Formatting External Drive to FAT32 problems

So I need to backup my PS3’s harddrive. I have a 200 GB external USB drive that would easily do it, but it needs to be in FAT32. Right-clicking it in the Computer window doesn’t work. It formats to exFAT - which the PS3 doesn’t recognize.

I did some searching, and came across the free program SwissKnife that’ll do it. However, it won’t run on my computer. I have Windows 7, and it’s compatible up to XP. I ran it in compatibility mode on everything from NT to XP SP3, and nothing worked.

I then found out that you can command prompt your computer to do it. /FS:FAT32 G: (G: being my external drive). Well, that timed out or something after about an hour. I restarted that up, and turned off all of my sleep and hibernating modes, so I hope that works.

Any other suggestions? Another third party program that does it other than SwissKnife?

Isn’t 200GB too big for FAT32? You might need to divide it into several partitions.

My advice, anyway, would be to get yourself a bootable GPARTED CD and use that to partition/format the drive

Apparently SwissKnife can handle FAT32 up to 2TB. But that doesn’t help…

How would I partition it? I’m extremely unfamiliar with this sort of stuff.

To use GPARTED, you’d need to:

Download the .iso (CD image) file from here: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Burn it to a CD using Nero or any other decent CD burning software (DeepBurner is free, if you don’t already have a program for this)

Put it in your drive while the computer boots - and it should run a very stripped-down Linux operating system with a disk partitioning utility that looks like this: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php

Everything from there on is pretty straightforward - it’s all point and click.

Alright - I got it going. Partitioning the drive was not intuitive. Why in the world do they say, “Shrink Volume” when in fact what it does is “Create a New Partition”?! I imagine it’s to be literal about it (it’s not “creating” anything, and if it was, there wouldn’t be any room to do so, so you have to shrink the drive first).

I shrunk the partition, then reformated the new 32GB partition as FAT32, and plugged it into the PS3 - it recognized it immediately.

Man - I don’t know how you IT guys do it. Kudos.

Alright! I now have a 640 GB PS3. It needed a system update when I turned it on, which I had to burn to a CD as an audio file (after trying it as a regular file, which frustrated me a bit). But everything transferred over, and it’s up and running.

What would have happened if I had a larger drive than the 40 GB - say the 160 GB model? Would I have had to make some hard decisions, or could I have partitioned the external drive into 5-6 32GB sections formatted as FAT32? Anyone know?

You’re inference is correct. A disk only contains a certain amount of bytes, and a partition is essentially just a broad way of organizing them. In order to have room to make a new one, you have to shrink the old one.

I wouldn’t recommend multiple partitions. All of the software suggested in this thread could have handled formatting a single partition up to 2 TB (2048 GB). The only program I know that has a problem is the one that came with Windows. From XP onwards, Microsoft crippled it to only make FAT32 partitions 32MB or smaller, probably because they wanted people to move to using their proprietary format (NTFS). (Yet, even Windows XP can use the bigger partitions. It just can’t make them.)