David Artiss

Formatting A Large Capacity Drive To FAT32


Sometimes you need to format a hard drive to the FAT32 format – for example, the PS3 and PS4 needs connected drives to be in this format. The problem for Windows owners is that it won’t give FAT32 as a formatting option if the drive capacity is over 32GB. But that’s not to say it won’t work – it will – you just need to find alternative means.

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If you know what you’re doing with DOS then the simplest solution is to use the FORMAT command. For example…

format /FS:FAT32 X:

Where X: is the drive you’re wanting to format. I’d read that at 1TB and above even DOS will complain, however I found that it wouldn’t even work with a 512Mb drive.

The alternative solution is to use a free program – Verbatim FAT32 Tool, Fat32Formatter or FAT32 Formatter are all recommended.

If you’re using a Mac then simply open Disk Utility, select your external drive in the list on the left of the Disk Utility window, and click “Erase”. Select “MS-DOS (FAT)” as your file format, name the volume, and click the “Erase” option.


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1 Comment

  1. Jim Duppenthaler

    7th July 2015 — 5:17 pm

    Do not use Fat32Formatter! It initialized the wrong disc. I specified E: and it wiped D: A very amateurish and dangerous program. Luckily I keep backups.

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