Can I force this Lacie firewire drive to format as FAT32?
October 28, 2004 2:10 PM   Subscribe

I've just bought a Lacie 160 gigabyte firewire drive. It's to be plugged into a Windows XP machine, but also to be written to and read by a Mac OSX machine. I want to format it with the FAT32 file system, but Windows won't let me. Is there a way to force the drive to format as FAT32? [More inside...]

I've done this twice before, with two identical Lacie drives which are both FAT32. Hence I know that this file system works for me and want to make the third drive use the same system. Unfortunately, this time the New Partition Wizard will only let me make an NTFS partition - presumably because FAT32 doesn't support partitions over 32 gigabytes.

Is there a piece of software which will force Windows XP to format the drive as FAT32? It could be a Windows XP or Mac OSX application - but I'm not so keen on using command line interfaces. Oh... and I don't have a floppy drive of any sort. All ideas gratefully received... thanks.
posted by skylar to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
You could try Partition Magic for XP.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:27 PM on October 28, 2004

Apparently using a Windows 98 boot disk should do the trick. Looks like you can download 98 boot images from
posted by Dipsomaniac at 3:38 PM on October 28, 2004

I just bought [got it on Tuesday] a LaCie 160GB drive and it came pre-formatted in FAT32.
posted by birdherder at 5:35 PM on October 28, 2004

Ignore the wizard. Just create the partition with it, then Start / Run / CMD.EXE and thenFORMAT D: /FS:FAT32
posted by majick at 9:43 PM on October 28, 2004

Partition Magic is your best bet, but it costs money. I don't think the Windows 98 boot disk supports firewire, and magick's suggestion won't work either (it'll crap out after pretending to format your disk for a good hour or so). If you want something that will work for free, try booting up using a Knoppix live CD and then running QTParted, the free Linux Partition Magic clone.
posted by sid at 8:22 AM on October 29, 2004

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