You'll find that some removable storage is being shipped in FAT32 format to give it full usability on all hardware, mainly PS3 which only reads FAT32 external storage. I recently bought a 1TB Hitachi Simple Drive for backup purposes only to find (which was a plus point) that it was FAT32 ready which meant that I could plug it straight into my PS3 with no extra tinkering
You have to be carefull with drives formatted like this, however, as the max file size for any FAT32 partition/drive is 4GB, any more than that and it will display a message that the file is too large for the destination. Some interesting info
Note the following limitations when you use the FAT32 file system with Windows XP:
- Clusters cannot be 64 kilobytes (KB) or larger. If clusters are 64 KB or larger, some programs (such as Setup programs) may incorrectly calculate disk space.
- A FAT32 volume must contain a minimum of 65,527 clusters. You cannot increase the cluster size on a volume that uses the FAT32 file system so that it contains fewer than 65,527 clusters.
- The maximum disk size is approximately 8 terabytes when you take into account the following variables: The maximum possible number of clusters on a FAT32 volume is 268,435,445, and there is a maximum of 32 KB per cluster, along with the space required for the file allocation table (FAT).
- You cannot decrease the cluster size on a FAT32 volume so that the size of the FAT is larger than 16 megabytes (MB) minus 64 KB.
- You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size using the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows XP can mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the other limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by using the Format tool during Setup. If you need to format a volume that is larger than 32 GB, use the NTFS file system to format it. Another option is to start from a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup disk and use the Format tool included on the disk.
For additional information about how to use a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup disk to format a hard disk, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 255867 (How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk ) How to Use Fdisk and Format to Partition/Repartition a Hard Disk
NOTE: When you attempt to format a FAT32 partition that is larger than 32 GB during the Windows XP installation process, the format operation fails near the end of the process, and you may receive the following error message: Logical Disk Manager: Volume size too big.
- MS-DOS, the original version of Microsoft Windows 95, and Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-and-earlier do not recognize FAT32 partitions, and are unable to start from a FAT32 volume.
- You cannot create a file larger than (2^32)-1 bytes (this is one byte less than 4 GB) on a FAT32 partition.
You can however, as explained by Bill, convert FAT32 partitions into NTFS.