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[HOW TO / GUIDE] Format Micro SD FAT32 (Windows) - VERIZON

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pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
So, I've got a new SanDisk 64gb Class 10 micro SD and want to use it for app and data storage, as well as for nandroid recoveries.

Unfortunately, the stock format - exFAT - is not recognized by many apps or by any of our custom recoveries.

Now, you've got two virtually bulletproof options to reformat that disk to FAT32 ... you choose your poison.

**************** HARDCORE *******************

I call this the "Use your teeth to open that bottle of beer" method ...

1. Place the card in your PC's card reader and determine the drive designation (i.e., G:\, H:\, etc.)

2. Download the program Fat32Format to your PC from here: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm. The download link is actually situated about mid-page.

3. Unzip the downloaded file with 7Zip (which you can get here: http://www.7-zip.org/)

4. Navigate to the folder with the unzipped fat32format.exe file; while holding down the [Shift] key, right click on the folder.

5. A menu should popup. Scroll down and click on <Open Command Window Here>.

6. You are now in virtual DOS (.. don't be scared ..)

7. Enter the following command sequence> fat32format h: (or whatever drive designates the location of your SD card)

8. You will be prompted to confirm a wipe and format of your SD card. Type "y" and hit enter.

9. In approximately 5 seconds, your SD card will be FAT32 formatted.

10. Remember to follow whatever procedure you normally would before removing a drive from USB.

***************** EASY PEASY ******************

This, on the other hand, is the "my hands are as soft as a baby's bottom" method ... (thanks to lynkdead)

1. Place the card in your PC's card reader and determine the drive designation (i.e., G:\, H:\, etc.)

2. Download the fat32format utility in GUI version from here: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/guiformat.exe. Click on the picture to retrieve the file.

3. Launch the guiformat.exe.

4. Choose the drive that corresponds to your SD card.

5. Choose the size of the SD Card you are formatting.

5. Check the Quick Format box.

6. Press Start.

And voila !!!

Enjoy your new SD card !!!

Pj
Phoenix, AZ

p.s. Needless to say, this process will erase all data on the card. Also, you will no longer be able to transfer files larger than 4gb to the card.
 
Last edited:

pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
I thought I'd give people to a chance to explore Command Prompts as sort of a baby step to ADB or Terminal Emulator.

The GUI method works just as well. :good:

Thanks for the heads-up ... I edited the OP to reflect both options.

Pj
Phoenix, AZ
 

nabbed

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2010
2,371
344
Sorry, I don't download and run any unknown/noncorporate apps, for the fear of them being trojans. Do you have any other methods?

Can one not format a mounted sdcard to fat32 on their pc by using "right click/properties/tools/format" or something? Does Microsoft not provide an official tool to format an sd card?
 
Last edited:

pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
The functionality is built into Windows, through the command prompt. It is, however, excruciatingly slow.

Fat32formatter is open source and has proven to be the only reliable method of formatting large drives without spending any money.

Let us know if you find a good alternative ...

Pj
Phoenix, AZ
 

nabbed

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2010
2,371
344
The functionality is built into Windows, through the command prompt. It is, however, excruciatingly slow.

Fat32formatter is open source and has proven to be the only reliable method of formatting large drives without spending any money.

Let us know if you find a good alternative ...

Pj
Phoenix, AZ

So, basically - use command prompt on windows7? "format X: /FS:FAT32", where "X:" is the sdcard drive name.
Right? (just reading "format /?" in windows)
 

pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
That should work, though others have reported trying the native Windows format command and later running into trouble with a damaged disc prompt when the card was inserted into the phone.

Pj
Phoenix AZ
 

lynkdead

Member
Aug 16, 2010
33
12
Sorry, I don't download and run any unknown/noncorporate apps, for the fear of them being trojans. Do you have any other methods?

Can one not format a mounted sdcard to fat32 on their pc by using "right click/properties/tools/format" or something? Does Microsoft not provide an official tool to format an sd card?

If you don't trust it you can always upload the files to VirtusTotal, run them against your own virus scanners, or just rely on the handful of people here who have run the program without issue.

In Windows if you try to simply right-click format it doesn't give the FAT32 option, only exFAT. You can try it through the command line, and it appears to work, though once you actually try to use it CWM throws a fit. Other tools that I've tried also don't work (likely because they simply do exFAT even though they say FAT32, since the difference usually doesn't matter).

This tool works, I've had zero issues, and it hasn't tripped any of the virus scanners I've run against it.
 

baudac

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2008
123
3
Southern Cali
I don't have a 64g card yet, but only my old 16 for more. Why not have the s3 format your card. I did that with my 16g and its a fat32.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using xda app-developers app
 

drksilenc

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
765
65
Pittsburgh
... NEVER use fat32 with anything above 32 GB.... there is a reason for this it is designed for a max of 32GB you need to use the phone to format it. it will become a newer ext partition.
 

carhauler1969

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
696
277
Purmela,Texas
Either format it in the phone fully booted into Android, or download EaseUS Partition Master (free) & format it as a Primary Drive FAT32 file system. Either way will work. ;)

Sent from my E4GT packed full of "The Goodness" of TNz Blend ICS on Tapatalk 2 Pro, the SGS3 is on my hip...
 

will6316

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2008
251
48
... NEVER use fat32 with anything above 32 GB.... there is a reason for this it is designed for a max of 32GB you need to use the phone to format it. it will become a newer ext partition.

How u r so wrong. You wont be able to use asop cm9 or cm10 when released. unless the 64gb card is in fat32 format. the only disadvantage I see is the 4GB file limit.
 

carhauler1969

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2010
696
277
Purmela,Texas
why wouldnt cm9 be able to use ext4 thats what the 4.0 version of android was built on and why the partitions can scale.
It's not a matter of a specific ROM being able to read it, it's a matter of external storage not being recognized by your recovery(only sees fat & fat32 at /mnt/sdcard), and the OS cannot see external storage formatted as ext2/3/4, only FAT, FAT32, & exFAT.
:rolleyes: not my best explanation ever :eek:


Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
 

zmore

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2011
1,684
932
NYC
It's not a matter of a specific ROM being able to read it, it's a matter of external storage not being recognized by your recovery(only sees fat & fat32 at /mnt/sdcard), and the OS cannot see external storage formatted as ext2/3/4, only FAT, FAT32, & exFAT.
:rolleyes: not my best explanation ever :eek:

You sure about that last bit? I was going to reformat my 64GB extSD as ext4 (when I got around to it), since Microsoft's exFAT is patent FAIL, and it's the only other fs the phone supports that'll handle files larger than 4GB. No good reason why it shouldn't be supported on stock touchwiz or on CM10||AOKP
 

pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
... NEVER use fat32 with anything above 32 GB.... there is a reason for this it is designed for a max of 32GB you need to use the phone to format it. it will become a newer ext partition.

As I noted above, none of our custom recoveries recognize the exFAT format, which means that you cannot boot, backup or flash from that giant 64gb card. Many users have reported the same problem with their favorite apps ...

No one has reported issues with a FAT32 64gb card , so I don't think this is an issue.

Either way, it is your choice ...

PJ
Phoenix AZ
 

pdinphx

Senior Member
May 4, 2010
382
208
Phoenix
You sure about that last bit? I was going to reformat my 64GB extSD as ext4 (when I got around to it), since Microsoft's exFAT is patent FAIL, and it's the only other fs the phone supports that'll handle files larger than 4GB. No good reason why it shouldn't be supported on stock touchwiz or on CM10||AOKP

Try it and report back ...

PJ
Phoenix AZ
 

baudac

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2008
123
3
Southern Cali
This convinced me to go FAT32: http://www.epiccm.org/2012/06/why-not-exfat.html

I suspect the phone respects your card's native format. My 64gb SanDisk remained exFAT formatted even after running it through the phone. Thus, the need to format it with my computer. If your experience is different, please let us know.

PJ
Phoenix AZ

This is what I wanted to be certain on cards >32gb. I know Team Epic posted points on how to avoid exFAT, but only for 32gb that you can run thru the phone.
 

ricky babalu

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2010
245
46
Laguna Beach
www.youtube.com
Sorry, I don't download and run any unknown/noncorporate apps, for the fear of them being trojans. Do you have any other methods?

Can one not format a mounted sdcard to fat32 on their pc by using "right click/properties/tools/format" or something? Does Microsoft not provide an official tool to format an sd card?

I can confirm download is not a Trojan. I did the second option and it worked perfect took 5 seconds.
 

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  • 46
    So, I've got a new SanDisk 64gb Class 10 micro SD and want to use it for app and data storage, as well as for nandroid recoveries.

    Unfortunately, the stock format - exFAT - is not recognized by many apps or by any of our custom recoveries.

    Now, you've got two virtually bulletproof options to reformat that disk to FAT32 ... you choose your poison.

    **************** HARDCORE *******************

    I call this the "Use your teeth to open that bottle of beer" method ...

    1. Place the card in your PC's card reader and determine the drive designation (i.e., G:\, H:\, etc.)

    2. Download the program Fat32Format to your PC from here: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm. The download link is actually situated about mid-page.

    3. Unzip the downloaded file with 7Zip (which you can get here: http://www.7-zip.org/)

    4. Navigate to the folder with the unzipped fat32format.exe file; while holding down the [Shift] key, right click on the folder.

    5. A menu should popup. Scroll down and click on <Open Command Window Here>.

    6. You are now in virtual DOS (.. don't be scared ..)

    7. Enter the following command sequence> fat32format h: (or whatever drive designates the location of your SD card)

    8. You will be prompted to confirm a wipe and format of your SD card. Type "y" and hit enter.

    9. In approximately 5 seconds, your SD card will be FAT32 formatted.

    10. Remember to follow whatever procedure you normally would before removing a drive from USB.

    ***************** EASY PEASY ******************

    This, on the other hand, is the "my hands are as soft as a baby's bottom" method ... (thanks to lynkdead)

    1. Place the card in your PC's card reader and determine the drive designation (i.e., G:\, H:\, etc.)

    2. Download the fat32format utility in GUI version from here: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/guiformat.exe. Click on the picture to retrieve the file.

    3. Launch the guiformat.exe.

    4. Choose the drive that corresponds to your SD card.

    5. Choose the size of the SD Card you are formatting.

    5. Check the Quick Format box.

    6. Press Start.

    And voila !!!

    Enjoy your new SD card !!!

    Pj
    Phoenix, AZ

    p.s. Needless to say, this process will erase all data on the card. Also, you will no longer be able to transfer files larger than 4gb to the card.
    6
    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/guiformat.exe

    If you use the GUI version from the same website it's WAY easier.

    Just launch the .exe, choose the drive that corresponds to your SD card, make sure Quick Format is checked, and press start.
    3
    Custom Recovery and 64g Sandisk Micro SDXC Class 10

    First off I have used many different Roms and I am not sure if this applies specifically to this ROM or not as far as this method only working but I honestly think that it should not make a difference what ROM you are running. However the recovery and Kernel that you are using could make a considerable difference.

    Currently Working on the following ROM, Kernel, and Recovery

    Galaxy MOD RLS 14.1 Using the newest version of TWRP and FAUX kernel.

    Not sure about the kernel or Rom but from what I understand only certain recoverys can read this type of card and prior to me updating to the new TWRP I could not get this to work so make sure that you are using 2.3.3.0 and if you are using clockwork Mod, I suggest throwing it in the crapper because TWRP is a million times faster and more efficient.




    The best solution that I have found is to go and download http://www.easeus.com/ the home edition becasue it has a free trial. This app will allow you to format it to Fat32 on your computer. Once you have it installed place the SD card in and select the card in the menu. I went ahead and wiped mine completely first as I had some trouble getting it to work for quite some time even after trying some of the other various ways listed. Once you have it wiped and deleted select a name for the new partition. I used the letter "F:" In some of the other posts and forums that I have read in most suggested to not format it using this program but I had already tried everything else and decided to give it a try. It is kind of confusing but select to format the sd card to FAT32 once you have selected this you will have to go to the toolbar at the top and actually select apply before any formatting will actually take place. Once that is complete make sure that you properly eject the card by un-mounting it first before you remove it from your pc. Then put it in your phone and it should recognize it, as mine did after the first try. I also took an extra step that I believe was unnecessary and went into the settings on my phone in the storage option and then formatted it again by wiping any data on it just to make sure it was properly aligned with the phone. Other than that you should not have any problems and believe me I have spent countless hours trying to figure this out and after I got this working felt obligated to share to save people the time and effort I put in to get this working. I attached a screen shot as proof to show that this is an actual fix. Feel free to hit the thanks button because I do not ever post and am trying to get to where I can actually post in forums and I am not a noob, I just do not have time to get on here all the time. Thanks Chase
    2
    I thought I'd give people to a chance to explore Command Prompts as sort of a baby step to ADB or Terminal Emulator.

    The GUI method works just as well. :good:

    Thanks for the heads-up ... I edited the OP to reflect both options.

    Pj
    Phoenix, AZ
    2
    I put in a new 16Gb sd card into the computer. It shows only 14.9GB space available . Where has the other 1.1gb gone to.

    Sorry....that's what happens when formatting! It's really bad advertising, I know! Even a 320gb hard drive is only gonna show up as roughly 298 GB after you format it!

    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk 2