How do i format to Fat32 from NTFS and keep my content on the HDD?

    Borrowed a friends external HD and i'm wanting to format it to FAT32 so i can save my PS3 save and game files etc. Now obviously i'm guessing that if i do format it to FAT then everything on the HD will be erased is this true?



    Yes a format will remove all files on there. The best and easiest way to do it (if you have spare room) is to copy all the files to your C: drive, format then copy them back

    There is a convert function in Windows to convert a drive to NTFS but if I remember right that will alse erase the contents of your external drive. Maybe someone else can confirm this.

    Original Poster

    Yip thought so, cheers Dave

    Partition magic shold be able to convert the NTFS partition to Fat without formatting the drive.

    Yup. There is a utility to convert from FAT to NTFS but not the other way.
    I don't know if Partition Magic can do it but that's not free.
    If you are running Vista you might be able to resize your NTFS partition to be smaller and then create a second FAT partition, but I don't know if the PS3 would recognise that.

    I am sure there is no non destructive way of converting file systems like that, you were correct Dave. Copy off the files and test them before formatting

    Original Poster

    I could only format it to exFat so when i go to the backup utility i scan through the options and i go to save my files and i am greeted with this message:

    insert storage media at the save destination.

    ExFAT is Microsoft proprietary and the PS3 can't read it.

    If your drive is over a certain size (32GB?) you have to use a third party tool to format as FAT32.

    Original Poster

    Yeah it's a trilobyte, any ideas on software bud? i'll have a look on Google as well.

    **im running windows 7

    Original Poster

    Cheers ab!

    Bit puzzled here (sorry just done 9 hrs of head battering work!).

    Ok i've put the fat32format exe to my desktop, i have then gone to run and typed cmd. CD and the black box has popped up, now this is where i'm at a loss?! tbh i don't understand what the guy is yapping on about!?

    edit** missed the top bit oops, going to read it now!


    If you have Vista there is a quick way to get an Admin cmd prompt. Click … If you have Vista there is a quick way to get an Admin cmd prompt. Click the Start button/ Windows flag in the bottom left of the screen and enter cmd like on XP but press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, you'll get a privilege escalation dialog click OK and you end up with an Admin command prompt, helpfully labelled as Administrator: C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe


    cd %USERPROFILE%\Desktopfat32format.exe X:

    Replace X with the proper drive letter (the external drive) and close down anything accessing the drive beforehand.

    As long as W7 doesn't differ too much from Vista it should work.

    Original Poster

    thx again ab, i'm actually formatting it to FAT32 with a cmd but it's going real slow, i'll wait a bit then try your method.

    thx again, rep left bud

    Original Poster

    Lol! well it took all night and has just finished formatting to FAT32, it finished with: This drive is too big to format to FAT32, haha what a bloody waste of time!

    **EDIT: lmao ab! your way took all of 20seconds arrrrrgh!!! cheers m8! ya a bloody star!
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