Is there a way of formatting a 4TB external drive to FAT32 ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by vudicus, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Usmc3020

    Usmc3020 New Member

    Chicago, illinois
    I had the same issue with needing to format a 4tb hard drive to fat 32 and not loosing hard drive space. If you tray and format it using windows disk management you will have to convert drive to MBR which will only allow you to use 2tb of the drive. The rest of the drive space is not useable. So here is how I solved it. I. Removed my hard drive out of the factory enclosure. I bought a sabrent EC-DFLT usb 3.0 3.5hard drive enclosure. I put may drive in the enclosure and formatted the drive to fat32 using paragon partition manager 15. The whole drive was formatted not just 2tb. Listen very closely to what I’m about to say now DO NOT UPDATE THE FIRMWARE OF THE ENCLOSURE. The firmware is an updat to allow support for hard drives 4Tb and larger. This will stop You from being able to format 4tb and larger hard drives to fat32. I had to buy another enclosure. Now everyone’s question is why and how does the hard drive enclosure allow the 4tb hard drive to be formatted to fat32. My answer is I don’t really know but it does. And after the firmware update it does not. I think it is because the hard drive inclosure does not know the actual size of the drive and treats it as a flash drive. This is just my opinion but I do know that the enclosure allows 4tb hard drives to be formatted to fat32
    vudicus likes this.
  2. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    How did you verify this?
  3. mikee12

    mikee12 New Member

    Postojna, Slovenia
    I had same problem with Pioneer N-50a. It reads only FAT32 formatted external HDD.
    Then I found that Intenso Memory Board USB 3.0 3TB HDD is already factory formatted to FAT32 and bought it.
  4. Usmc3020

    Usmc3020 New Member

    Chicago, illinois
    I transferred movies on to it that total over 3tb and then connected the hadrive to my Samsung tv that will only read hard drives formated in fat and was able to access the video files on the drive. Also paragon partition manager 15 confirms it also. I bought the sabrent enclosure on Amazon for $19
    Strat-Mangler likes this.
  5. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Answering your direct question, yes. The easy way is to format it normally on a Windows 10 machine to NTFS. Then use Paragon Partition Manager (Hard Disk Manager Advanced Pack)
    Full Features - Paragon Partition Manager
    to change that to FAT32. That program will choose sector and cluster sizes to make the change and keep all data intact. That drive would then be a pretty nonstandard, very uncommon, FAT32 drive, but it would work with about the second half of PCs that were designed for Win 7, or machines that were designed for Win 8 or Win 10. (Windows itself just won't allow you to format a drive that way, but those recent version machines will work with such a drive.) But your Marantz likely has a simplified BIOS for the drive, not a full recent Windows PC BIOS, and your Marantz may not be able to handle a 4TB drive formatted that way. (I'm not even going to look at that other 250 page thread but possibly someone there found out.)

    In the situation I would be safe and just stay with a 2TB drive.
    vudicus likes this.
  6. vudicus

    vudicus Analog Dog Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies.

    I managed to find a solution not long after starting the thread last year and forgot to post an update to say it was sorted.
    I'm sure the new posts will be of use to others who also have this need.

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