Easiest Way to Format 500GB External HDD to FAT32 in Windows 7/8/10

October 24, 2017

This article illustrates the easiest way on how to format 500GB Seagate/WD Passport external USB hard drive or internal HDD to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7.

Purposes of formatting 500GB HDD to FAT32

Hard drive with large capacity is not uncommon among hardware equipments nowadays. WD My Passport Essential and Toshiba external HD are come with 500GB disk capacity, so do some USB external drives. 

When they come to our computing life, it is inevitable to use them in different aspects. For example, one of Passport HDD users says he wants to use the disk in his Sony Bravia LCD USB port as storage yet the Sony TV only recognizes FAT32 drives. Another user says she wants to format 500GB Seagate external HDD to FAT32 and connect it to an MDI interface in her car so that she can listen to music while driving. Besides, the hard drive with only FAT32 or exFAT file system can be used in PS3 and PS4.

You may wonder why so many devices need FAT32 format to read. FAT32 was first introduced by Microsoft in 1996 and as a pretty old file system it supports a large amount of internal/external medium, such as XBOX, PS3/PS4, and Android etc. Thus, a hard drive with FAT32 file system is compatible with more hardware/software, especially those produced by manufacturer with a long history. Therefore, you need to format new hard drive or reformat used hard drive to FAT32 in above situations.

How to format 500GB HDD into FAT32?

In general, Windows built-in tool Disk Management will assist you format hard drive to different file system including FAT32. However, it works only if the drive is 32GB or less. If you format 500GB HDD in FAT32 using command prompt, chances are that it will disappoint you and give you this “the volume is too big for FAT32” error. This is a hidden limitation and it seems like there is no written page about this. In this case, you need to ask third party software for help. If you want to format Lexar USB drive with large capacity, please refer to Lexar USB format tool.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a powerful and reliable disk partitioning manager which allows you to format large capacity disk to FAT32, FAT, NTFS or EXT2 etc. in Windows 7/8/XP/Vista/10. It provides quick format and will change cluster size of file system to fit partition automatically. In addition, you are able to specify label when formatting. It has user-friendly GUI and easy-to-follow wizards. Download its free trial and have a try.

How to format 500GB external HDD to FAT32 via AOMEI Partition Assistant?

Step1. Connect the external hard drive to a Windows-based computer. Make sure it can be detected by Windows.

Step2. Download, install and start AOMEI Partition Assistant. If the external hard drive is brand new, you can right click on it and select “Create Partition” and select FAT32 when choosing file system. If it is used before, right click on it and select “Format Partition”.

Format Partition

Step3. In the pop-up window, you have options to edit partition label, choose file system and cluster size. Configure this based on your needs.

Format Partition set

Step4. This is a virtual change. Click “Apply” to make it real.



  • The formatting process will take some time, so allow your computer to finish this task before using it for anything else.

  • The formatting operation will not delete data on the drive thoroughly. Anyone can easily recover all data with recovery software. If you want to erase data completely, right click the drive and select “Wipe Partition”.

  • As for Cluster Size, the smaller of the cluster size may let your partition generates many file fragments during the process of the data read-write; the bigger cluster may waste less disk space, so we suggest you use this default cluster size.

  • FAT32 cannot read and write single file larger than 4GB yet NTFS file system does.

Make 500GB disk with FAT32 File System without data loss

In fact, there is another way to make 500GB external drive work with FAT32 file system without formatting, i.e. no need to backup and restore everything. If your hard drive was formatted with NTFS before, you can convert it to FAT32 with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional as well. Simple and fast, let’s get to know it.

Step1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant and click on “NTFS to FAT32 Converter” and you’ll get into another litter program. You may want to memorize the drive letter on the 500GB HDD. Here is F:

NTFS to FAT32 Converter

Step2. Choose the first option “NTFS to FAT32”.


Step3. Choose the partition (drive letter F: or you can tell from the disk capacity) that you formatted to NTFS on 500GB HDD and click “Next”.

Choose NTFS partition

Step4. Confirm what you are going to do. If nothing goes wrong, click “Proceed” to start.

Confirm converting

It is easy to format 500GB HDD to FAT32 in fact as long as you find the right tool and right method. Other than formatting large HDD, AOMEI Partition Assistant is also an excellent Transcend StoreJet format utility in Windows. It supports many kinds of storages so you can use it to format SD card for 3DS. Download it to excavate more.