View Full Version : reformatting fat32

11-14-2009, 08:50 AM
Hi Forumites,

This is probably a dumb question, but I'm really stuck here. I've been trying to do this all day with no success. Hopefully someone here can help...

I'm trying to create iso images from video-ts files and the resultant file will be larger than 4gb, which is apparently too large for a fat32 drive. Every time I try to reformat the external fat32 drive, it fails. I think I need to reformat it to MAC extended journaled, but for some reason, the brand new drive won't allow it. I've been using Disk Utility. Can anyone help, please...? Thanks

11-14-2009, 09:17 AM
It sounds like you might be having some hardware problem with the drive, because FAT32 drives can be formatted to much larger than 4 GB, and there's no reason that Disk Utility couldn't format a drive to HFS+ Journaled (which Disk Utility incorrectly calls Mac OS Extended Journaled). (Fine print: this Apple support page (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1604) mentions that drives smaller than 32 MB cannot be formatted in HFS+. Yes, smaller than 32 MB, not 32 GB.)

Just in case you're doing it wrong, here are instructions (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3509) for how to format a drive to HFS+. They're written with Aperture in mind, but of course they work for any reason.

If you're already doing it right, then return the drive to the place you bought it for a refund. It's got some hardware problem, and you shouldn't have to deal with it.


11-14-2009, 09:47 AM
While FAT32 can be larger than 4 GB, it cannot support file sizes larger than 4 GB minus 1 byte, so even if you get the volume formatted you can't save the file in FAT32:

11-14-2009, 09:56 AM
Well, I tried following the directions you linked to, Trevor. I received the following message: "Disk Erase failed with the error: File system formatter failed."

I'm stumped. Y'think it's a faulty drive?

11-14-2009, 10:14 AM
Yes, I think it's a faulty drive.

And of course, cwtnospam is right that FAT32 cannot support file sizes larger than 4 GB - 1 byte.


11-14-2009, 10:36 AM
Thanks. I'll exchange it. It's a WD I bought through Amazon...