Format FAT32 on 64GB, 128GB, 256GB USB flash drives on Windows
Need to format a > 32GB USB flash drive as FAT32 but Windows won’t let you? No problem, here is a free and safe utility that you can use to format your thumbdrive:
More details and background:
Recently I needed to format a 64GB USB flash drive as FAT32. This was for use in a Chevrolet vehicle that requires FAT32 and 32K cluster sizes in order to read from high capacity USB flash drive. I ordered a snazzy flash drive from Amazon, prepared to format it in Windows 8.1 and discovered that Windows would not format a drive larger than 32GB as FAT32 🙁 This issue will likely occur on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Thankfully, there was an easy fix:
#1 Download fat32format
#2 Extract the downloaded ZIP file in a directory of your choice (C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format in my example below)
#3 Open a command prompt and run the fat32format command, with the drive letter you want to format as the parameter.
Here is a transcript of my command prompt session where I formatted my drive:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 70CE-03EB
Directory of C:\Users\User\Documents\X\fat32format
04/22/2015 12:10 AM <DIR> .
04/22/2015 12:10 AM <DIR> ..
04/22/2015 12:10 AM 49,218 fat32format.exe
1 File(s) 49,218 bytes
2 Dir(s) 62,225,920,000 bytes free
Warning ALL data on drive ‘d’ will be lost irretrievably, are you sure
Failed to allow extended DASD on deviceSize : 62GB 121438208 sectors
512 Bytes Per Sector, Cluster size 32768 bytes
Volume ID is 7ea:93d
32 Reserved Sectors, 14821 Sectors per FAT, 2 fats
1897008 Total clusters
1897007 Free Clusters
Formatting drive d:…
Clearing out 29738 sectors for Reserved sectors, fats and root cluster…
Wrote 15225856 bytes in 0.51 seconds, 28.20 Megabytes/sec
Initialising reserved sectors and FATs…
That is all there is to it! 🙂