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Fat32 Format and files bigger than 4gb

By darkzebra ยท 4 replies
Nov 18, 2008
  1. hey everyone

    was wonderin if anyone should shed some light on this.. i bought new freeagent seagate 1TB external harddrive .. but since i use my work on mac and pc i needed to make sure i formatted the thing in a format that could be used by both mac and pc.. so i spoke to a bunch of people in the know and everyone suggested Fat32 or "ms dos" format.. anyway it did work and i can use my harddrive on both platforms but unfortunatly i discovered that fat32 cant copy across files that are bigger than 4 gb.. i have two partitions.. i was wondering if

    1) it is possible to format a harddrive so that one partition is NTFS and the other is Fat32.. so i could use my music stuff on the Fat32 drive and other stff on the NTFS

    2) is there a way that i can format my hardrive with fat 32 so it can copy files that are bigger than 4 gb? and if so where can i find a program that does this?

    3) are there any utilities that anyone could suggest that could reformat my drive in either of these cases(i know this is a stretch) without deleting my data.. i dunno i have heard of programs that can do that..

    i also have the latest version on hirens boot from a friend but i dont even know where to start with that

    any advice would be greatly appreciated

    thanks alot..
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Yes you can have Fat32 and NTFS partitions on one drive
    Actually many recovery partitions on new drives are Fat32, whilst the main OS partition is NTFS

    But do you already have 2 partitions available on your harddrive?
    Or is it presently just one big Fat32 filesystem?

    Creating multiple partitions on a drive is done when Windows is first setup (using the Windows setup CD)
    Therefore, you are best to backup, and then start again, ie:
    Remove the single Fat32 partition
    Create 2 partitions
    Format one to NTFS
    Format the other to Fat32 (or do this formatting later in Windows, drive management)
    Install Windows on the NTFS partition

    All this (except the backing up) can be done using the Windows setup disc
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,550   +1,440

    Mac OS X can read NTFS and in some cases R/W too!
    • It is now possible to reliably read NTFS disks under Mac OS X 10.4 (tested under 10.4.1).
    • Paragon has a driver to provide R/W (OS X 10.4.6 Tiger or higher)
    The dual partition idea would still be ideal :)
  4. darkzebra

    darkzebra TS Rookie Topic Starter


    i think i'm just going to plainly format the one parttion and change it to NTFS.. i didnt think u could actually do that.. theres always something that doesn't allow u to do anything..

    thanks for all the help :)
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,550   +1,440

    You *may* need to perform the NTFS formatting using a Windows Machine
    (hey; they are good for some things :p )
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