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How to format an external hard drive into FAT32

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi

I have a 250GB external hard drive. I want to format the whole thing into FAT32, but I have no clue. One member here told me that it can be done at the Disk Utilities, but I'm not sure how to do it. I know it may sound silly to most of you guys, but uh.....so how do I do it?

*Is there a difference when you format the external hard drive into FAT32 through Windows XP and through OS X?
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinix View Post

Hi

I have a 250GB external hard drive. I want to format the whole thing into FAT32, but I have no clue. One member here told me that it can be done at the Disk Utilities, but I'm not sure how to do it. I know it may sound silly to most of you guys, but uh.....so how do I do it?

*Is there a difference when you format the external hard drive into FAT32 through Windows XP and through OS X?

Disk Utility is an application. It's in a folder called "Utilities" in the "Applications" folder on your computer's harddrive. You can get to it quickly by clicking on the spotlight icon (the magnifying glass) in the upper right corner of your screen, and typing "disk utility."

Once in disk utility, select your external drive in the list on the left of the Disk Utility window, and click "erase". Select FAT32 as your file format, name the volume, and click the "erase" option.

Sorry if this is more info than you need. I'm just trying to be thorough.
post #3 of 13
"Sorry if this is more info than you need. I'm just trying to be thorough."

Nah, that's a good set of instructions.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinix View Post

...Is there a difference when you format the external hard drive into FAT32 through Windows XP and through OS X?

No real difference, it's easier to do it in OS X (because everything is easier on the Mac side of things ). Yay! new 250gb hard disk! w000t!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rminkler View Post

Disk Utility is an application. It's in a folder called "Utilities" in the "Applications" folder on your computer's harddrive. You can get to it quickly by clicking on the spotlight icon (the magnifying glass) in the upper right corner of your screen, and typing "disk utility."

Once in disk utility, select your external drive in the list on the left of the Disk Utility window, and click "erase". Select FAT32 as your file format, name the volume, and click the "erase" option.

Under the "erase" tab, this is what I get:

Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Mac OS Extended
Mac OS Extended (case-sensitive)
Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)
MS-DOS File System
UNIX File System

I don't see any "FAT32" written on it, but I have a feeling it's the regular "Mac OS Extended" I need to select. Correct?
I don't see why anybody would want to make the thing case-sensitive. And what's "Journaled?"

Quote:
Sorry if this is more info than you need. I'm just trying to be thorough.

No, it was perfect. Just the kind I needed. Thanks!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

No real difference, it's easier to do it in OS X (because everything is easier on the Mac side of things ). Yay! new 250gb hard disk! w000t!

everything indeed.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinix View Post

I don't see any "FAT32" written on it, but I have a feeling it's the regular "Mac OS Extended" I need to select. Correct?

Nope, you need to select MS-DOS. The Mac OS ones are HFS+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinix

Is there a difference when you format the external hard drive into FAT32 through Windows XP and through OS X?

They use a different partition map but Disk Utility lets you choose this too. You don't need to worry about it though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinix

I don't see why anybody would want to make the thing case-sensitive. And what's "Journaled?"

Case sensitive can help if you are in an environment where other people use case sensitive file systems. If someone wraps up a zip file that has files test.jpg and Test.jpg, the default OS X zip extractor will give you an error because it sees those names as the same. I personally think all systems should be case insensitive.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

No real difference, it's easier to do it in OS X (because everything is easier on the Mac side of things ). Yay! new 250gb hard disk! w000t!

What? Its harder to right click drive/format in Windows than it is to go to finder, applications, utilities, disk utility, then realize there is no obvious Fat32 option......okay let me go back to a forum and ask how to do this again?

Whatever, everything is not always easier on a Mac...sorry can't sell that one to me.

I love my Mac as much as the next guy but they do not make everything easy...somethings are a pain in the booty.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailmaster308 View Post

What? Its harder to right click drive/format in Windows than it is to go to finder, applications, utilities, disk utility, then realize there is no obvious Fat32 option......okay let me go back to a forum and ask how to do this again?

Hmm... Or simply Use your apple key and space bar, type a d and hit enter.... Very Simple.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nesbitt32 View Post

Hmm... Or simply Use your apple key and space bar, type a d and hit enter.... Very Simple.

No, the hard part is getting the guy that posted the thread in March 2007 to come back and read your response 2 1/2 years later
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #11 of 13
When I tried to use Disk Utility this is the message I got:

Disk Erase failed with the error:

File system formatter failed
post #12 of 13
im trying to format my 1 terabyte lacie external hard drive to fat32, so i can back up the data on my ps3, then install a new harddrive. im able to partition the hdd,

the ps3 reads the harddrive, but when i try to back it up, it doesn't,

can someone help.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarin90 View Post

im trying to format my 1 terabyte lacie external hard drive to fat32, so i can back up the data on my ps3, then install a new harddrive. im able to partition the hdd,

the ps3 reads the harddrive, but when i try to back it up, it doesn't,

can someone help.

i think this is because ps3 has a 320gb limit, so it would see your drive for say playing a movie but wont be able to write to it. might not be that mind. just off the top of my head.
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