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Windows 7: [HELP!] Format a 3TB External HDD to FAT32

31 Oct 2012   #41

Windows 7 Home, x32

Hi there,
I am also having an issue with my Toshiba 1TB hard drive. It used to read on my desktop as well as my PS3 but when i plugged it in last week it no longer read on either...
Fearing the worst i removed all my files-movies,series,music,pictures etc and formatted it to a NFTS, realizing this was wrong i downloaded a tool called MiniTool Partitioning Wizard and reformatted it to FAT32. i checked in accordance to your last post- the cluster size is 512b and it is set as primary and active- yet the thing still will not read is there anyway you can help me with this using the MiniTool application????

much appreciated, Tami

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #42

Win7 64

Bought two 3TB hdd Toshiba (and use USB3.0) to transfer all the files scattered over 6 seperate external HDD's. Immediately started partitioning the first drive. Ran into the 2.2-0.8TB problem. WTH, I paid for 3, not 2.2

Not using the HDD for booting but simple storage came across the solution elsewhere: Of course your HDD is whiped clean, but at least it is showing back up in Win7 as a 3TB disk. (Okay 2.72)

Thanks for the help on this page and elsewhere in this forum.

Change a Master Boot Record Disk into a GUID Partition Table Disk
To change a master boot record disk into a GUID partition table disk using a command line
  1. Back up or move the data on the basic master boot record (MBR) disk you want to convert into a GUID partition table (GPT) disk.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt (right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator) and type diskpart. If the disk does not contain any partitions or volumes, skip to step 6.
  3. At the DISKPART prompt, type list disk. Make note of the disk number you want to convert.
  4. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk <disknumber>.
  5. At the DISKPART prompt, type clean.
    Important Running the clean command will delete all partitions or volumes on the disk.

  6. At the DISKPART prompt, type convert gpt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2013   #43

win 8
Stuck on Acronis

I have followed erimoc's process and got to step four, but alas Acronis is not recognizing my Toshiba 3tb external. My log is returning this message: Cannot process 'Disk 2' because it's sector size is unsupported (4096 bytes) I started with exFAT 512, then 256, then default. I then tried an NTFS setup and still returned the same error message. Any suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Feb 2013   #44

win 8
i think i see your problem

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mike8622 View Post
Ok, now we're cooking with gas!!! I was able to format 1.99TB to NTFS and the drive is now showing as G. New problem, the remaining 746.52GB (refer to post #25 for picture or one below) "unallocated volume" can't be formatted to NTSF, or be seen by Windows to use. [IMG][/IMG]

I have to be honest, I read the linked thread about gparted and it made my head spin. I don't understand any of it. Is there a simple way to get my other TB back or should I just cut my losses and use this as a 2TB drive?? I'm looking for honest opinions from people who know about things like this. As you can probably tell by now I don't really know what I'm doing Now, if this was an Android phone, I'd have root access and be flying through everything in minutes. Maybe one day I'll be as comfortable with Windows, maybe, lol.

I kind of feel like a winner now that I got this drive ALMOST back to 100%. I'm not even upset about not being able to format it to FAT32 and use on my PS3. I thought it was dead and I'd lost all my money so I'm playing with house money now, so to speak.

P.S. Sorry for the rambling

I had a similar issue as your screenshot, i right clicked where it says disk 1 in the box next to the volume and found a way to clear the volumes back to full.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2013   #45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gazz9496 View Post
just curious but you are able to even format the whole 3tb in your installation of windows?

i ask because windows 7 has a limit of 2.2tb using a standard bios.

If your os was installed using efi i would say ok fine but the ps3 uses a 16bit bios anyway which is why it has a limit of 2.2tb as well.

efi, removes the bios limitation on drive sizes, 16bit bios is being phased out due to those limits at 2.2tb, the actual bios is a 64 bit program installed on your harddrive instead of flash memory on your mobo.

while windows 7 64 is a good os it has it's limits on drive size defined before it can even load up by the bios, the ps3 is no different in that regard those limitations are there and there is no way around them without changing the hardware to support larger drives.
Hi there
for more than 2.2 GB CHANGE THE DISK TO GPT -- then it works fine

Please peeps don't post inaccurate stuff about 3TB drives not being formattable on Windows.

Here's how to create a GPT drive. It's in the windows tutorial.

Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk

Now you can use the whole 3 TB.

(Booting is another matter - but as this is an external drive or a non boot drive I don't think this is an issue).

GPT is fine even on internal HDD's -- you just can't use this drive as a boot drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2013   #46

win 8
Still growling

Ok so i have formatted my 3tb toshiba in about 30 different ways. I did the whole thing in FAT32, partitioned into 3 1tb sections of FAT32, one 1.99TB section of FAT32 and one 1TB NFTS, all with EaseUS. I tried it in 64, 128, and 256KB cluster sizes. All of my files are compatible and i still can't get them to show. I guess ill just use the lan but that only works at home. I travel a lot and like to bring my PS3 and watch whatever i have in my hotel room so that is a limited solution. I saw that my cluster size should probably be smaller but with EaseUS it is only offering 64 as the smallest cluster size. Should i try and use a different formatting program to drop my cluster size? Wow FAT32 should be drug out into the street and set on fire for all to see.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2013   #47

win 8
Got it.... Sorta.

ok. heres the solution i setteled with. Partitoned 510GB using EaseUS in FAT32. This was the most it would let me use at the 8k cluster size. I made it the first partition on the disk. The other 2.5TB (approx) I formatted as NTFS. Im disappointed that i cant get the whole 3TB to work but thrilled that Just turned the media storage for my PS3 from 80GB to 590GB. It was sufficent for all of my media I wanted to use and i now have my full media catalog on the NTFS portion. I worked on this thing for damn near 20 man hours but am happy that I have some way to use my media on my PS3 without using the LAN if i don't want to. Thanks everyone. If you try this and can get all 3TB usable by the PS3 somehow please post. Peace Y'all
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #48

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Keywords: PS3, WD 3TB ext HDD, FAT32, XP compatibility

For a few hours I struggled on this issue of formatting a 3TB (2.72TiB) ext hdd with FAT32 for the purpose of PS3 backup storage, and eventually found a way that worked, at least for me. I bought a WD My Book 3TB, that comes preloaded with disk management software like WDQuickFormatter.exe, which I used to quick-format the entire drive.

The short version: make sure the disk is initialized for XP compatibility, and not Vista/Win7/Win8. The problem is if you initialize the disk in Vista or later OS, it is not going to work with PS3, so don't.

Having initialized the disk in Win7 in many ways (using EaseUS, Acronis Disk Director, diskpart "clean" and convert gpt/mbr) and formatted the drive as one non-partitioned GPT (full 2.72TiB available) and MBR (only 2.00TiB is available and 0.72TiB remains unpartitionable), and into more than one partition, PS3 was still unable to read the external HDD. Frustration grew. WTF! FAT32, by any other name, is still FAT32, so why this cross-platform issue?

I found PS3 is unable to read GPT disk, so MBR is way to go. But with 0.72TiB wasted, I wasn't going to have it. So here's what I finally did:

1. Use WDQuickFormatter (or any other means, like formatting using XP, miniXP bootdisk, etc.) to initialize the drive for XP compatibility, NOT Vista and later compatibility -- this is the key that unlocks the smile. The default filesystem is NTFS, but that is fine for now.

2. Having done (1), Win7 was unable to read a 2.72TiB MBR disk (2TiB is the limit), and prompted a format--decline this request (WARNING: do not use Vista/Win7/Win8 to format). Using Acronis Disk Director 11 Home, proceed to format the disk with the following configurations:

Filesystem: FAT32
Cluster size: 32K (the default)
Volume Type: Primary (with Active checked)

Note that if you initialize the disk to be compatible with Vista and later, no "Volume Type" options will be available in the formatting dialog box, and the maximum usable drive space is 2TiB.

3. Copy a test file (some mp3 audio clip) to the ext HDD and voila! PS3 can now read the external HDD, without long wait time as have been reported in some threads I came across.

I hope you find this time-saver tip useful, now go spend the time saved for some quality time with your loved ones; you owe me that much. Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 [HELP!] Format a 3TB External HDD to FAT32

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