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Reformating large hard disks to FAT32

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by PedrosPad, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. PedrosPad

    PedrosPad Network Guru Member

    When my 250GB USB hard disk drives (HDDs) arrived they were formatted FAT32 for greatest compatibility.

    I've been playing around with the different HDD formats that the NSLU2 R63 firmware now supports (NTFS/FAT32/ext3).

    When I came to return the drives to FAT32 for a new test, I was surprised by just how hard this was to do under WinXP.

    The complete issue is covered, and a utility to format large volumes as FAT32 under WinXP can be found here http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm.

    Just spreading the experience. :)
  2. khisanthax

    khisanthax Network Guru Member

    Thanks, it will probably come in handy. I thought that fat32 wasn't for anything larger than 32GB ...
  3. PedrosPad

    PedrosPad Network Guru Member

    The linked article claims that that is a artificial limit put on by WinXP to encourage the uptake of NTFS. Win98 can use FAT32 on large hard disks with no problems.
  4. Doug_B

    Doug_B Network Guru Member

    IIRC, the XP limitation applies to creation of > 32G FAT32 drives only. Format the disk using a 3rd party tool, and I believe XP will recognize / use it w/out issues (don't have XP so haven't seen this in action, though).

    FYI, just purchased NSLU2 and updated to R63. Testing out an 80G IDE drive in USB enclosure formatted into 2 equal FAT32 partitions (created with partition magic) and connected to USB port 2 (while EXT3 drive is on port 1), and NSLU2 did recognize it, and unit presents these 2 partitions as two shares to the network. Have successfully written and read to/from these shares (only a few small files thus far).

    Curious if the unit will support disk-to-disk backup with this config (or even a simpler EXT-to-one FAT partition scenario; which FAT32 partition would the unit backup to if I keep 2 on the second disk?).

    In the end, I'll stick with either EXT3 or FAT32 on both disks, but haven't decided yet. Concerned about security of files with FAT32 (from Internet baddies), even with router that has firewall in between. OTOH, like the portability back to my Win98 system that the disks would have with FAT32.

    Thanks for putting up with me going off on a tangent.

  5. PedrosPad

    PedrosPad Network Guru Member

  6. Doug_B

    Doug_B Network Guru Member

    Thanks. Yes, well aware of this limitation, as I am still using 98SE on my primary PC. However, given that I recently purchased a DVD writer, I'll likely get into these large files before too long and have to upgrade the OS on my PC. Thus, your point well taken that FAT32 on the NSLU2 disks would be a negative from this perspective down the road.


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