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

By bmann
Dec 4, 2004
  1. 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. :eek:


    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!
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    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.
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Which error message did you get and does Event Viewer show any additional information?

    Life goes on without external NTFS drives too.

    If you removed the drive without 'properly' ejecting it, the filesystem might have gotten corrupted. If the drive letter still show ups in XP, you could try running chkdsk on it.
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