How to Format a USB External Drive FAT32

Written by timothy banas
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How to Format a USB External Drive FAT32
Internal and external hard drives can be formatted with the FAT32 file system. (hard disk drive image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

Formatting a hard drive involves choosing the file system, the two primary choices FAT32 and NTFS. Modern operating systems have migrated in the direction of the NTFS because of greater security and storage efficiency, but FAT32 offers backward compatibility to older operating systems, such as Windows 98 and Millenium Edition, and can be converted to NTFS on a whim. If, for these reasons, you need to format an external USB hard drive with the FAT32, you will not find the process difficult.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Connect your USB hard drive and wait for you computer to recognise it.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your desktop and choose the "My Computer" option in the menu that arises.

  3. 3

    Find the icon for your USB hard drive in the "My Computer" window and right-click on it. Choose "Format..." from the options that arise.

  4. 4

    Find the "File System" drop-down menu in the format options window. Click it and choose "FAT32" from the options that are displayed.

  5. 5

    Click the "Format" start button to begin the formatting process. When it is finished, your external hard drive will be formatted with the FAT32 file system.

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