New Hard drive will only format in NTFS?

  cagey 00:23 14 Jul 04

I have just installed a new 160Gb HDD. When I formatted it using XP Pro disk management, it would only let me format in NTFS. My other disk which is 40Gb and nearly full is formatted in Fat32, it is partitioned in 4 drives and I dual boot Win98SE (C:drive)/XP Pro (E:drive). I seldom use Win98 boot, should I covert my 40 Gb drive to NTFS or will I still be able to use both HDDs on different formats?

  Smegs 00:39 14 Jul 04

I think you will find that win98 is FAT32 and Xp is NTFS.

  Djohn 01:07 14 Jul 04

Smegs is correct. XP can be formatted as FAT 32 but NTFS is more secure and I believe more stable. As you have found, disk management from within XP will only offer NTFS. I think you will need to use a boot floppy or third party disk management tool to format the drive in FAT 32.

NTFS will be able to handle applications from FAT 32 but not the other way round.

  clm2 07:03 14 Jul 04

According to Help & Support Centre in WinXP you can only format a FAT32 volume up to 32 GB. If you wanted your new hard drive as FAT32 you would have to repartition it into volumes no greater than this.

  ventanas 08:57 14 Jul 04

You can format a drive larger than 32Gb to fat32, but not in disc management. You need a startup disc from Win98 or ME. The version of Fdisk supplied with these can do the job.

  Smiler 11:15 14 Jul 04

Below is an excerpt from click here

In theory, FAT32 volumes can be about 8 terabytes; however, the maximum FAT32 volume size that Windows XP Professional can format is 32 GB. Therefore, you must use NTFS to format volumes larger than 32 GB. However, Windows XP Professional can read and write to larger FAT32 volumes formatted by other operating systems.

So you either need to partition the new hard drive or use NTFS.

  ventanas 11:59 14 Jul 04

Smiler, sorry but no, you do not need to partition the drive. All you need is a boot floppy from Win98 or ME. Use fdisk to format the drive to its full capacity. That is what MS mean when they state "XP Pro can read and write to larger fat32 volumes formatted by other operating systems."

  Smiler 12:05 14 Jul 04

OK I didn't read you response properly but my response is still an option. Another option would be a program such as Partition Magic to format and /or partition the drive.

  ventanas 12:19 14 Jul 04

True, I would probaly partiton a drive this size, just be able to manage it. But 32Gb is too small. Probably go for two 80Gb. But definitely NTFS.

  stlucia 12:32 14 Jul 04

You can format the drive FAT32 using Win 98 (you say you have dual-boot) to practically any size you want. It will then be readable by Win XP as well.

If you want to retain your dual-boot facility, and to be able to read all drives from either Windows, you cannot use NTFS.

  cagey 20:25 14 Jul 04

Thanks for your help. I have converted NTFS to Fat32 using Partition Magic and also made it into 2 partitions. Thanks everyone once again.

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