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Old 09-18-2007, 11:27 PM   #1
psychobyte
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HowTo: 300GB FAT32 Partition


Here is a really easy way to format a Maxtor One Touch III 300GB USB drive as a large FAT32 drive and have it viewable by linux and windows.

Situation: Dual boot Linux(Ubuntu) and Windows XP. Connect a new Maxtor One Touch III 300GB drive formated in NTFS. Windows can read+write to drive natively. Linux can only read the drive. You will have to format it as FAT32 for both Linux and Windows can read+write to it.


Solutions:

1- mkfs.vfat - This was indeed able to create a 300GB FAT32 Partition e.g
sudo mkfs.vfat -I -F 32 -v /dev/sdb
However I was unable to get Windows to recognize the drive.

2- Windows Drive Management - This will not let you create a FAT32 partition over about 32GB

3 - SwissKnife (Best) - Download SwissKnife(it's free). This tool will create a whole 300GB FAT32 partition on the
Maxtor Drive. After applying the change you might have to unmount and remount the drive in Windows
to see the FAT32 partition. You can then mount it in Linux aswell. After this you will have an external 300GB drive
that you can read+write in Windows and linux

HTH
 
Old 09-19-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychobyte View Post
Situation: Dual boot Linux(Ubuntu) and Windows XP. Connect a new Maxtor One Touch III 300GB drive formated in NTFS. Windows can read+write to drive natively. Linux can only read the drive. You will have to format it as FAT32 for both Linux and Windows can read+write to it.
Not true - even Ubuntu offers ntfs-3g via apt/Synaptic.

A 300 Gig fat32 partition will perform awfully when anywhere near full. I tend to use around 80 Gig, merely for convenience - nothing magic about that size.
I'm surprised you couldn't get Windoze to accept your drive initially, although I haven't tried anything that large.
 
Old 09-23-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
archtoad6
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Thanks, syg00, for the correction -- I consider the original advice misguided, possibly dangerous.

Because the block size of FAT file systems doubles as the total size crosses each power of 2, & because an average of half a block of disk wasted by each file, I always set the size of any FAT partition just short of the next power of 2. I think it is no accident that M$ has set a 32G limit on FAT32.

The classic case for me was a Maxtor 540 "MB", = 515 MiB, which when reformatted to 512 MiB, had a lot more usable space than it did originally. This was in the days of FAT16, & the saving was considerable.

Last edited by archtoad6; 10-15-2007 at 07:01 PM. Reason: change emphasis colors
 
  


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