By Bryce / Last Updated October 30, 2019

Help! I need to format big HDD to FAT32

“To make it recognized by my PS3, I plan to format the 1TB external Toshiba hard disk drive that has one primary partition to FAT32. The problem is that when I open File Explorer, right click the drive, I can’t find FAT32 option on the file system menu. So how can I format my large external HDD to FAT32? Any advice?”

Get a free yet useful format tool

Usually, you can change the file system of your hard drive to FAT32 within Windows Explorer. However, 32GB is the size limit for FAT32 partition. Specifically, it’s not allowed to format a hard drive partition beyond 32GB to FAT32 within it. If you format big HDD partition using Diskpart utility, you can be prompted by the error the volume is too big for FAT32.

Therefore, it is recommended to turn to a free yet powerful format tool – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

✌ It breaks the limitation of 32GB size, allowing you to format large hard drive partition (64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 1TB and bigger partition) to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7 just in few clicks.
✌ It supports convert NTFS to FAT32 without data loss and vice versa.
✌ Apart from FAT32, it can format partition to NTFS, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, offering you more choices.
✌ In addition, it can create or format the second partition on USB flash drive, SD card, etc.

Format large HDD to FAT32 right now

Now, connect the external drive to your Windows-based computer, download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

Then, let’s see how to format HDD to FAT32 via it.

Step 1. Double click the installation file and follow the prompts to install this software. Then, run it. In the main interface, right click the hard drive partition and choose Format Partition.

Format 2tb Partition

PS.: If your HDD is unallocated, right click it and choose Create Partition.

Step 2. Choose FAT32 and click OK to continue.

Format 2tb Partition To Fat32

PS.: Here you can change the drive letter of this partition, assign a partition label to this partition or change its cluster size.

Step 3. Here you can preview that the HDD would be formatted with FAT32. Click Apply and Proceed to perform the pending operation.

Apply

Notices:

  • These steps can be applied to format large SSD, SD card, USB flash drive to FAT32 as well.

  • To get more features such as partition recovery, MBR to GPT conversion for system disk, etc., you can upgrade to an advanced version.

Format HDD to FAT32 via Windows built-in tools

When the HDD partition is not larger than 32GB, you can format it to FAT32 easily using Disk Management or Diskaprt utility.

Option A. Format to FAT32 via Disk Management

First, press Windows + R at the same time, input “diskmgmt.msc” and click OK button to open Disk Management. Then, follow the steps below:

Step 1. In Disk Management, right click the HDD partition and choose Format.

Step 2. Click Yes to confirm this operation. If there any necessary data on this partition, please back up in advance.

Step 3. In the pop-up window, click the drop-down menu of the file system and choose FAT32. Then, click OK.

Option B. Format to FAT32 via Diskpart utility

If you prefer command-line tool, you can use Diskpart utility to format the HDD partition to FAT32.

Step 1. Type CMD at the search box, right click the program and choose Run as Administrator.

Step 2. Input diskpart and hit Enter key.

Step 3. Type the commands as follows in sequence and every command should be followed with hitting Enter.

  • list disk

  • select disk n

  • list partition

  • select partition m

  • format fs=fat32

Notes:

  • “n” is the number of your HDD that you want to format.

  • “m” is the number of your HDD partition.

Now, surely you have known how to format your HDD whether it is larger or smaller than 32GB to FAT32 easily.