SATA HDD FAT32 Format - 4 GB File Size Limit

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The FAT32 file system has a 4 GB limit for the size of file that it can accept to be saved onto it. This means that any attempt to save a file that is larger than 4 GB will be met with an error message of “Disk is full or Not enough space” even though the hard drive may have a large amount of space still available.

Windows 98 and Me accept only FAT32 partitions, but Windows 2000 and XP accept both FAT32 and NTFS partitions. NTFS partitions have no limit for file size, so NTFS may be preferable for saving a file that is larger than 4 GB.

Most HDD media players we use these days only accept FAT32 format. Certain high-end models like Mvix PVR or Noontec 3732 however allow users to create multiple partitions, one being FAT32 and the other being NTFS.

To reformat the hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS, follow these directions:

If the drive is the bootable drive:

Backup all data (on all of the hard drives in the computer).

Reboot to the installation CD for the operating system (Windows).

Select the option to reformat the hard drive.

Follow the procedure to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

If the drive is a storage (secondary) drive:

Backup all data on the drive whose partition will be changed.

Right-click on My Computer.

Select Manage.

Select Disk Management from the left column.

In the right column and bottom window, find the hard drive (labeled, for example, Disk 1).

Locate the partition just to the right of the Disk 1 box.

Right-click on the partition.

Select Delete Partition.

Wait until the partition becomes Unallocated Space.

Right-click on the Unallocated Space.

Select New Partition.

Another useful tool is called Partition Manager, which also allow user to reformat the external hard drive easily. There are a few versions of partition managers, and iHubCentral recommend use PM9.0.


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