Easiest Way to Format 500GB External HDD to FAT32 in Windows 7/8/10

Can I format 500GB HDD to FAT32? This article answers you with easy steps of formatting Seagate/Passport external USB hard drive into FAT32 in Windows 7/8/10/Vista/XP.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Purposes of formatting 500GB HDD to FAT32

Hard drive with large capacity is not uncommon among hardware equipments nowadays. WD My Passport Essential and Toshiba external HD are come with 500GB disk capacity, so do some USB external drives.

When they come to our computing life, it is inevitable to use them in different aspects. For example, one of Passport HDD users says he wants to use the disk in his Sony Bravia LCD USB port as storage yet the Sony TV only recognizes FAT32 drives. Another user says she wants to format 500GB Seagate external HDD to FAT32 and connect it to an MDI interface in her car so that she can listen to music while driving. Besides, the hard drive with only FAT32 or exFAT file system can be used in PS3 and PS4.

You may wonder why so many devices need FAT32 format to read. FAT32 was first introduced by Microsoft in 1996 and as a pretty old file system it supports a large amount of internal/external medium, such as XBOX, PS3/PS4, and Android etc. Thus, a hard drive with FAT32 file system is compatible with more hardware/software, especially those produced by manufacturer with a long history. Therefore, you need to format new hard drive or reformat used hard drive to FAT32 in above situations.

How to format 500GB HDD into FAT32?

In general, Windows built-in tool Disk Management will assist you format hard drive to different file system including FAT32. However, it works only if the drive is 32GB or less. If you format 500GB HDD in FAT32 using command prompt, chances are that it will disappoint you and give you this “the volume is too big for FAT32” error. This is a hidden limitation and it seems like there is no written page about this. In this case, you can ask third party software for help. If you want to format Lexar USB drive with large capacity, please refer to Lexar USB format tool.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a powerful and reliable disk partitioning manager which allows you to format large capacity disk to FAT32, FAT, NTFS or Ext2 etc. in Windows 7/8/XP/Vista/10. It provides quick format and will change cluster size of file system to fit partition automatically. In addition, you are able to specify label when formatting. It has a user-friendly GUI and easy-to-follow wizards. You can download its demo version and have a try!

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Format 500GB external HDD to FAT32 within few clicks

Note: This operation will clean all data on the selected drive. Please backup data to cloud or other safe places in advance if necessary.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to a Windows-based computer. Make sure it can be detected by Windows. Install and start AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 2. In the main interface, if the external hard drive is brand new, right click it and select “Create Partition” and select FAT32 file system. If it is used before, right click it and select “Format Partition”.

Format 500gb Drive Fat32

Step 3. In the pop-up window, you have options to edit partition label, choose file system and cluster size. Configure this based on your needs.


Step 4. This is a virtual change. Click “Apply” to make it real.



  • The formatting process will take some time, so allow your computer to finish this task before using it for anything else. The formatting operation will not delete data on the drive thoroughly. Anyone can easily recover all data with recovery software.

  • If you want to erase data completely, right click the drive and select “Wipe Partition”.

  • As for Cluster Size, the smaller of the cluster size may let your partition generates many file fragments during the process of the data read-write; the bigger cluster may waste less disk space, so we suggest you use this default cluster size.

  • FAT32 cannot read and write single file larger than 4GB yet NTFS file system does.

Make 500GB disk with FAT32 File System without data loss

When your 500GB drive is originally formatted with NTFS file system, you can convert the drive to FAT32 without formatting via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. The whole process can be simple and fast, let’s get to know it.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Click "Convert" at the top side and choose "Convert to NTFS/FAT32".

Ntfs To Fat32 Converter

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose “NTFS to FA32” and click on “Next”.

To Fat32

Step 3. Choose the partition that is originally formatted to NTFS on 500GB HDD and click “Next”.

Select Partition

Step 4. Confirm what you are going to do. If nothing goes wrong, click “Proceed” to start.


It is rather simple to format 500GB HDD to FAT32 in fact, as long as you find out the right tool and right method. Other than formatting large HDD, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional supports you to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD without disk upgrade, retrieve deleted partition on HDD and more.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.