FAT32format is able to easily format large hard disks in FAT32, even in Windows XP. FAT32format is a small, simple and powerful application that canformat large hard disks in FAT32, even in Windows XP.
Just partition the drive, then type "fat32format X:" where X is the partition letter.
Note that the 32GB limit is a limit of the formatter in Windows XP. FAT32 itselft should be OK to 2TB, limited by a 32 bit sector count in the boot sector. XP comes with a partitioning tool, called Disk Management. It even has Wizards for partitoning. This should be a cinch.
It is also possible to set the cluster size with a -cN parameter where N is the number of sectors per cluster. On a hard disk, which is the only sort we support, one sector is 512 bytes. The cluster size will be N times 512.
It seems that Windows XP supports small cluster sizes, except that chkdsk runs very slowly, presumably because it needs to read the huge FAT that results from these settings. Given the nature of FAT32, you cant reduce the cluster size such that the number of clusters is more than 228.
Author have tested this with a SATA disk as follows. Power off the computer and connect the disk. Power up again - check the Bios finds it. If you have a IDE or SATA disk, make sure you power off before connecting, USB and Firewire ones can be connected with the power on.
How to use fat32format:
step 1. Download a copy of fat32format. Extract the single EXE file to somewhere suitable, like C:\.
step 2. Click Start->Run and enter "cmd", when the command prompt opens, type this - C:\ is the place you extracted the exe file to. Note if this sort of command line stuff makes your head hurt, you should probably give this a try instead "CD /D C:\"
step 3. Press enter and then type this. You need to replace f: with the drive letter you are trying to format. "fat32format f:"
step 4 .You should see this displayed "Warning ALL data on drive 'f' will be lost irretrievably, are you sure (y/n)"
Now when it says this, it really means it. If you format the boot sector, FATs and root directory will be filled with zeros. By typing pressing Y and hitting return, you're also absolving me of liability for whatever was on the disk before.
1. As of now, fat32format has worked on disks from 40GB to 2TB
2. Interfaces tested include IDE/PATA, SATA, eSATA, USB and Firewire
3. The formatted disks work on XP, Mac, Linux, the iPod (40gb), various Nas boxes and mediaplayers and Norton Ghost 2003
4. Formatting works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 and Vista. Note that Windows 9x/Me are not supported and do not work, but you can use the format.exe supplied with them instead
5. If you have problems creating partitions bigger than 137GB on an ATA (IDE) disk connected to the motherboard, make sure you have SP1 or later and an LBA48 compatible bios. Check your motherboard site for a bios update.
Please Note: fat32format is designed to format disks quickly. It doesn't check for bad sectors. If you need integrity checks, run a chkdsk /R f: after the format.
fat32format works with Vista and Windows 7. The UI has changed a bit when creating drives and UAC makes the whole process a bit more cumbersome. This is the best way to run fat32format. It's always been Admin only, it's just that on XP most power users ran with Admin rights all the time.
The license of this software is Freeware, you can free download and free use this disk management software.