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Reformatting Seagate FreeAgent External HD


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#1
Dezpada

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How can I get it done? I've been told that it doesn't work with the Windows OS if I want to use it to reformat this external HDD, but my sister and I use different computers (me a PC, and she a Mac) and I've been told that FAT32 is the only one that can be used by both our computers.

Is there a way, a program or something, to reformat my HDD from NTFS to FAT32 without losing it's functionality? (I've already backed up what was on it onto my computer, so I realize it's going to be completely wiped.)
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#2
123Runner

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Changing the file system from NTFS back to Fat32 is going to be tricky. Windows XP was designed to run on NTFS. They have a built in conversion from Fat32 to NTFS, but not the other way. This was by design.

If formatting through windows, there is a 32gb limit for Fat32. That is why we need to do this a different way.

You are going to have to do this by the old Dos method.

Do you have a floppy drive in the computer?
If yes go to BootDisk.com and get a 98se or win me bootdisk.
With the boot disk, you would boot off the floppy and then use FDIS command to delete partions and then reformat.
More on the commands later after we determine which way to go.

If no floppy...
Go and get the Ultimate Boot CD. This is a free CD
Download as an iso file and use Burncdcc from my signature to put it on the CD. Burncdcc is a free and quick and dirty little ptrogram for just iso files.

There are a few other ways like partitioning programs, and I believe (but not sure) through the drive utility programs from Seagate/Maxtor.

Before I give you the commands (I actually have to look them up...its been a while) lets see where we get with the above.

123runner

EDIT: Big Oops.... Fdisk will not work because it is Dos and it can not see the NTFS partition. We would have to use "delpart.exe" to delete the NTFS partition

Another option that works is to use the Seagate Utilities found HERE.
Install the program. You will navigate to "disk utilities" and the "add a new hard drive"
You can read the manual HERE

Edited by 123Runner, 14 July 2009 - 03:03 PM.

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#3
Dezpada

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Well, I don't have a floppy, so I'm gonna have to use your other method. I have Daemon tools to mount images into virtual CD drives, would that suffice?
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#4
123Runner

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Go with the seagate utilities program. It is the easiest.

I don't think Daemon tools can convert a drive.
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#5
Dezpada

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Alright, I'll try that one. They said something about consulting the webpage if you needed the disk to work with a Mac, so I'm guessing that they do have something to change the format to FAT32.
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#6
hawklord

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xp can format to fat32 on an internal drive - but i don't know about external, but i can't see why not

w2k (windows 2000) can format external to fat32 and ntfs

(piccy is from xp)

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#7
123Runner

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xp can format to fat32 on an internal drive

This is only true if you format a partition. If you want to format an entire drive, then your only choice is NTFS.

And by design, WinXP cannot create and format a new partition greater than 32 Gb. This is because NTFS is the superior file system, and not nearly as wasteful of drive space.

How to Partition and Format by MS ->->->For info only

The only way to do what you want is by 3rd party software.

They said something about consulting the webpage if you needed the disk to work with a Mac, so I'm guessing that they do have something to change the format to FAT32

I believe I read that info and it was just confirming that you need Fat32 for a Mac.


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#8
peter99

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http://www.paragon-s.../home/ntfs-mac/

NTFS for Mac® OS X provides a unique complete solution and creates an effective two-way communication channel between Mac® OS X and Windows. Effectively you get two products in one: You can browse contents, read and modify files, copy and create new files and folders on both file systems with both operating systems

or you could use boot camp for the mac and install windows XP or Vista

depending how old the mac is
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#9
hawklord

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my appologies for xp, 123runner is correct,

if you have access to windows 2000 then there are no such limitations, just plug the external in and format to fat32 (without the 32 gb limit)

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#10
Dezpada

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Thank you, guys. But the FAT32 partition doesn't work with some of the file types I needed, so I had to reboot to NTFS. I'm guessing that I'll need another drive for the formats supported by FAT32 for it to be somewhat universal. It kinda did prove how bad my plans go if back-up plans aren't possible (in this case, I can't get another HDD without burning a hole in my 'recreational' fund).

Once again, thank you for your help, guys, especially 123runner, for being so courteous with the choices you've presented me with.
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#11
123Runner

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Would setting the drive into 2 partitions work?
You can have 1 partition as Fat32 and the other as NTFS.
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