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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    FAT32 partitions? (WINXP-SP-2)

    I just got a 200gig drive...

    I was going to set it up with 3 partitions (10, 90, & 100 gigs) and format them with FAT32. But the Disk management console will only allow formatting the 10 gig in FTA32, and the others in NTFS.

    But on my other drive I have a 50 gig FAT32 partition, so why wouldn't XP allow it? There's a size cutoff, isn't there? I didn't see anything in the help aboput it.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: FAT32 partitions? (WINXP-SP-2)

    Did you Google for more information? For example, Size Limitations in NTFS and FAT File Systems tells you that "... the maximum FAT32 volume size that Windows XP Professional can format is 32GB...".

    Personally, I'd use NTFS.

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: FAT32 partitions? (WINXP-SP-2)

    Windows versions based on the NT code base (2000, XP, and Server 2003) will not allow you to format a partition over 32 GB in size using FAT32. This is by design, but Win9x variants and some third party disk tools are able to format drives with FAT32 in larger partition sizes. There is a sound reason for this. Anything over 15 GB or so results in wasted space on a FAT32 partition due to cluster size. It's not in your best interest to use that file system on large partitions.

    If you're bound and determined to do it anyway, however, there are a few utilities that can do it for you: mkdosfs is a Linux tool that has been ported to Windows, and fat32format will also work. If you have a Windows 9x startup disk, you can use that to create the larger partitions, but it will not support USB connected devices nor will it recognize an SATA drive.

    My recommendation: stick with NTFS, period. It's a much better file system for many reasons and is less prone to problems.
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: FAT32 partitions? (WINXP-SP-2)

    Mark/Leif:

    First, Leif: Yes, I had taken a look ion Google... but the mentions I saw of it there all had either no mention, or stating, as you ppointed out, the 32 gig limit.

    That would all be fine if I wasn't looking at a 54 gig FAT32 partition on my other drive.

    Mark:

    >>
    If you have a Windows 9x startup disk
    <<

    That answers it, because the 54 gig partiotion I have was set up with a FAT32 startup floppy I had from bygone days.

    It's not that it actually matters... I haven't been to a "pure DOS" window in months, maybe longer. It's just that since I have a habit of painting myself into corners, I at least like to know the how or why.

    Thanks, Guys.

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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