How can I change my external hardrive from FAT32 to accept files larger than 4 MB?

As long as you are running a version of Windows that supports NTFS, all you have to do is reformat the drive as NTFS. WARNING: When you do this, you will lose any and all data on this drive. If you have anything on this drive you wish to save, make sure you backup the drive, and verify that you can recover the data, before attempting the reformat.

Thanks. I will zip everything and burn it to a disk.

This might sound stupid but how do I reformat it?

The same way you would format any drive :smiley: The external drive is recognised by windows as a hard drive and is assigned a drive letter. Right click and select format along with the appropriate file system.

Also I think you meant files bigger than 4GB not 4MB :slight_smile:

If XP is the OS, then the file:


… is useful for setting partitions and formatting (especially with unformatted drives).

You could also convert the file format to NTFS without formatting.

Details can be found at the following link:


Before undertaking, it would be wise to backup any data on the drive. Some may argue about how ‘wise’ such a conversion is. That said, I’ve never encountered any problems using the convert filesystem tool, nor has anyone that I’ve recommended it too.

It’s possible to convert a FAT32 partition in NTFS using the console command “convert” without do any formatting.


convert [volume] /fs:ntfs

See more details in windows help

Anyway, I agree that the “format” way is better :iagree:

Personally I’d just use the convert method. It’s worked fine for me in the past.


The easiest way to format and partition from fat32 to NTFS without losing anything is by using Partition Magic 8.0

It can be run from within Windows and makes the changes on the fly without losing anything.



I suppose easiest is relative. To me, a console command is much easier than using a 3rd party software solution. To each his own.

Partition Magic is a good utility, however for a simple file conversion might be a bit overkill. I don’t see the need to purchase a tool when the O/S itself has everything needed.

Oh no!! not a Fat32 they are a pain in the neck… My Neck especially[B][/B] :disagree: :disagree:

Eh, PM8 will also only use the converter from windooze.

Backup is necessary anyway.

First safe, then act.