Space on a fat32 formatted external drive

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  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       #1

    Space on a fat32 formatted external drive


    Hello, I have a 750Gb external drive that was originally NTFS. Windows shows it as 698Gb. I formatted it to fat32 yesterday, and now windows reads it as 185Gb. In disk manager, as you can see in the screenshot link (from remote desktop) that I have below, disk manager shows the whole drive as one partition that's 698Gb. However, disk manager says in the list of disks above the partitions that the capacity is 185Gb.

    https://i.imgur.com/38Ijf9D.jpg

    Why is this happening? Is the 698 or 185 correct?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
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  2. CountMike's Avatar
    Posts : 18,460
    W10+Developer Insider + Linux
       #2

    Fat32 partition size is limited to 32GB but there's a runaround. How To Format A Large Hard Drive With Either FAT Or FAT32
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  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I already saw that article, in fact, I used fat32 format (listed in that article) to format my drive. The whole drive is. A single partition and was formatted to fat32, or at least I believe so. Look at my screenshot, disk manager shows one big 698Gb fat32 partition. I'm wondering why windows thinks that the whole drive only has a capacity of 185Gb, when the partition reader in disk manager says its 698?

    And will this effect my use of the disk?

    Also, why isn't it closer to 750gb, like it should be?
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  4. whs's Avatar
    whs
    Posts : 1,935
    Windows 7
       #4

    Unless you have a special reason to use Fat32 (e.g. compatibility with an Android device). I would format the disk in NTFS.
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  5. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Its for booting and running a Debian Linux os.
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  6. whs's Avatar
    whs
    Posts : 1,935
    Windows 7
       #6

    Understand, although Linux supports NTFS also. I would just ignore the 185GB number. I see no rationale explanation for that.
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  7. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Alright, thanks.

    Well I had it as NTFS originally and i extracted the iso to the external disk as a bootable. However, when I tried to boot from the external drive it said no operating system found. So I did some searching and read in a few places that it needed to be on a fat32 drive. So I formatted it to fat32 and am trying to boot from that now.

    This has been a long and frustrating process, trying to get it to boot from the external drive. I can boot from a CD but I want the os installed on the drive. Maybe it would be better to load the os in a CD and then install it to the external from there?
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  8. whs's Avatar
    whs
    Posts : 1,935
    Windows 7
       #8

    If there is "no operating system found" that means that you either have no active disk or no functioning bootmgr.
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  9. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9
    Last edited by Drone69; 12 Mar 2016 at 18:04. Reason: Additional link
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  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,583
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    wesley27 said:
    Its for booting and running a Debian Linux os.
    Hi there
    Install package ntfs-3g on your Linux OS - then you can read / write NTFS files.

    You might find it's already installed in Debian. If it isn't simply install.

    Then you can manually mount NTFS volumes as READ /WRITE

    sudo mount /dev/sdx -t ntfs -o rw /yourdir

    (Or use fstab for automatic mount at boot / SAMBA for share etc etc etc).

    If you are Native booting the OS (i.e dual boot) the Linux partition will need to have a recognised file system - on my CENTOS system I use XFS, but ext3/4 is also good.

    So the following :

    1) Install Linux on your HDD - set partition size(s) at install - don't forget swap partition too.
    2) Leave rest of space as NTFS - create Primary partition
    3) install package ntfs-3g on the Linux OS if not already installed
    4) boot OS
    5) mount Windows NTFS partition -- this will show up as either /dev/sdx or /dev/hdx in Linux

    Job done.

    (The Linux Boot manager GRUB will present Windows and Linux if you have Windows on the same HDD. Rather than dual boot from the same HDD - why not simply in the BIOS choose which HDD you want to boot from and have the OS'es on separate HDD's.
    Note you can still access all the NTFS partitions from the Linux OS provided the ntfs-3g package is installed).

    An even easier solution is to decide which OS is your main OS and run the other one as a Virtual Machine !!.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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