Recently I needed to format some brand new hard drives in .... FAT32 format. Needless to say, Vista doesn't like to do that. Nor does Windows XP. But since these hard drives will be going into an old security surveillance DVR unit, they need to be in FAT32, not NTFS. I'm also taking this opportunity to upgrade the security unit from the old 30 gig hard drives to new 250 gig units.
I had first thought of using the virtual OS of Windows XP on my PC to format these drives via a USB to ATA connector. And this will work. But as I am not going to be doing this on an on-going basis, I figured I'll look for something that may be used by people without virtual OS software. And I found one called Fat32 Format.
This fat32format.exe program is small enough for me to store it on a web email account to access anytime I want. And it's fast and simple to use. Just open a DOS CMD window and type "fat32format x:" where x is the drive to be formatted. Just be careful and never ever type c: or another drive that is in use currently on your PC.
The only downside is this does not perform disk integrity checks. You'll have to do a chkdsk yourself afterwards. Although this does mean it's lightning fast in formatting drives. And it'll format up to 2 Terrabytes in FAT32.
This article has been contributed by Dante. Thanks a lot !
Update:Fat32 Format is now available as a graphical user interface for Windows as well.
The user interface is a lot easier to use. Simply select the drive you want to format using the drive selector at the top, change the allocation size if you want to, add a volume label and decide whether you want to run a quick format or standard format of the drive.
A log is displayed in the application window so that you now exactly what is going on at all times.
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