View Full Version : Reformat my hard drive?

2005-12-11, 07:33
I just got a new 250gb external hard drive to store music files. It is preformated FAT32. Do I need to reformat it? I use Windows XP. If so, how do I do it?

2005-12-11, 08:07
I don't know if you'll have to reformat the disk, it depends if you are using NTFS or FAT32 in the main hard disk.

If you want to though, right click on My Computer, click Manage and then click on Disk Management

There you will have the new disk, right click on it and select format, it should let you choose what type to format it in


2005-12-11, 08:16
Thanks. Main hard drive was NTFS, so I reformatted the external to match.

2005-12-11, 08:59
I guess I'm a little late, but you didn't have to reformat it. FAT32 can be read and written to by XP...and Macs. NTFS does not play well with Macs. However, unless you're using a Mac, it shouldn't make a difference to you.

2005-12-11, 11:49
XP can handle FAT32 drives fine. Lots of other systems can handle FAT32. Not so much with NTFS.

XP (and W2K) won't format a drive over 30Gig to FAT32. Moreover, they waste an hour of your time pretending to work before telling you (in a very obscure way) that they failed. Partition Magic doesn't have the misguided 30G boundary (which is a marketing, not a technical, boundary) and so can make large drives FAT32 just fine.

I suppose, for general purpose storage, there might be a reason to go to NTFS for large file systems. But for music files of 1MB+ each, I don't think they apply.

2005-12-11, 16:47
If you have no need to use the drive on systems that will not read NTFS (such as a Mac, a linux box or Win9x) then you did the right thing formatting it in my opinion.

NTFS is a far more robust fileing system that FAT32 and is less likely to become corrupt if the external case is powered down or unplugged at the wrong time by mistake.