Quick XP install/FAT32 question

So I'm installing WinXP on my iMac, and I haven't done this in years. If I'm correct, FAT accepts a maximum volume of 32GB, and FAT32 can go much higher. I'm planning on a 100GB partition.

Well, the bozos at Apple have me confused. They act like WinXP only formats a disk in NTFS or FAT16. Am I right that if a volume is greater than 32GB, the Windows installer will recognize this and use FAT32 instead?

You have to tell it which file system to use. You can set the size to whatever but you still need to set the size. Why not just use NTFS?

FAT wasn't an option at all. Nutz. The reason I don't really want NTFS is that I'm on an Intel iMac with 2 partitions, one for OS X, another for XP. XP doesn't natively read HFS Extended, and OS X doesn't natively read NTFS, although it will read FAT and FAT32.

So I have this 64 GB windows partition now that I'd really like to erase and format as FAT32. Can you suggest a means of doing that?

ps - glad I'm not the only one up at weird hours.

I recently converted a NTFS partition with a Windows installation on it to FAT32 without erasing _anything_ and preserving full functionality. This isn't the first time I've done it either. Partition Magic 8.0 is your friend. One click, one reboot, 5-120 minutes later you're done.

I believe Fat32 is limited to 4GB file size (if that matters..) and a 32GB partition size. You may want to investigate that.

Choose FAT32 if you want MacOS to read/write to the Windows partition folders

FAT32 -can- go beyond 32GB - just format your drive under win98 to see it happen.
XP generally limits this for two reasons - 1, filesystem instability at >32GB, and 2, they want everyone to move on to NTFS.

For example, iPods use FAT32 when they're in "Windows" mode, and those go up to 60GB nowadays.


What she said. FAT32 goes way beyond 32gb, you can have something like a 250gb drive formatted with it - and it would function - but it wouldn't be a very good idea for filesystem stability.