1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Formating Large (200+GB) FAT32 Volumes Appears to Generate Errors

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Bob Gezelter, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Bob Gezelter

    Bob Gezelter Flightless Bird

    There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows XP,
    particularly 314463 and 310525.

    The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP text,
    the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:

    FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q

    This gives the following error message:
    "This volume is too big for FAT32."

    Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    message:
    " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."

    Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum volume
    size is in the TB range.

    - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
     
  2. Bruce Chambers

    Bruce Chambers Flightless Bird

    Bob Gezelter wrote:
    > There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows XP,
    > particularly 314463 and 310525.
    >
    > The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP text,
    > the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >
    > FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >
    > This gives the following error message:
    > "This volume is too big for FAT32."
    >
    > Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    > message:
    > " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."
    >
    > Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum volume
    > size is in the TB range.
    >
    > - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
    >
    >
    >
    >



    By design, WinXP cannot _create_ and _format_ a new FAT32 partition
    greater than 32 Gb. This is because NTFS is the superior file system,
    and not nearly as wasteful of drive space. If you make a FAT32
    partition larger than 8 Gb, you're "throwing away" significant amounts
    of storage capacity.

    You'll need to use a 3rd party partition manager (or a Win98 PC) to
    accomplish this. Try BootItNG from www.bootitng.com. There is even a
    free, fully functional, 30-day evaluation version available for
    downloading.


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/555375

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

    The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
    killed a great many philosophers.
    ~ Denis Diderot
     
  3. Anteaus

    Anteaus Flightless Bird

    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

    "Bob Gezelter" wrote:

    > There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows XP,
    > particularly 314463 and 310525.
    >
    > The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP text,
    > the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >
    > FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >
    > This gives the following error message:
    > "This volume is too big for FAT32."
    >
    > Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    > message:
    > " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."
    >
    > Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum volume
    > size is in the TB range.
    >
    > - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  4. Greg Russell

    Greg Russell Flightless Bird

    In news:eKMxO2GmKHA.4772@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl,
    Bruce Chambers <bchambers@cable0ne.n3t> typed:

    >> The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the
    >> HELP text, the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >>
    >> FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >>
    >> This gives the following error message:
    >> "This volume is too big for FAT32."

    ....
    > By design, WinXP cannot _create_ and _format_ a new FAT32
    > partition greater than 32 Gb. This is because NTFS is the superior
    > file system, and not nearly as wasteful of drive space. If you make
    > a FAT32 partition larger than 8 Gb, you're "throwing away"
    > significant amounts of storage capacity.


    Tell that to the manufacturers of the Verbatim 1TB USB drive, on sale now at
    Office Depot for US$99.99.

    http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/979610/Verbatim-1TB-1000GB-USB-Desktop-External/

    I purchased one 2 weeks ago when it was selling for $89.99, and the 1 TB was
    formatted as FAT32.
     
  5. Tim Rude

    Tim Rude Flightless Bird

    A complete reading of KB 314463 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463)
    says that it is a known issue with XP and provides the work-arounds.

    <QUOTE>

    "You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (G8) in size using the
    FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows XP can
    mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the other
    limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by using the
    Format tool during Setup. If you need to format a volume that is larger than
    32 GB, use the NTFS file system to format it. Another option is to start
    from a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
    Startup disk and use the Format tool included on the disk."

    </QUOTE>

    "Bob Gezelter" <BobGezelter@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:485E8B2A-BAD2-4B74-BF49-6F49E2520AA2@microsoft.com...
    > There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows XP,
    > particularly 314463 and 310525.
    >
    > The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP
    > text,
    > the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >
    > FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >
    > This gives the following error message:
    > "This volume is too big for FAT32."
    >
    > Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    > message:
    > " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."
    >
    > Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum
    > volume
    > size is in the TB range.
    >
    > - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  6. Etaoin Shrdlu

    Etaoin Shrdlu Flightless Bird

    Greg Russell wrote:
    > In news:eKMxO2GmKHA.4772@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl,
    > Bruce Chambers <bchambers@cable0ne.n3t> typed:
    >
    >>> The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the
    >>> HELP text, the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >>>
    >>> FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >>>
    >>> This gives the following error message:
    >>> "This volume is too big for FAT32."

    > ...
    >> By design, WinXP cannot _create_ and _format_ a new FAT32
    >> partition greater than 32 Gb. This is because NTFS is the superior
    >> file system, and not nearly as wasteful of drive space. If you make
    >> a FAT32 partition larger than 8 Gb, you're "throwing away"
    >> significant amounts of storage capacity.

    >
    > Tell that to the manufacturers of the Verbatim 1TB USB drive, on sale now at
    > Office Depot for US$99.99.
    >
    > http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/979610/Verbatim-1TB-1000GB-USB-Desktop-External/
    >
    > I purchased one 2 weeks ago when it was selling for $89.99, and the 1 TB was
    > formatted as FAT32.
    >
    >

    Not answering for Mr. Chambers, but your statement doesn't contradict
    his. There's not much chance that the Verbatim drive was formatted using
    Win Xp, and the fact that it *was* formatted using FAT32 doesn't mean
    that his contention regarding the superiority of NTFS and the ultimate
    wastefulness of FAT32 is incorrect.
     
  7. Greg Russell

    Greg Russell Flightless Bird

    In news:0041b233$0$2203$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com,
    Etaoin Shrdlu <etaoin@shrdlu.net> typed:

    >>> By design, WinXP cannot _create_ and _format_ a new FAT32
    >>> partition greater than 32 Gb. This is because NTFS is the superior
    >>> file system, and not nearly as wasteful of drive space. If you make
    >>> a FAT32 partition larger than 8 Gb, you're "throwing away"
    >>> significant amounts of storage capacity.

    >>
    >> Tell that to the manufacturers of the Verbatim 1TB USB drive, on
    >> sale now at Office Depot for US$99.99.
    >>
    >>

    http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/979610/Verbatim-1TB-1000GB-USB-Desktop-External/
    >>
    >> I purchased one 2 weeks ago when it was selling for $89.99, and the
    >> 1 TB was formatted as FAT32.
    >>

    > Not answering for Mr. Chambers, but your statement doesn't contradict
    > his. There's not much chance that the Verbatim drive was formatted
    > using Win Xp, and the fact that it *was* formatted using FAT32
    > doesn't mean that his contention regarding the superiority of NTFS
    > and the ultimate wastefulness of FAT32 is incorrect.


    Yes that's true, but I'll have you know that I formatted the drive as an
    ext3 journaled filesystem which beats NTFS all to hell.
     
  8. Anna

    Anna Flightless Bird


    > "Bob Gezelter" <BobGezelter@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > news:485E8B2A-BAD2-4B74-BF49-6F49E2520AA2@microsoft.com...
    >> There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows XP,
    >> particularly 314463 and 310525.
    >>
    >> The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP
    >> text,
    >> the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >>
    >> FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >>
    >> This gives the following error message:
    >> "This volume is too big for FAT32."
    >>
    >> Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    >> message:
    >> " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."
    >>
    >> Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum
    >> volume
    >> size is in the TB range.
    >>
    >> - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com



    "Tim Rude" <timrude.nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:%23jrC%23wHmKHA.2132@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >A complete reading of KB 314463 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463)
    >says that it is a known issue with XP and provides the work-arounds.
    >
    > <QUOTE>
    >
    > "You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (G8) in size using
    > the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows
    > XP can mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the
    > other limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by
    > using the Format tool during Setup. If you need to format a volume that is
    > larger than 32 GB, use the NTFS file system to format it. Another option
    > is to start from a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium
    > Edition (Me) Startup disk and use the Format tool included on the disk."
    >
    > </QUOTE>



    Bob:
    As you've heard the XP OS will allow a FAT32 partition to be created as long
    as it's not larger than 32 GB.

    As Tim has pointed out, you can use a Win9X/Me "Startup Disk" to create a
    FAT32 partition > 32 GB on your HDD. After it's created XP will happily use
    it. A DOS boot floppy disk or DOS bootable CD will also "do the trick". The
    aforementioned disks (if you don't have one handy) are available from
    various websites.

    There's also a (freebie) program we've used (that can be used in an XP
    environment) in the past that also works - the Fat32Formatter. See...
    http://tokiwa.qee.jp/EN/Fat32Formatter/index.html

    So you may want to take a look at that program.
    We used it in the past because of a few special cases where we needed to
    create FAT32 partitions > 32 GB. In the few cases where we used it we
    encountered no problems and the program did its job.

    We had prepared some step-by-step instructions for some interested users, as
    follows...
    1. In the "Physical" drop-down text box, select the HDD to be formatted
    FAT32.

    2. Click on the "Initialize drive" button.

    3. Message will display indicating "All partitions in the drive would be
    lost!...". Click OK.

    4. Click anywhere in the grey box that indicates "Not Allocated" and the
    size of the drive. The grey will turn to green and info will appear
    indicating the process to format the drive to FAT32 is set to begin.

    5. If desired, select a "Quick Format" by checking the box.

    6. Click the Start button. A "Successfully formatted" message will appear
    (probably within a few seconds if Quick Format has been selected) when
    process is complete.

    7. Check Disk Management to confirm the disk has been FAT32 formatted.


    To format a partition on a multi-partitioned HDD...
    1. In the "Physical" drop-down text box, select the HDD to be formatted
    FAT32.

    2. Click on the partition you desire to format FAT32. The box will turn to
    green.

    3. Click on the "Delete partition" button. Message will display indicating
    "All data in the partition would be lost! Really want to delete?". Click OK.

    4. Click on the grey box with the "Not Allocated" entry (the partition that
    is to be FAT32 formatted). The box will turn to green and info will appear
    indicating the process to format the drive to FAT32 is set to begin.

    5. If desired, select a "Quick Format" by checking the box.

    6. Click the Start button. A "Successfully formatted" message will appear
    (probably within a few seconds if Quick Format has been selected) when
    process is complete.

    7. Check Disk Management to confirm the disk has been FAT32 formatted.

    As I recall the largest HDD we ever used with that program was 300 GB or 320
    GB. I would assume the program would work just as well with a larger disk
    but one never knows until it's tried.
    Anna
     
  9. Bruce Chambers

    Bruce Chambers Flightless Bird

    Greg Russell wrote:
    >
    > I purchased one 2 weeks ago when it was selling for $89.99, and the 1 TB was
    > formatted as FAT32.
    >
    >



    Was it formatted by a computer running WinXP? No, it wasn't.

    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/555375

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

    The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
    killed a great many philosophers.
    ~ Denis Diderot
     
  10. HeyBub

    HeyBub Flightless Bird

    Bob Gezelter wrote:
    > There are several Knowledge Base articles concerning FAT32 on Windows
    > XP, particularly 314463 and 310525.
    >
    > The Disk Manager will not format a partition as FAT32. Using the HELP
    > text, the appropriate FORMAT command would appear to be:
    >
    > FORMAT <deviceletter>:/FS:FAT32/V:XXX/A=64K/Q
    >
    > This gives the following error message:
    > "This volume is too big for FAT32."
    >
    > Changing the cluster size to 128K (/A:128K), gives the following error
    > message:
    > " The specified cluster size is too big for FAT."
    >
    > Is this a known problem? The KB articles imply that the FAT32 maximum
    > volume size is in the TB range.
    >
    >


    Yep. Up to 16TB using 64KB clusters. Of course, since space on the disk is
    allocated by cluster size, a drive with clusters that big will burn up
    64,000 bytes just to hold a 50-byte batch file. On average, each file on the
    disk will waste 32KB of space.

    If you have a preponderance of small files, you might as well use a smaller
    drive and set a reasonable cluster size.
     
  11. Bob Gezelter

    Bob Gezelter Flightless Bird

    Re: Formating Large (200+G8) FAT32 Volumes Appears to Generate Err

    (order not significant) Anna, Antea, Bruce, Etaoin, Greg, HeyBob,

    Thank you all for your timely responses. I am checking out the various
    alternatives and will try to report back to this thread when done.

    FAT32 is being used as the format for an interchange format between a
    standalone utility running under a Linux bootable CD/DVD and Windows. The
    volume of data is large (100+G8), and the files are each significant (at
    least 65MB each). Thus, the inefficiencies of managing the volume should not
    be significant.

    - Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
     

Share This Page