine is DOSBox. :)
  5. matthughes64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Ok thanks, I'll probably only run newish games anyway (im assuming what you mentioned is quite old - I've only ever had an xp before :D) but i'll definitely get 64 bit so thanks

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