Computer Support Forum

will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

Question: will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

I have a very straightforward question: I am running WinXP Pro on my computer and I just got an external USB hard-drive to back up my data before I upgrade to VISTA.

My internal hard drive is NTFS file system, and the external drive is FAT32. My data backed-up perfectly.

However, I understand that VISTA is NTFS only (for the drive that it's installed on, which in my case will be the internal drive). I will be installing the VISTA OS on the internal drive, and using the external drive solely for backing up data.

I don't want to back up my data externally, upgrade my PC to VISTA, and then discover that I can't access the data on the external drive.

Here's my only question: will VISTA work with a FAT32 external drive, or do I have to convert that external drive to NTFS *before* I attempt to connect it to VISTA?

awaiting your replies - I'll appreciate all the help I can get!

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Preferred Solution: will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

I recommend downloading and running Reimage. It's a computer repair tool that has been proven to identify and fix many Windows problems with a high level of success.

I've used it in the past to identify and fix everything from blue screens (BSOD's), ActiveX errors, corrupt files and processes, dll/exe/sys errors, recover lost memory, Windows update problems, defragging, malware removal etc.

You can download it direct from this link (This link will automatically start a download of Reimage that you can save to your computer.)

Answer: will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

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I bought a new external HD recently, and used Acronis to back up an image to it. I noticed that the 60gb backup is split into 4gb chunks, which I assume is because it is formatted FAT32?What is the max file size for NTFS, and is it OK to format the external HD in this way. I.e I wont mess it up (obviously the reformat will wipe my backup)Please advise

Answer:External hard drive - Fat32 or NTFS?

It's generally regarded as best to file in NTFS unless you are using an operating system older than XP. click here

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I have just bought an external LaCie 250gig d2 hard drive. I am planning on archiving my cd collection with my Win XP pc, but I will be using a Mac in the future. Does anyone know if I should format the drive with FAT32 to allow accessing the files (which will be WMA'S) on a Mac later on, or NTFS? Does it matter??!!Pleeeease help!Thankyou.

Answer:FAT32 or NTFS for my external USB hard drive?

If your going to use the drive with other operating systems then stick with fat32.

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Well tomorrow I am receiving my SSD. And my external hdd is fat 32 and I can't backup some of my stuff because of the file size limit.
I believe I need it to be NTFS but how do I change it from fat32 to NTFS? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Answer:External Hard drive fat32 to NTFS?

You can format most drives to NTFS using Windows.

Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS

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I have just purchased a Seagate Ext HD. My main computer has two parts to the HD: C for the main programmes etc, and D for the installation files, etc which came instead of a CD.The C drive is NTFS and the D drive is FAT32. The Seagate Ext HD is also FAT32, Do I have to change anything on the Seagate Drive ie make it NTFS?Can I backup the C drive and then the D drive onto the Seagate without it overwriting anything?ThanksPhil

Answer:External hard Drive NTFS or FAT32?

How are you going to backup? using True Image? click here or click here

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Which is the better format for my external 2TB Hard Drive?

At the moment it is FAT32 and for some reason it won't allow me to place a Windows 7 System Image on it?

I have another drive - which is NTFS - which accepts everything.

OK - my question is, which is the better option? Should I reformat the 2TB FAT32 to NTFS?

I am backing up the usual office notes, pdfs, music, mp3, many .avi films, photos etc.

Any advice appreciated!!

Answer:NTFS or FAT32 with External Hard Drive?

Decide yourself . Read the pros and cons of each of them .

NTFS vs. FAT: Which Is Right for You?
FAT32 or NTFS: Making the Choice

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Hi I am looking to update my PS3's hard drive. I already bought an new hard drive for my PS3, now i need to back up my data. The only problem is that the portable hard drive I have is in NTFS form and not FAT32. I have read tat I need to partition my hard drive but I have no idea how?? If anyone could give me steps on how to do this I would greatly appreciate it. I have Windows Vista and I have a Seagate FreeAgent Go Portable Drive.

Answer:Solved: Reformatting an External Hard Drive from NTFS to FAT32

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I just bought a Maxtor 5000LE that has 80GB storage capacity and uses USB 1.1/.20 to connect to the PC. It comes formatted with FAT32. I will be storing large .avi files on this (around 700MB each) and wanted to know what would be the best file systems as far as disk storage and performance. I imagine with USB 1.1 or even 2.0 the performance will be poor anyhow. But in terms of making the most out of the 80GB I have to work with is NTFS or FAT32 better? I don't care about file system security and I am not sure if compression would be helpful in this case. Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.

Answer:Best File System (NTFS or FAT32) for USB External Hard Drive

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I'm trying to install a game onto an external hard drive but it tells me that the game requires an NTFS file system while the hard drive is FAT32.

Is there a way to change the hard drive to NTFS? Will it result in data loss?


Answer:Solved: Can I convert an external hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS?

have a read here

But I would not trust it, if the data was important - i would make sure I backed it all up first

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I have an HP notebook which runs on Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit.

I have two external hard drives, both Western Digital Elements. The older one, 1 TB, uses the FAT 32 file system. This is inconvenient since some files I wish to add are larger than 4 GB.

The newer WD, 2 TB, is NTFS, so sometimes I have to use this drive for the larger files that would ordinarily go onto the older drive, based on how I organize my data.

Is there any way to change the older drive from FAT32 to NTFS???? (That is, a solution that "even I" can understand????)

Thanks if you have anything to suggest.


Answer:[SOLVED] How to change external hard drive file system from FAT32 to NTFS????

You can use the command line tool "convert" to convert a FAT32 volume to NTFS. Example:

convert X: /FS:NTFS

NOTE: This operation is not without risk. Be sure you have a backup of all important files before proceeding. Of course you should have this anyway. Usually the command works without incident but it can fail, leaving the volume in an undefined state. It is a good idea to check the drive with the chkdsk command before proceeding. Do not do this on a drive whose reliability is in question.

Also be aware that the command is non-reversible. Microsoft provides no tools to convert NTFS to FAT32.

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Hi guys,,

Anyone have a quick tutorial of how to format an external harddrive which is 1TB to FAT32 format on windows Vista-
Tried the command one
format f: /fs:fat32
but no luck.. swissknife- I dont have the license version so won't work.. Actually the external harddrive is not with me so if I get a good advise here Iwill forward that to the user and get him to do it himself.
help please


Answer:Format a 1 T-BYTES External hard drive to FAT32

Sorry, I am a bit late.

This program should sort you out: Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd

However, can I warn you that FAT32 is not supposed to be pushed to drives this big. Although you can look up theoretical maximums, there are too many features to change to just choose one. It will also not be very backwards compatible, and so it still may not work for what you want it for, and I would recommend formatting back to NTFS when done.


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I have a 500GB external Hard Drive that I need to use at home with my Windows 7 PC and at school where I use a Mac.

I know NTFS is for Windows only and I know FAT32 works on both Windows and Mac.

However I have been unable to format my external hard drvie to FAT32. Only to exFAT which doesnt work on Windows.

I have tried in CMD using the format fs=FAT32 quick but it told be my hard drive is too big.

Any ideas?


Answer:How to format large external Hard Drive to FAT32

Nevermind lol I used a program called guiformat.exe - worked like a charm. I decided to leave this post up in case it helps someone else.

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I have a external drive that is formatted fat32. when I hook it up to my vista computer it won't read it. I can find it in device manager and have tried updating the drivers and it says that it has the newest drivers. help.

Answer:vista won't read fat32 external drive

Has it worked on your computer before?Try it on an other computer and see if you can get it to be read.

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I'm running Windows 7 Pro and the only option I see when I right click on the drives are NTFS or exFAT.

Hopefully it will be something easy because I'm not at all handy with the command prompt, unless someone walks me thru it.

Answer:Need to format a 160gb & 250gb external USB hard drive to FAT32?

have a read ta this,maybe helpful...**

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Took forever but I finally got this external hard drive I borrowed from friend to transfer files to computer with broken cd drive. But when I try to access the drive it tells me its not formatted and asks if I want to format.
Any idea of what I should do, if I can even do anything.

Answer:Is there anyway for win98 to read a NTFS external hard drive?

No, 98 won't read that drive. How much data is it? You could use a flash drive.

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It is a 64 GB Toshiba USB drive (TNU). Problem is that every time I try to format to NTFS the normal way with Windows 7 or Windows 8 I get the message: Windows was unable to complete the format.

I tried to format it using the specific software from the drive manufacturer, TNA.

A friend managed to format it to FAT32, but the next time I tried to access the drive Windows showed a message saying that I needed to format the drive to use it. Then there appeared only the exFAT option.

I also tried some partition software, like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, and it could format to both FAT32 and NTFS, but when I removed and put the USB drive back Windows again warned me about the need to format and again I had only the exFAT option left.

Please, help me with that, it's driving me crazy!


Answer:I need to to format exFAT USB flash drive to NTFS/FAT32

It's possible that the thumb drive itself is defective.

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Is it safe to convert USB Drive format from FAT32 to NTFS.
Hi tried to transfer a 4.33 GB File to USB Stick,14.5 GB Free Space,
message popped up . File To Large - ....... Is Too Large For This For The Destination File System.
will It still play ok on my built in Tv Media Player.
please advise

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Just got a new 250GB Freecom External HD to replace an ancient 70GB Maxtor External.The new HD will be used for storing back-ups of the PC's HD.I am currently using NTFS on the PC and the old Maxtor. The Freecom is already formatted as FAT32, and they recommend keeping this format.I know that NTFS is safer, but FAT32 is quicker. I am thinking of formatting the Freecom to NTFS. Any advice would be appreciated. I am using XP Home (SP2).

Answer:NTFS or FAT32 on external USB Drive

Got a Freecom 500GB external HD last month and formatted it as NTFS. No problems.

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Got a USB2 external hard drive to connect to my ps3. However, I can only format this drive as NTFS within XP and Vista, and the psp3 requires it to be fat32. Is there a way in either xp or vista to format this as fat32 as the only option in the drop-down menu is ntfs?here's hoping!!


click here

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At 500gb external drive WDPassport I have about half the tv recordings or avi files. It is formatted to NTFS, which cannot read Sony VCR. It can only FAT32. Can be convert the disk to FAT32 without data loss or the need to back up? FAT32 drives have a problem with the size of 40GB, as I found out. Can anyone help?

Answer:USB external drive for video recorder (NTFS to FAT32)

The file limit for fat32 is 4GB NOT 40GB.

FAT32 to NTFS is straightforward and simple, the other way around, like you want, is fairly complex.

If you have files larger than 4GB, many nested folders or files and folders with very long names, I wouldn't recommend you do this, because FAT32, does not support these and hence you could lose them regardless.

Try this program.

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I want to convert external hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS. I know it cannot be changed back. I have some files that I want to use in a video editing program (Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12) which need to come from NTFS. I noticed I cannot move AVI files from the NTFS to theFAT32 system as all necessary data is not able to be transferred-found that out this morning.
I have Win Vista as my main computer and a Tablet PC running XP tablet edition. I would assume XP will be able to read the NTFS format without difficulty.
The external drive is not partitioned-I haven't done that before-not sure if one needs to. For an external drive the only right click option is 'format' there is no 'convert' option. I have 43.9 Gigs free of 76.6-not sure why it shows up as 76.6 as the external drive is 100Gigs. I have enough room on my Vista computer to back up the files. Not sure what will happen with the avi files though.
Any suggestions on how you would do this?

Here's what Windows Help and Support says about doing this although I am not sure they are talking about an external drive.

Convert a hard disk or partition to NTFS format

The NTFS file system provides better performance and security for data on hard disks and partitions or volumes than the FAT file system used in some earlier version of Windows. If you have a partition that uses the earlier FAT16 or FAT32 file system, you can convert it to NTFS by using the convert command. Converting to NTFS does n... Read more

Answer:Solved: Convert External Drive From Fat32 to NTFS

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Like the title said, i accidently converted my external HDD which was in fat32 to NTFS with PartitionMagic.

It took less than 1minute, and it was a 1TB harddrive, so I'm pretty sure no data was changed, only the one of the header sectors. So yea no I have an EMPTY ntfs drive here and i need to recover it.

I know theres a bazilion programs that can RECOVER files, but i don't want to scan the whooolee 1tb drive and recover and rewrite it all to another drive and all that trouble. I was hoping to find a way to just convert it back to fat32 and set the right header and just get my old drive back.

Thanks in advance

Answer:Accidently converted Fat32 External media drive to NTFS

Well unless Im mistaken, the only way to switch back to NTFS is to reformat the drive - which still doesn't get your data back. I hope I am wrong.

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Like the title said, i accidently converted my external HDD which was in fat32 to NTFS with PartitionMagic.

It took less than 1minute, and it was a 1TB harddrive, so I'm pretty sure no data was changed, only the one of the header sectors. So yea no I have an EMPTY ntfs drive here and i need to recover it.

I know theres a bazilion programs that can RECOVER files, but i don't want to scan the whooolee 1tb drive and recover and rewrite it all to another drive and all that trouble. I was hoping to find a way to just convert it back to fat32 and set the right header and just get my old drive back.

Thanks in advance

Answer:Accidently converted Fat32 External media drive to NTFS

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I have an external drive, which was the old internal drive (40 Gb) from my laptop removed when I had a problem, which was probably software related. Have now formatted it and wanted to use it for backup data. However, format from my XP made it ntfs, whereas my internal drive is fat 32. Tried to copy files over. It will regognise a single file copy and I can access it but when I try to copy whole directories I can see the file but cannot access. Do I need to find a way to format as fat 32 or is there an easy way to copy files (as opposed to using a backup utility) to it that can be accessed easily at a later date.

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Hi all. I've got a portable hard drive made by WD, it's one of those passport drives. It's been quite slow lately and I was wondering, what can I do to make it run faster? Shall I format it to fat32 as it's ntfs at the moment and also what about write caching? Thanks

Answer:fat32 or ntfs for portable hard drive?

If you only use it on Win2000, XP or Vista then NTFS would be better but if on a combination of above and any 9X then Fat32 will work on both.

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I've gotten a new hard drive for use as a storage device - mainly for documents, some graphs and statistical programmes, music, videos, photos and my iTunes library. Which is a better option for me, FAT32 or NTFS?

I've checked some of the other posts and realize that NTFS is the way to go for most users - larger file sizes, security, reliability, space efficiency etc.

My situation may be a bit different though.

- I'll be using it mainly to store the stuff I transfer off my Windows 98SE OS computer, through a Windows XP computer. For some reason, the former can't detect the new hard drive so I'll be using a pen drive to transfer stuff from it to the latter and onto the hard drive. Since I'm not connecting it directly to Windows 98SE, compatibility isn't an issue, is it?

- The drive came formatted in FAT32. I haven't formatted one before and worry that I may mess it up by converting it to NTFS.

- I'm not sure if my statistical programmes are compatible with NTFS, as some older programmes aren't.

- What's that about NTFS incompatibility with floppy disks? I'd like to transfer my stuff from old floppys via the Windows XP computer to the new hard drive for storage. Will that be a problem?

I'm tempted to reformat it from FAT32 to NTFS though. I'd appreciate some advice on this. Are there any situations when I'll need FAT32 instead?

I intend to use my new hard drive for some time. If I stick to... Read more

Answer:New hard drive. FAT32 or NTFS formatting?

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Hi guys.I've just bought two new toys... an Acer 5051 laptop with 60Gb Hdd split into two equal partitions that are both formatted in FAT32 running Winows XP media edition and just today, I bought a 320GB Seagate External USB 2.0 Hard Drive click here that is also in FAT32 but not split to be used with both the laptop and the desktop PC I have running XP Pro.I understand that NTFS is generally better and faster etc so should I format the Ext HDD before I put anything on it and should I worry about formatting the laptop drives as they have XP and files on the partitions.

Answer:NTFS vs FAT32 for Ext Hard Drive & Laptop

You don't have to but if you want to you don't need to Format but to Convert click here

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I have a new Seagate FreeAgent external hard drive and wanted to know how can I format it to FAT32?

I want to hook it up to a computer whose hard drive crashed and I want to boot to Knoppix so I can attempt to retrieve any information possible to the external drive.

Thanks for looking.

Answer:How to format an external drive to FAT32

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right guys and girls here it goes! a little while ago i chucked my old laptop out and brought a new one, i kept my hard drive from the laptop because i have now turned it into a external one.
its been running perfict but i decided to format it because i just wanted to wipe everything, i done this through using vista.
when i have gone to use this external hard drive again its now showing the icon on my computer but when i click on it to open its coming up as i need to format it... i click ok this opens up another little window but this other little window is to tell me windows cant format it..... ive checked the properties and its saying that i have 0 bites in my hard drive, ya know the little pie sorta diagram down the bottom.... i have a program to try and format it but the program can not find the hard drive it only detects the one ive got in my laptop.
please pleas HELP! i have not got a clue what to do.

Answer:vista format external hard drive

It may be that the HD is test try it on another PC and see if it sees it and you can format it

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I understand that Windows XP has a function called CONVERT to change the file system of a FAT32 drive to NTFS.

I installed a new hard drive in my PC recently, but I used Acronis True Image 10.0 to make a duplicate of my old drive's content into the new drive. Since the old drive was FAT32, the new drive became FAT32 as well.

I learned that Windows XP has the CONVERT function, and I have tried it many times, every time I've done it, everything goes as it should, but when the process is finished and I check the drive's properties, I realize that the drive is still FAT32. This is my master drive installed in the main IDE channel, containing all the Windows XP files.

Can you help me with this?. I need to convert this drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

Answer:Unable to convert hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

Did you use full version or the free trial?

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i've purchased a seagate 1TB external hard drive and need to format it in FAT32 format.

how can i go about doing this using windows 7?

Answer:how can i format my external HD drive into FAT32 format

Quote: Originally Posted by Waqas83


i've purchased a seagate 1TB external hard drive and need to format it in FAT32 format.

how can i go about doing this using windows 7?

Hi and welcome

um, why do you need to? there are several 3rd party apps that can but since win 7 knows NTFS, it will not format fat32. Just checked to be sure.

KEn J+

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Hi,I have a Western Digital Passport Essential 500gb hard drive that i have formatted to FAT32 (from NTFS) and partitioned.I now want to format one of the partitions to EXT3.I'm running Vista.How do i go about doing this? I know that EXT3 is a Linux format and that i'm likely to need some programme or other. What's the most straight forward way of formatting?Cheers

Answer:How to format external hard drive to EXT3 in Vista

I'm not that familiar with running Linux but |I would imagine that if you ran a live disk version you would have the oportunity to format from thaere.

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I have a 320GB external hard drive from WD which I was using to back up my personal laptop running XP Pro. My laptop has since crashed and I need to access the files on my external while the laptop is being repaired. I have a laptop from work running Vista and the external does not show up in My Computer when I plug it in. I suspect this is because the work laptop's cd drive and my external both have the E drive letter.

My question is this: is there a way to access my files on the work computer without formatting the external and losing all my backed up documents? I am under the impression that giving my hard drive a new letter will require it to be partitioned/formatted?

Answer:Vista WD External hard drive not showing up, don't want to format

The hd letter shouldn't have anything to do with it normally. But your work computer may be locked down in such a way that it is. But no, you do not have to reformat to get a new drive letter. See if you can get into disk management from the administrative tools control panel, in there you can change drive letters (ie - make the cd drive drive X or something temporarly).

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I recently put together a much better computer for myself, but salvaged the hard drive from my older computer. My first idea was to use the Win98 Hard Drive as a primary driver, then upload my important stuff to CD or the internet.

Problem is, my processor is too fast for Windows 98 and will not load as a primary OS.

So now I am using my updated NTFS hard drive, but I have this old Fat32 sitting around and I want to get some files from it.

So how would I do this?

Answer:Need help bring files from FAT32 to NTFS Hard Drive with ONE computer

You attach the old drive as a non primary one so you will boot from the NTFS thing.

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OK, I posted here several weeks ago about a crash my hard drive had. I wanted to recover files and thought if I put that hard drive as a primary slave drive and put a new drive as a primary master drive I would then be able to use the master to recovery files off the slave.I've decided to make a new topic, however, because I've tried that and now I seem to have a new problem. The master drive won't work with the slave drive connected to the computer - the slave is too corrupted. Apparently the crash I got (STOP 0X00000024) is related to a problem with the NTFS system.This article outlines my problem:;en-us;228888It says that I need a FAT32 system to deal with the problem. I'm not very computer literate - I only found out what NTFS, FAT32, etc... was a few months ago. And I just found out how to install a slave & master drive a few weeks ago, thanks to this problem. For some reason the article says I need to use Windows 2k - I don't know why. I've tried Windows 2k profession, which only installs as a NTFS system and, predictably, it didn't work.Is Windows 2k home edition a FAT32 system? Is that what the article suggests I use? If not, why would the Microsoft article recommend I use Windows 2k, and not XP, if it's a NTFS system?

Answer:Resolved: Confused - NTFS, FAT32 & Hard Drive Crashes

The article is suggesting another windows 2000 machine because the article was written for win 2000. But the steps should still be valid for XP. You could format your new master hdd as FAT 32 and then follow the steps suggested in the guide. You'll need to reinstall XP in order to change to FAT 32.

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I had a DVD recorder with internal HDD (Nortek, ndvx hd 160 p).
It was repaired once, but the second time it stopped working, the repairer said the vendor didn't longer provide spare parts.
I asked him to give me the HDD back as I had downloaded tons of home made movie of
my kids from a videocamera.
I bought a logilink bridge (USB2.0 to IDE & SATA) and I expected to see it as an external drive once collected to the PC.
Actually the tool seems to work fine but I do not see any drive.
I found on the web few information about how files are stored on that recorder, they used FAT32 file system.

On a previous thread "Windows 7 unable to read external drive formatted FAT32"
there is a nice procedure from user "balak46", last point is:
"4. Start ->Mycomputer->Rightclick-> Manage ->System->diskmanage.
See if your drive shows up without a letter. Assign a letter and it will work."
Actually my external drive shows up without a letter, but how can I assign one to it?


Answer:How to read FAT32 formatted external drive on Windows 7?

Right click the drive in Disk Management to assign it a letter.

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I HAVE a new Maxtor external drive USB2.

I want to format it NTFS. What do I do? It is connected to my Dell Laptop which has WinXPpro on it.

Answer:How Do I Do An Ntfs Format On An External Drive

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I have a WD Passport Essential 320gb external hard drive that I want to use to back-up my dual boot system (W7 and XP). Unfortunately, the software included won't install to W7 and I am too lazy to switch over atm. I've decided to use W7's built-in back-up application to create a system image, but first I have to format the external drive. How can I do that?

Answer:How can I format my external drive to NTFS?

Hmm nevermind. I seem to have found out how to do this immediately after posting. GO WINDOWS 7 SEARCH!!

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I was wanting to format my hard drive(internal, main OS) to a FAT32 so that I can use it with other OS's, but I can't remember how. Their used to be an external program that could do it, I think it was called XLive. I burnt it to a dvd(didn't have any cd's) and it didn't boot. So now I'm at a loss as to what to do. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer:Format my hard drive to FAT32?

Any Windows CD or Linux CD can do that for you as part of the installation. No need for a third party program. Unless you are looking for a utility to resize the existing partition and add more partitions while keeping all your data intact.

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Hello, I wasn't for sure were to post this, but i thought this was more of a software thing then any of the others. I recently iomega desktop external hard drive. (link to the exact model i got) Iomega 34275 Prestige External Hard Drive - 1TB, USB 2.0 at .I am trying to format it to fat32 so i can use it with my xbox 360.I have tried many different fat32 formatting programs, but none of them are working .One of the main problems i have is whenever i try running the programs to format it, it says not allocated. I am not sure if this is some kind of firewall preventing me from formating it or what. Thanks for your help in advanced, any help is greatly appreciated!

Answer:Trying to format hard drive to fat32

Convert a hard disk or partition to FAT32 format

follow the link above and then click the link labeled to format as fat32

edit - *brain fart*, it needs a partition first

How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk

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I have an external drive that was formatted FAT32 which I have been using with my XP laptop for the past year. I have data on it that I want to transfer to my Windows 7 laptop. However, as soon as I connect it to my Windows 7 laptop, it comes up with a message saying "You need to format the disk before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" I assumed that Windows 7 was unable to read the drive because it was FAT32, so I connected it back to my XP laptop and ran the conversion: CONVERT E: /FS:NTFS - The conversion completed successfully and I connected the drive back to my Windows 7 laptop. But it still came up with the same message that the drive needs to be formatted. Does anyone know what the problem could be?

Answer:Windows 7 unable to read external drive formatted FAT32

What I would do, is format the drive using Windows 7 then copy the files with your XP then copy them over to your 7. Windows 7 uses NTFS system while XP can use both so if the drive is formatted with 7 then XP can backwards convert it. Windows 7 kinda sucks when it comes to accessing drives. I don't know why they did that but oh well.....

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I have a Seagate external hard drive hooked to my XP computer and it is working and backing up fine. When I initially set up my Vista computer - I simply hooked up the drive with USB port - and opened like an extra drive and copied what I wanted on the new computer. When I went to add some files today - it will not reveal those files and keeps telling me access is denied. I have searched and cannot find solution to this. When I look at properties on the Vista - it shows the space is taken up but will not open to the files that are clearly visible on the XP - most of the research I found talked about security settings and nothing I did made a difference - and the mystery is that it worked just fine the last few times I have done this - over period of 2 months.
Hope I am in the right spot - posted first message today and got a great solution so hoping that someone will know how to fix this easily.
Thanks so much!

Answer:My vista computer will no longer read the data on my external hard drive
I found the fix - it took me LOTS of searching - and two tries as I chose the wrong identity the first time - not sure if it is consistent but needed to pick the administrator as the owner and now it works as it did.
Hope this helps someone else.

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Relevance 98.81%

Hello. I have put a 160gb hard drive into an external hard drive case that will be connected to my router. The problem is the external enclosure only supports FAT32 rather than ntfs. I've managed to move all my files off it but cant figure out how to format the whole drive to FAT32 i can only do it in 32gb parititions which I dont wanna do. Anyone know a way around this? Look forward to some help/instructions. Thanks

Answer:Format a 160gb Hard Drive to FAT32

Never heard about connecting a Hard Drive to a router! you can connect it to the comp and then do it

10 more replies
Relevance 98.4%

I am running XP Media Edition on a BRAND NEW Computer I hooked up today. I took an existing NTFS External Hard drive and plugged it into a vacant USB port. The new PC does not like this external drive. When I boot the light on the front of the drive turns amber and when I go to My Computer it does not appear. If I power down the drive it will finally appear in My Computer but when I try to access it there is only one EMPTY folder. When I look at Properties it says there is 160G being used and the rest is free so the data is there. I can plug this same External drive into another PC and it reads just fine. I plugged another external drive into the new PC that had a different file system (FAT 32) and it read just fine. It appears my new PC will read FAT 32 but not NTFS. What gives??

Answer:Windows won't read NTFS External Drive

What’s your file system? I bet your Fat32! Go and check, and if it is, you need to convert to NTFS. Go to the run command and type convert C: /fs:ntfs Were “C” is the primary Windows partition.

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Relevance 97.99%

I have an external WD 8TB My Book: My Book - External Hard Drive | Western Digital (WD)

It is formated in exFat. Could I do a quick format with NTFS? Would this cause any drawbacks?

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I have an external WD 8TB My Book: My Book - External Hard Drive | Western Digital (WD)

It is formated in exFat. Could I do a quick format with NTFS? Would this cause any drawbacks?

Answer:Overwrite exFAT format of 8TB external drive with NTFS?

It won't cause any drawbacks other than erasing everything that is currently on the drive. I would start with the clean command in diskpart. Just make sure you have the correct drive selected!

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Hi, I tried using Linux, & now need to re-format a linux hard drive with FAT32 to use it again as normal. If I use Fdisk it will not allow me to delete the partition. Can anyone advise please?

Answer:need to re-format a linux hard drive woth FAT32

Check out click here, for info on how to do it..OK its for a dual boot setup,but same thing!!Only way i could do it was to load up the Linux disc and install, when you get to the disc partition section, opt to delete all partitions, then quit the install and boot of a win floppy and you should be able to format .Hope this helpsKitz E Kat

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Please someone tell me how can i see a ntfs hard disk in a fat32 system (windows millenium). Thankx in advance


As far as I know, you cannot see ntfs files by using win 98/win me.Using ntfs file system, Win 2000 and xp can see fat 32 files.

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Hey guys,

I have this external hard disk of 500Gb of Verbatim. Previously it was of NTFS format. Then I had converted it into Fat32 because I wanted to write stuff on it from MAC. I transferred movies, pictures, videos, songs, etc in it.

Now, I use Windows 8.1. I connect this hard disk. I hear the sound of it getting connected. But then I can't access the hard disk. As in my laptop doesn't read the hard disk.
I read a few posts regarding converting a hard disk from FAT32 to NTFS wiithout losing the files. But I was not sure whether I have the same problem.

I want to transfer all the files in my hard disk to my laptop.

Can anybody please guide me? (I'm a complete layman. Avoid jargons please :P)

Thank You,

Answer:Can't read External HDD of FAT32 format in my Windows 8.1

I went to the disk management and I can see this.

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Relevance 96.76%

Okay, so I looked around on the forum and couldn't really find an answer to my question, so here goes.I got an external hard drive this Christmas, and have not had any use of it, until recently. It just so happens that it has FAT32 as format, and restricts larger files, which is really annoying seeing as I would like to move games most of the time, and they are way bigger than the restriction, 2 Gb I think it is. So besides the fact that I am a huge retard for not looking into this earlier, any help would be appreciated.The question: Is there any way to reformat, to another system that allows bigger files, and if so, how?

Answer:My new external hard drive, with FAT32...

FAT32 will allow a maximum of 4GB.FAT16 volumes larger than 2GB are not accessible from computers running Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Windows 98, Windows 95, or MS-DOS. The size limit for FAT16 volumes in these operating systems is 2 GB.If your harddrive is larger than these, it would normally use NTFS format.Move your data you wish to keep off the hard drive to another as formatting will lose all data. Depending on your Operating System, go to 'My Computer', right-click the hard drive and click format. Select NTFS format. Allocation Unit Size will normally be 4096 for that. Untick 'Quick Format' if selected and then format and wait.

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I have just installed a new 160Gb HDD. When I formatted it using XP Pro disk management, it would only let me format in NTFS. My other disk which is 40Gb and nearly full is formatted in Fat32, it is partitioned in 4 drives and I dual boot Win98SE (C:drive)/XP Pro (E:drive). I seldom use Win98 boot, should I covert my 40 Gb drive to NTFS or will I still be able to use both HDDs on different formats?

Answer:New Hard drive will only format in NTFS?

I think you will find that win98 is FAT32 and Xp is NTFS.

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Relevance 96.35%

Hi there,Please can you help me with this query, I have forgotten how to format a hard drive in NTFS, does it comes up after Fdisk, I can't remember.Appreciate your help.Meater

Answer:format ntfs hard drive

Do you still have access to windows ? Right click the drive letter and choose format.Else boot from your windows cd and choose the partition and format options in setup

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Relevance 96.35%

I have a windows xp machine, i have a second hard drive which is 10gb, how do i format the 2nd drive to ntfs.

Answer:format second hard drive to ntfs

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Relevance 96.35%

I am running Windows 2000 Pro - NTFS
and want/need to format my hard drive.
Well, holy XP batman, there doesn't seem
to be all lot of support for this {sweet} OS.
(but it usually doesn't need it!!)
Can anyone help me out, perhaps with
some ideas or a "bootdisk" or "partition magic" or ???
I sure would appreciate!


Answer:How to Format hard drive Win 2K ~ NTFS

Welcome to TSG

Boot off of the 2000 CD and blow the C:\ partition away. Recreate it and format it and reinstall.

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Relevance 95.94%

I have a A51 8131-34U ThinkCentre with the 5 startup disks from IBM/Lenovo.  I am trying to re-format my hard drive using the NTFS format.  I don't know how to do it.  I can use the disks to restore the computer to its original settings but I don't see an option to format the hard disk as if I were using an XP installation disk.  Can someone please help?!? Thanks

Answer:Re-format Hard Drive to NTFS Format

soulsurvivor wrote:
I have a A51 8131-34U ThinkCentre with the 5 startup disks from IBM/Lenovo.  I am trying to re-format my hard drive using the NTFS format.  I don't know how to do it.  I can use the disks to restore the computer to its original settings but I don't see an option to format the hard disk as if I were using an XP installation disk.  Can someone please help?!?
If your drives are already FAT you can use the convert command to turn them into NTFS partitions without loosing any data.

_____________________________Ed ShumpertService Operations ManagerNA Service & Support

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I'm having troubles on opening my hard drive. 1st, there was this Shortcut virus that affected my external, i thought it was just a simple virus cause it just creates shortcuts of your files instead of getting to it directly. So after a day, i decided to fix it my self. But as always without asking, my Norton anti virus deleted the infected files right away when i plugged in the drive.

Now I can't open my Hard Drive, it states that "There was a problem starting ~$WV.FAT32, The specified module could not be found."

I've tried chkdsk/r x: but it always hangs or stops at 21 percent stage 4 of 5.
If possible, i really need to fix my external without losing the files. PLEASE help.

Answer:External Hard Drive error ~$WV.FAT32

Hello Flippy lumpy I found this - have you run any malware scans at all?

"My removable device" shortcut virus.. - Microsoft Community

if not try Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyaware and ADWCleaner

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Hi there,

I have windows 7 and have just had my new WD 2TB external hard drive delivered.

It is currently formatted to NTFS and I would like to have it formatted to FAT32.

I have searched the internet and have been unable to find any software that works for windows 7 that will let me format my hard drive to FAT32 for the full 2tb.

Could someone suggest any software that would work on windows 7 and that will allow me to format my external hard drive to FAT32?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you kindly.

Answer:WD 2TB external hard drive formatting fat32 help

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Hi, I am in need of some help. I want to use my external hard drive to hook up to my PS3 for "media playing" purposes. I have checked out various forums and was told my hard drive would have to be changed over from NFTS or whatever it is to FAT32 as the PS3 wont recognise it. I downloaded swissknife and after I'd transferred the contents of the hard drive I reformatted it or tried to. The problem I now have is that where as it used to be drive G it is now gone. I have gone through the driver list and the computer knows it is there and says it is working fine but I can't transfer anything on to it until the registry can find it. Can anyone tell me how to reassign a drive letter to it? I am at my wits end.
Many thanks.

Answer:re-formatting of external hard drive to fat32

Hello Shaftuk,

Please open the Disk Management... right click Computer > Manage > under the Storage, Disk Management. You should see your removable disk there, as Disk 1, right click it and choose assign or change drive letter. You can format it again as FAT 32 there.

I hope it will help.


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Does anybody know how to gain access to the hard drive off of a boot disk that loads command?

Answer:Access hard drive in ntfs format

The OS CD (XP/2K) will give limited access to NTFS partitions and some of the [highlight]SysInternals free utilities[/highlight] will allow read access. Utility CDs such as Hirens Boot CD or The Tech CD will also grant access as will Linux standalones such as Knoppix.There are methods of granting both full read and write access but it depends on what you're trying to do.

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Hi. My external hard-drive stopped working yesterday. This is what's happening:

I plug it in as usual, then it says "You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?".
I'm thinking it's more than likely an issue of having pulled out the usb cable without clicking 'safely remove'.

Yesterday I actually got it working again briefly by typing "chkdsk F: /R" into command prompt. Now when I do that it doesn't work, it says "The type of the file system is NTFS. Unable to determine volume version and state. CHKDSK aborted." And when I double click on F: drive in my computer it says "F:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable".

Are there any other options besides using some sort of data recovery tool (I'd rather not do this just because it takes a long time)?

Answer:Solved: External hard-drive:...format the disk in drive F: before you can use it.

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Relevance 94.71%

I recently I bought a 1TB HP SimpleSave External Hard drive and its default file format is NTFS, like most new external hardrives on the market are. However I need this hard drive to work on my PS3 which only supports FAT32 file format so I need to be able to reformat the hard drive.

I am running Windows Vista Home Premium operating system which does not allow re-formatting of hard drives in FAT32. I also read you can use Command Prompt to reformat the drive but because it is 1 TB it will be too big to do this. This led me to use a program called SwissKnife.

I got this information from this link:
And the SwissKnife site is found here:

Now doing this screwed up my external hard drive. When using the program to format the hard drive I got a pop-up what looked like a caution symbol (a yellow triangle) with no error message. Then at the bottom of the screen main program screen it said my hard drive would show changes once it was unplugged then plugged back in (it did this in a matter of seconds I doubt the actual reformatting process would be this short).

So upon re-plugging in the hard drive it doesn't work anymore. Every time I click it in the "Computer Window" it freezes up. Also it does not show up in the "Disk Management" window and when selecting it in the SwissKnife program it crashes.

So now I ... Read more

Answer:Problem Formating an External Hard Drive to FAT32

I didn't see that SwissKnife supported Vista

You can try DIsk Director by Acronis

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Relevance 94.3%

Okay so here's the story. I have just recently decided to try and use my old PC for some very basic Windows gaming. The problem is, it has Linux Ubuntu 10.0.4 on it at the moment and the hard drive is formatted in to something like an ext4 format. When I put in my Windows 7 install disc and boot from CD it all goes fine up until choosing where to install the OS. It won't let me format the hard drive inside of the setup process, yet to install Windows I believe it needs to be in FAT32 or NTFS format.
Also it won't let me format the hard drive inside Ubuntu itself because it comes up with the error that it is already in use.
So basically what I need is some advice on how to format it using either what I have already got or a little bit of freeware that I can burn to a disc and then power up the machine in to it to format the hard drive. Thanks in advance
Oh and here are the specs as they stand at the moment if you want them:

Old Packard Bell IMedia PC: (originally had Win XP 2005 Media Edition on but I have since installed Win7 RC then linux on it)
OS:Linux Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop
RAM: 512MB
HARD DRIVE: 80GB Hard Drive
PROCESSOR:Intel Pentium 4 (Don't know what speed it is running at)
GRAPHICS CARD:ATi Radeon Xpress 200

Answer:Solved: How do I format my Linux Hard Drive in to NTFS?

I have run into this with linux drives before. It is pretty easy to fix; simply wipe the drive with the drive maker's diagnostic app, DBAN, or any other wipe app. This removes everything from the drive ie it is how it came out of the box. If there is anything you need on the drive, make sure you have a backup before doing this task.

You download the diagnostic app from whomever made the drive ie WD, Seagate, etc. You will need the dos or boot version. One of the options is to zero fill the drive [sometimes called a LLF]

DBAN is available for download from many sites. Here is one

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I wish to format an external Hard Drive for Windows 10 and then install the Drive into my Laptop and load Windows 10 from the DVD I created from the ISO file.
My reason for doing this is to get a completely clean install, as every other time I have tried I end up with a poorly function Windows 10 PC and some of the old information such as Wall Paper, Network setting, Home Group etcetera are still set up in the New "clean" installation which I believe are causing the very slow Boot up along with other problems. Each time in the past I have agreed to "keep nothing" but that does not seem to work!

Answer:Format external Hard Drive as a boot drive

plug into another PC using a usb caddy
the drive will appear in disk management either right click and select format (do not do a quick format) or you could use command prompt (admin) and run diskpart to remove all partitions and make just one partition on the drive before formatting.
refit in the laptop
ensure DVD is set as first boot device
insert DVD and and press any key to boot from he windows iso (DVD must be bootable made using windows media creation tool for w 10).
follow the prompts to install windows (you cannot install windows onto the drive while it is in the us caddy on the other PC).

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Relevance 92.66%

I'm operating on windows 7.

All I need is a way to format a single partition to FAT32, except I can't seem to find a way without losing all the data on my external hard drive.
So far I've shrunk my external hard drive by 200 gigs, but windows 7 can't format it into FAT32

So I downloaded Seagate DiscWizard, except it wants to delete everything on my entire external hard drive.
So I'm not really sure what to do. Is it even possible to have partitions with separate formats?

If you're wondering why I need to format into FAT32, it's because I need to back up my PS3.


Answer:Solved: Formating a Single Partition to FAT32 on a external hard drive

9 more replies
Relevance 92.25%

To back up to ext hard drive I have to format it to NTSF. How do I do this?

Answer:external hard drive not formatted ntfs

Plug the hard drive into your system. Click on the Start icon, then My Computer. You will see all of your disks. Right click on the external, and pick Format.

2 more replies
Relevance 92.25%

I have an external 250GB external USB hard drive to move data between 2 computers in 2 different locations. On the original computer (Pentium III 350GHz) I have no problem, but when I move the drive to the second computer (Pentium 4 3.0GHz) if I try to copy files I get the error message "Windows was unable to save all the data for the file R:\$Mft. The data has been lost. The srror may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or a network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere."Both computers are running Windows XP Home SP2, the original is FAT32 and the Pentium 4 is NTFS. Anyone know how to fix this?

Answer:Problems with an external hard drive and NTFS $Mft

It may be that when you disconnect from the first PC, Windows is still writing to the disk from the drive cache. Do you just unplug it, or do you use the "Safely Remove Hardware" option from the systray area. I would suggest trying the second option prior to removal, even though it not strictly required in XP. In these days of 8Mb drive cache, Windows sometimes needs time to catch up.

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Relevance 92.25%

I have a external hard drive that froze up on me whilst working on images from it. It no longer shows on it's properties as NTFS it shows as RAW??? with no space left, I've run chckdsk on it and I don't know how to clear up the problem or is my drive just trashed now. It indicates also in properties that it's working properly.

Any advice, help will be much appreciated.

Answer:external hard drive ntfs now shows as RAW???please help

go to contorl panes/administrator tools/computer management and in computer management go to disk manager and see what it says there. you can also try to use a file restoration utility to read files off of the drive if they are realy important

2 more replies
Relevance 92.25%

Hi, for nearly a year now I've been using a Buffalo 500GB external hard drive.
Just yesterday though, after unplugging it from my PC, using it on another Windows 7 machine and then attempting to reconnect it the my PC, it began to show up on My Computer as a Local Disk rather than an external. In addition, when I try to access it, it gives me this message: E:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable. My question is, is there any way to return the drive to it's original state or recover the data inside? The data is of extreme importance.
Thanks for any help.

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Relevance 91.84%

I have an Acer TravelMate 250 running windows xp pro. I have 2 hard disk drives which are formatted as FAT32. I also have 4 networked drives which are formatted NTFS. I have two questions: 1) Should I convert my 2 HDD to the NTFS format and, if so, 2) How do I do this.



Answer:Converting a FAT32 drive into a NTFS drive

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Relevance 91.43%

Good afternoon,
I am sure this has been mentioned on here many times, but every time I search for my problem, I always get the same results: Third party this, format this, backup your data that.

Here is what is going on. I have a 2TB external hard drive that is more than 90% full. backing up my data via third party software is not an option because I don't have room to store the data anywhere. The copious amount of data on the drive is also why I can not just simply format the drive to change the file system. I have also tried a couple of methods involving check disk commands and using disk management. neither of these methods have worked out in my favor. This problem has really shaken my confidence with computers and troubleshooting. up until this point I thought I was pretty well educated on fixing stuff like this, but I really can not figure this one out.

So here's the summary: large hard drive, no formatting, no backing up the data, RAW to NTFS.

Thank you.

Answer:2TB Western Digital external hard drive Raw to NTFS

I'm still confused. What is it you want to do?

Try Recuva, if you think your files have been deleted!

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Relevance 91.43%

My 300 gig Seagate hard drive is missing its NTFS file and I am unable to access anything from the drive. I receive the following message THE FILE OR DIRECTORY IS CORRUPTED AND UNREADABLE.

In my computer I right-clicked on the drive letter, clicked on properties, tools, error-checking, Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, Start. After four attempts all ended with nothing happening, I closed My Computer. Then I right-clicked the My Computer icon and selected Computer Management, then Disk Management. It was black under the File System tab. My C drive is NTFS and my HDDRECOVERY is FAT32.

HELP WHAT DO I DO!?!?!?!? I have 200 GIGS of photographs on that drive and need them desperately

Thank you in advanced for all your help.

Answer:Newbie – How do I reinstall the NTFS to an external hard drive

NTFS and FAT32 are file systems; they tell you how the hard drive partition is formatted.
Tell us what you tried to do. Did you back up a file from an ntfs partition and try to restore it to a fat32 partition???

You can copy files between fat32 and ntfs, but you cannot do a backup-restore between the file system.

If I'm wrong, Im sure someone will be kind enough to correct me.

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Hi,External NTFS Hard Drive 160GB( Samsung make) suddenly appears as RAW format and is now unreadable.I had an external USB drive which was working along nicely for over a year, Now, it has suddently become unreadable and windows is asking if it be formatted.. I don't know what to do. I connect it to two different PCs and both cannot read it.Please help ...thanks.

Answer:External NTFS Hard Drive suddenly appears as RAW

There appears to be a spate of hard drives converting from NTFS to RAW. e.g. click here

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Relevance 90.61%

Title says it all really - I want to use the drive with an Xbox360 so need it as FAT32 but Vista won't let me

Anyone done this succesfully?

Answer:Format External HDD as FAT32 in vista

Fat32 not a option in disk management? Havent dealt with that in
vista. Suprising its not a option.,,,Maybe someone else will have
a workaround...

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< < PLEASE HELP !!! > >

Hi! I am using Bart PE to recover data from my laptop's hard drive, which has stopped booting up and instead comes up with a blue error message stating that there is an 'unmountable boot volume'. Therefore, using the 'get data back for NTFS' plugin, I have managed to see and get to the stage where I can copy the files to somewhere else to recover them. However, the laptop/software just will not detect my external hard drive, a 320GB USB Toshiba!

Has anyone please got any suggestions as to what I can do to 'see' the hard drive and transfer the data to it? Or how I can get the files off another way? I really need the recent data on it, and my last back-up was two months ago mad!

Thanks for reading this,


Answer:<<Get Data Back NTFS - Can't Detect My External Hard Drive>> Please Help :(



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Hello, I'm kinda new to external hard drives and I can't seem to find the exact answer on this forum or other forums. I run windows xp and have an external western digital 150gb hard drive with FAT32 but would like to change it to NTFS because I can't seem to transfer file sizes up to 4gigs into it; plus I heard a lot of advantages with NTFS. My initial question is, will I lose all my data in my external hard drive if I decide to "format" it to NTFS. I will be able to transfer files larger that 4gigs when it is formated right? I know you will lose your data (if you decide not to make a backup) if you "convert." I have a lot of data already stored in my ex. hdd. I'm just curious, if I right click on the ex. hdd drive in "my computer" and selecting "format" to NTFS, will I lose my data in the ex. hdd? Will I need to make a backup or can I just format with my data in the ex. hdd? And what does the "enable compression" and "quick format" do under "Format Option?" I apologize if I didn't find this answer somewhere else.

Answer:formating External Hard Drive to NTFS (lost of data?)

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Relevance 89.38%

I recently bought an Ext HD to store my back-up files. I just plugged it in and set up the Back-up program and it works a treat. However I have noticed that whilst the file system on my normal C drive is NTFS it is Fat 32 on the Ext HD. I wonder will this cause any issues should I wish to recover any files in the future or should I use the convert command and change its file system to NTFS?

Thanks in advance.

Answer:Solved: Should I Convert The File System On My External Hard-Drive To NTFS?

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Relevance 89.38%
Relevance 89.38%

have xp pro on drive c and me on drive f, i want to get rid of me and convert to ntfs so that i can put my xp swap files and back ups on drive f, would i have to install xp on the f drive as well in order to do this? or add a raid card? i don't think i need to install xp on the second drive but unsure about the raid card

Answer:Fat32 to NTFS on second drive

do not need raid or OS on second drive.mve any data you want to kep from the second drive then My computer - right click - manage -storage - disk management - right click the second drive -select format - select NTFS and format the drive.

4 more replies
Relevance 88.56%

I am putting a new hard drive in my computer
The new OS is W2K Pro and I want it to be NTFS
THe second drive is formatted in FAT32, this drive has old documents, pictures, mps, etc on it

From what I understant NTFS does not read FAT32
What can I do without Making C FAT16 then copying all data from D(FAT32), format D NTFS, then Copy all data to D, then recreate C with NTFS

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

Answer:C drive W2k NTFS D drive FAT32

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Relevance 88.56%

OK so here's the scenario:

When I got my machine it was WinME - installed XP Pro but was afraid to lose files by converting to NTFS so I stayed in the FAT32 format on my internal drive.

Then I added an external drive (maxtor 160gb) to handle MP3's, JPEG's, etc + backup my internal drive and that drive too was in FAT32 format.

One day the external drive couldn't be accessed so I tried to get it re-mount with no success.


I need to recover the data on the external drive!

Was told I should try hooking up the external drive to a WIN98 machine (still FAT32) to try and move the data off the drive - then I could format that drive (and the internal) all to NTFS and life would go on. Only one problem - have a WIN98 machine with no USB ports or a WIN NT (sp6) machine with USB ports to use to do it but can't seem to get things right?


What about a parallel to USB cord (do they make one) to give my WIN98 machine a USB port to try and re-mount the external drive?

Any way that a WIN NT (sp6) machine can read FAT32 files?

Any other brilliant ideas?

Appreciate the help - have always found the replies here to be very thorough and helpful!

Answer:HELP - External drive in Fat32 won't mount on XP Pro machine still in FAT32

Welcome to TechSpot

You could always take the harddisk out of the external case and put it inside another PC.
Make a note of the jumper-settings as the HD comes out of the case, then set that HD to Slave if needed (depending where you connect it to).
All Windows versions can read FAT32.

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When I plug my external into my pc it tells me it's unable to use and to format the drive. So I try to do so, and Windows tells me that there's a program using the external drive.

I attempt to format anyway since I know there's no programs using the drive, and after a minute the formatting comes to a stop and I get a message saying it's unable to format.

I've tried formatting it via 'This PC' and DIsk Management in Windows 10. Tried Quick Format as well and nothing is progressing.

Help is much appreciated.

Answer:Cannot Format my External Hard drive

Try rebooting and immediately after it get's to your desktop, format it.

11 more replies
Relevance 88.56%

I just can't figure out a way to format a hard drive in my PC. it shows in disk management as UNALLOCATED and NOT INITIALIZED.
I tried doing the stuff I've read in various websites and blogs but still I CAN'T do it. I'm no computer whiz, but I'm quite sure i can understand simple computer instructions. I tried doing the right click thing to select the options, but most of it WERE GREYED OUT!!! so KUDOS to me for trying.
I even resorted in downloading third party applications to easily help me FORMAT the said drive, but lady luck just wont smile on me. It shows me the error CYCLIC REDUNCDANCY CHECK! after i try to format it with fat32formatter.

Any help will be much appreciated guys. I just don't know what to do

Answer:can't FORMAT an external Hard Drive in my PC

Take a look at this friendly tutorial courtesy of Brink.
Partition or Volume - Create New

Also, further reading that might be helpful.
Disk Check

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Is there a way I can back up my files from my 2tb WD My Passport External Hard Drive? I have a lot of files on there which I want to back up and convert to NTFS

Answer:External Hard Drive in RAW Format

You will need to format that RAW drive if you know theres nothing on it.

How big is that drive?

Do you want to chop it up for other things as well?

I use PERSONAL BACKUP 5, its free and can schedule backups automatically.,.

It has a wizard and advanced interface depending on your needs..

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I have a 250GB External Hard Drive that is currently formatted NTFS, and I need to format it FAT_32. I have copied all the data from the external drive to my PC so I have a copy, but when I go to format the external drive it only gives me the NTFS option!??

Any advice welcome - have searched the previous threads and most refer to formatting from FAT_32 to NTFS, and can't find one that talks about the problem I am having, but I may have missed it and it may be something really simple

Answer:How Format External Hard Drive

How are you going about formatting it?

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I have an Iomega external HD, Model LDHD160 (160 GB) which was partitioned (by me) into 2 partitions with backup data in each partition. I have deleted each partition and the data therein. I now have the clean unpartitioned HD and need to format it in order to use it again for backup purposes. None of the directions I have found work as the "Format" option does not appear anywhere. Can someone tell me the proper way to format this ext. HD so I can start using it again?

Answer:How do I format an external hard drive?

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Hi, I recently spilt a cup of tea over my laptop keyboard and voila, no more computer. The drive and its contents were okay though and I have since purchased a new laptop and I am using the drive from the old laptop as an external backup drive.

My problem is that on my old laptop I partitioned the drive into four - 20GB each. I would like my external drive to now be one big 80GB but I don't know how to format and repartition it.



Answer:How do you format an external hard drive?

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Can anyone help please. I have recently replaced the hard drive in my mp3 player which I connect to my PC by USB link. The problemn is that the new hard drive needs to be formatted/partitioned and because it isn't formatted it no longer appears in "My Computer" as an external drive, so I don't have access to it to format. Can anyone tell me how I can format the new hard drive via the USB link. Many thanks.

Answer:Format an External Hard Drive via USB

Welcome to Techspot

You can attach the HDD to a free IDE connector annd power it up right from inside the case of your computer .You don't have to bolt it in place, just make sure it is sitting on some anti static membrane/bag etc, and don't bounce it around. Windows should see it and format it from My Computer.
Remeber drive letter switching using this procedure.
Or for $25 bucks grab a USB enclosure and throw it in there, plug in to the computer and Format (Best way in my opinion, I keep a spare enclosure around for times like this)

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I've been using an external on my laptop for the last month. It has been working
good until now. Last night, I safely removed it and turned it off, then put the computer in standby. When I turned the computer on this morning and then the HD, double clicking on it said it needed to be formatted. Usually I don't do the safely remove part because it sometimes would say it couldn't stop the HD so I would just put the computer in standby, then turn the HD off.
Is there anything I can do to get a computer to read the files on the HD. I hooked the HD up to my desktop and the same thing happened.
Are there any programs I can buy to revive the files on it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I am trying to format an external hard drive, but it is not showing up in disk management. I can see it in device manager as "disk drive" and under USB as a mass storage device. I am using Windows XP SP 2 with most recent updates.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:Trying to format external hard drive

What brand is the Hard-Drive and what is the Model #?

Also what is the brand of the enclosure and that is its Model #?

If you can get me this info I can help.

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