By Cherry / Last Updated June 27, 2021

Why format hard drive to FAT32?

In many situations, you need to format hard drive to FAT32.

  • If you need to install the external hard drive to PS3, PS4 Xbox, or other machines that only supports FAT32, then, you need to format the hard drive to FAT32;

  • If you need to connect the hard drive to a NAS device, and the NTFS permissions were causing the NAS not be able to access the drive, you need to format the hard drive to FAT32.

  • Some operating systems can only read FAT or FAT32, such as Mac, Linux, and older versions of Windows such as Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, etc.

However, you may not format drives larger than 32GB to FAT32 successfully -The Windows 10 and Windows Server 2003 will only format drive in FAT32 if it is less than 32GB

How to format a 250GB hard drive drive to FAT32?

It is hard to format a drive larger than 32GB into FAT32. However, Windows can make it with command prompt.

Using Windows Command Prompt to format drive to FAT32

Click Start, then Run and typing in “cmd”.

Command Prompt Thumb

Then, it will show you the command prompt, type in the command: format/FS:FAT32 X: (replace the letter X with your drive letter of which you want to format in Windows). Press Enter, it will begin formatting the drive in FAT32.

Format External Hard Drive FAT32 Thumb

Unfortunately, it still has a size limitation. If your hard drive is up to 1TB or larger, you cannot format successfully with an error saying “The volume is too big for FAT32”.

Thus, if you want to format a 250GB hard drive or larger hard drive to FAT32, you can take use of some third party software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. The next content is how to format large hard drive to FAT32 with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Steps for formatting drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant

Step1. Connect your 250GB hard drive to your Windows computer. Install AOMEI Partition Assistant to your computer, launch it. It will show you the basic environment of your hard drives on your computer. Select the 250GB hard drive, right-click it, and select Format Partition in the drop-down menu.


Step2. It will pop-up a window that you can edit partition label, choose file system, cluster partition size. Select FAT32 in the File System. Click OK.

Step3. Then, you will back to the main interface, and you will see the 250GB hard drive has already been formatted in FAT32, then, you need to click Apply to execute it.

Using AOMEI Partition Assistant to format a 250GB hard drive to FAT32 is much easier, and you can get out of the limitations of Windows format that when your drive is up to 1TB, you will get the error: the volume is too big for FAT32. You can even use AOMEI Partition Assistant to format 3TB hard drive to FAT32. Besides, it allows you to format 1TB NTFS to FAT32 without losing data. It is also a wonderful partition manager that can help you manage your partitions better, such as make system partition bigger, transfer OS from HDD to SSD, and many more.