Namely, it can take forever to format the hard drive for some users.
However, Windows can format a drive that is larger than 32GB in FAT32, but you have to use the DOS command prompt.
However, if you have a drive that is 1TB or larger, you may still get an error saying “The volume is too big for FAT32”.
In that case, you can use some 3rd party programs that will allow you to format an external hard drive with the larger size. In case you are having problems getting your external hard drive to show up in Windows, read my article on how to change the drive letter for an external drive in Windows.
Before we get into using the command prompt and other third-party programs, it’s worth mentioning that some of the hard drive manufacturers have created their own tools for converting a drive which is larger than 32 GB to FAT32.
Here is a list: Seagate Disc Wizard Western Digital FAT32 Formatting Tool Open a command window by going to Start, then Run and typing in CMD.
Now type in the following command at the prompt: Replace the letter X with the letter of your external hard drive in Windows.Windows will go ahead and begin formatting the drive in FAT32!There seems to also be an issue when using the command line besides the size limit problem.Trying to format a large external USB or Firewire hard drive to the FAT32 file system? Only see an option for formatting the drive using the NTFS file format?Well if you answered yes any of those questions, then you’re at the right place.I was recently trying to format my 1 TB My Book external hard drive in Windows XP to FAT32 instead of the overly forced-upon NTFS format. Well because I needed to connect it to a NAS device and the NTFS permissions were causing the NAS not to be able to access the drive.