Guide: Formatting Your External Harddrive To Fat32 in Seconds

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by Yaseensamiul, Dec 14, 2010.

Dec 14, 2010
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    Yaseensamiul New Member

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    Ever wanted to format your big 1TB 2TB 5TB or even bigger harddrive faster that windows and in only 3 steps?

    fat32 is supported by almost all good loaders and is much less pain than using wbfs.

    There are 2 ways to do this.

    1. Format using msdos(i dont recomend this)
    2. Use Fatformat32 (HIGHLY RECOMEMDED)

    Why you should not use msdos:
    IT TAKES FOR EVER
    i tried it and it took 17 hours to format my harddrive which was 800gb
    and at the end all it said was "partition too big"

    i hate this method so much.

    but anyway heres how to do it

    Open CMD
    type "Format /FS fat32 t:
    T: is your drive letter.

    Number 2:
    Download this file http://www.mediafire.com/?x5s9obfed7cvdcv
    Copy FATFORMAT32 to your systemdrive( normaly c:)
    NOTE:If you realy dont know what this is type "%systemdrive%" into your explorer bar.
    Run RUNASADMIN
    Follow the steps and done.

    Gurenteed Virus Free
    By Yaseen

    (NOTE: I MADE RUN AS ADMIN MYSELF SO THERE ARE NO VIRUSES AT ALL)

    if the links ever go down tell me and ill renew

    Enjoy!
    • Member

    XFlak Considering Wii-tirement...

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    this is a pointless thread, and a less proven method of formatting drives as FAT32
    instead of the above methods, users should use one of the following 2 methods:

    1) download and run the FAT32 GUI Formatter: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/guiformat.exe
    2) download and use wiibackupmanager to format drives as FAT32, NTFS or WBFS
    • Newcomer

    Yaseensamiul New Member

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    The reason i had 2 options is because i wanted to show the difference. otherwise theres no point in downloading the files is there?
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    awssk8er New Member

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    I've always have used WBFS, and never had any problems.

    May I ask, why do people hate it?
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    r-win New Member

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    Both Fatformat32 and it's GUI counterpart from Ridgecrop are known to update the partition type incorrectly in the MBR. This is not always a problem, but sometimes it can make the partition not usable. We (Wiiflow team) always encourage people to use Easus Partition Manager, which is also free.

    Hate is a big word, but this FS has bugs. And if one of those bugs corrupts your disc header table, you will loose all your games. With wbfs files you will only loose ONE game. Also, if your partition gets corrupt with FAT32/NTFS, there are more than enough tools to rescue your drive. This is not the case for WBFS partitions. Besides that, the WBFS filesystem is a very good find, but it lacks headers and such to be acknowledges as a partition or filesystem by many platforms (No partition header, no partition type, etc.).
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    WalkerOfTheDay New Member

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    Most people don't hate it. But with Fat32/NTFS is just easier to recover when something goes wrong.

    Otherwise IMHO, there's nothing wrong with WBFS.
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    XFlak Considering Wii-tirement...

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    Has this actually ever happened to anyone? This is the first I'm hearing of any of this. FAT 32 GUI Formatter has always worked perfectly for me and all my friends. And until recently, ModMii was recommending it to ppl to format hard drives as FAT32, and during that time no one ever reported a problem with it.
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    awssk8er New Member

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    Oh thanks.

    I'll just stick with what I'm using.
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    r-win New Member

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    Yes, I know of a couple of users who had this problems. Since I personally never had any problems using fatformat32, I still use it. I'll probably stop using it once it fails on me. I've tried Easus once, and that works very good too.
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    fig2k4 New Member

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    Do you have any info on that? I'd like to be able to fix it.

    I've never had any problems with it..
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    r-win New Member

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    Not really, we've never investiged the problem any further. If we get people in IRC who have this problem, we can detect that pretty easily by a partition app I've created. If it shows weird values for the partitions, we let them reformat using Easus. That fixes it.

    I'll try to investigate a bit further, maybe Mugotu knows a bit more then I do on this topic.
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    smf New Member

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    FAT32 is more convenient for many reasons. So it's not a case of hating it, just preferring the alternatives.

    Although WBFS is annoying when windows keeps asking you whether you want to format every time you plug it in.

    I wouldn't bother with NTFS/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 yet because home brew channel and all the other apps don't support them.

    With FAT32 you can have a single partition with all the files on & you can copy files around without having backup managers. You even don't need an SD card anymore.
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    fig2k4 New Member

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    So it looks like the 0x0C is needed to enable FAT32 LBA and is the right value?

    Other than that. I don't see anything to do with setting the partition type.
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    fig2k4 New Member

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    Sorry, my connection fooked up and I double posted.
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    mugotu New Member

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    Wiiflow (~305+) recognizes the following partition types:
    Code:
    ÂÂÂÂswitch (type)
    ÂÂÂÂ{
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x00: return "Unused"; //Or WBFS
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x01: return "FAT12";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x04: return "FAT16";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x05: return "Extended";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x06: return "FAT16";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x07: return "NTFS";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0b: return "FAT32";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0c: return "FAT32";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0e: return "FAT16";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0f: return "Extended";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x82: return "LxSWP";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x83: return "LINUX";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x8e: return "LxLVM";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xa8: return "OSX";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xab: return "OSXBT";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xaf: return "OSXHF";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xe8: return "LUKS";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xee: return "GPT";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂdefault: return "Unknown";
    ÂÂÂÂ}
    and wiiflow (304-)
    Code:
    ÂÂÂÂswitch (type) {
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x01: return "FAT12";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x04: return "FAT16";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x06: return "FAT16"; //+
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x07: return "NTFS";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0b: return "FAT32";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0c: return "FAT32";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x0e: return "FAT16";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x82: return "LxSWP";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x83: return "LINUX";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0x8e: return "LxLVM";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xa8: return "OSX";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xab: return "OSXBT";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xaf: return "OSXHF";
    ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂcase 0xe8: return "LUKS";
    ÂÂÂÂ}
    So the fact that guiformat or fat32format use partition type 0x0c from the original fat32 specification is not the cause of the issue. Im not quite sure what the cause is but those applications simply do NOT update the mbr properly when formatting from something non-fat32 to fat32. This is proofed by the fact that drives which cannot be mounted correctly in mbr reliant mounters can be fixed simply by rebuilding the mbr as the following picture shows:
    [IMG]
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    fig2k4 New Member

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    Ah, I just thought of something else. When I was using the original Fat32Format code in Vista and Win7, formatting an NTFS partition to FAT32 didn't work. It formats, but the partition is still NTFS.

    I had to use FSCTL_LOCK_VOLUME and FSCTL_DISMOUNT_VOLUME before it would allow the partition to be formatted correctly. As a security measure, writing to certain sectors is disabled on a mounted volume with Vista and Win7 and you need admin priviliges too.

    I can't find the MSDN doc now, it was so long ago I did this. But, using DeviceIoControl() with those 2 control codes before formatting allows access to all sectors.

    Edit:
    I just checked the source of Fat32Format 1.05. It has this line of code just before "unlocking" the drive, but it should be directly after "locking" it, ie. before the format.
    bRet = DeviceIoControl( hDevice, FSCTL_DISMOUNT_VOLUME, NULL, 0, NULL, 0, &cbRet, NULL );
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    mugotu New Member

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    heh so we now have code example as proof of this bug xD. Indeed the security features of win7 and vista block writing to the mbr, and fat32format and guiformat fail to disable this protection before formatting, so the mbr turns out incorrect, and possibly the vbr?

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