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Thread: XP and file system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Trying to repartition the old 80gb Maxtor HD, on my MSI K8MM s.754 PC, but XP will not show a choice for Fat 32 as I had it set before, gives only NTFS only.

    Is there a way for getting FAT 32 on this HD?, luke

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Washington DC
    Since hard drives with a capacity greater than 32GB are common these days, this requires a shift in thinking from the conventional ways of formatting and preparing them for use by an XP computer system utilizing the FAT32 file system. If you are using NTFS this is of no consequence since XP will format a >32GB drive with no problem. Conventional wisdom holds that the way to format for FAT32 is to use a boot disk from Win98 or WinMe, but you can do it with the standard XP installation CD just as easily. The procedure is as follows:

    Boot the computer with the XP CD in the drive and allow setup to begin. When you come to the screen where you select the drive partition you should see the drive listed with all the space listed as unpartitioned. If the drive was in use previously, you'll need to delete all the existing partitions. To do this you'll have to hit the 'D' key followed by the 'L' key. The screen instructions will be visible to guide the process.

    Once all the existing partitions are deleted the display will show the total unpartitioned disk space.

    Hit the 'C' key to create a partition. If you only want one partition then hit enter and the entire disk space will be allocated to the C Drive, but it will be NTFS, assuming the drive is 32GB or larger. However, if you want to create several FAT32 partitions then do not hit the Enter key. Instead, hit 'Backspace' until the cursor moves to the first digit. Enter the size of the first partition to be created.

    Repeat the create partition process as many times as you want till all available space is allocated to partitions.

    Once all the partitions have been created, use the 'Up' arrow key to select the C drive partition to install XP on and select to format it with FAT32 if you are sure that NTFS isn't a viable file system in your situation.

    After XP has been installed and is running, navigate to Disk Management and format the other partitions with either FAT32 or NTFS. This step is necessary before the partitions will be available for use.

    Since this is a clean install and the drive has to be formatted, it only makes sense to use the tools that are available in XP without having to bother with a floppy diskette.

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