TechTalk: How to format large drives to FAT32

If you are well travelled in the computing world you know what FAT32 and NTFS is. If not this might sound very technical and complicated. And that’s why we provide you with this guide: To simplify the complicated stuff.

This guide wil tell you how to format any large drive to FAT32 – the file format supported by both Windows, MAC and Linux as well as the XBOX 360. Previously it has been very complicated to acheive this without purchasing expensive software but now there is a fast and easy way to do it thanks to a piece of software created by Ridgecorp Consultants Ltd.

Over the Christmas holidays we came across a sale at a major retailer and ended up getting a massively discounted XBOX360 for our living room. The machine was purchased as much out of curiosity for it’s extended multimedia features as for it’s gaming capabilities. The 360 can work as a media extension that can display images and video and play music from our extensive archive right out of the box.

As part of the setup we also decided to attach an old IDE hard drive that’s been lying around unused for a while. We purchased a $20 external cabinet for it and hooked it up to the 360 through the USB 2.0 connection only to discover that it wasn’t recognized. A few hours of research later told me that for some unknown reason the XBOX 360 does not recognize drives formatted for NTFS. To be able to use an external drive on the 360 it has to be formatted for FAT32.

Wikipedia has some good background info on NTFS and FAT32 .

The fact that the 120GB drive had to be formatted for FAT32 was a major headache because the native formatting option in Windows XB only allows you to format volumes up to 32GB which again meant I’d have to split my drive into 4 partitions to be able to utilize the entire space. Although this is an option it is not an optimal one. The only other option (or at least so I thought) was to purchase some partitioning software like Partition Magic but these are both slow and unreliable.

Then I came across a site that claimed to have the perfect solution: A small DOS-based program that would format “any size drive” to FAT32 in a matter of seconds. The program was aptly named “fat32format” and provided by Ridgecorp Consultants Ltd. .

I was not immediately convinced that the claims of lightning fast formatting were accurate but decided to try anyway. To my surprise formatting my 120GB drive with this program tool less than 1.4 seconds and left 112GB of usable space. Not believing my own eyes I then tried to format another external drive I have – this time a 500GB drive. This process took about 2 seconds and left about 470GB of usable space. In short this program is the real deal.

So, for anyone who wants to format large drives external or internal to FAT32 I have found the solution for you. Fat32Format .

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