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What Is FAT32 Partition Size Limit and How to Break It

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    Basic Information about FAT32

    FAT32 partition size limit 1 FAT (File Allocation Table) file system is created in 1977 by Microsoft, and FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32) is the most common version of FAT. FAT32 has been widely used all through the DOS years, and can even be used in Mac OS X. But now it is losing popularity due to its limitations.


    To answer this question, we have to mention another file system, which is called NTFS.

    NTFS(New Technology File System) is a newer file system. First introduced in 1993, NTFS didn't become common on consumer PCs until the release of Windows XP in 2001. Then in Windows 7 and 8, NTFS was set as default format on new PCs. NTFS is superior to FAT32 in many aspects.

    Now, let’s start with FAT32 limitations

    In Windows disk management, we cannot create FAT32 partition which is larger than 32GB. In addition, the max file size of FAT32 is 4GB. Files larger than 4GB cannot be recognized by a FAT32 partition. Moreover, FAT32 runs slower and is less stable than NTFS. Therefore, if users want to format a partition which is larger than 32GB or want to store files larger than 4GB, NTFS should be the first choice.

    Well then, how to break FAT32 size limit? Or how to convert FAT32 to NTFS? Many users know they can reformat a FAT32 partition to NTFS, but this will result in data loss. Actually, there are 2 safe ways to convert FAT32 to NTFS without bringing any influence on data. One is to use command prompt, and the other is to use third party free partitioning tool. 

    Command Prompt Helps Us to Break FAT32 Partition Size Limit

    Command Prompt is a very useful application available in most Windows operating systems. It is most commonly used to manage dynamic and basic disks, execute batch files, solve Windows issues, etc. Hence, we can use Command Prompt to break FAT32 limitations.

    Here is the solution:
    • In the Start menu, typing cmd.exe in the "Search programs and files" box, and then hit the Enter key.
    • Type the command convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs and press on Enter. For example, if we want to convert partition M to NTFS partition, we should type convert E: /fs:ntfs

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    Nevertheless, this operation is irreversible. Once we convert a partition to NTFS, we cannot convert the partition back to FAT or FAT32 simply by using this command prompt, unless we reformat the drive or partition to FAT or FAT32 in Windows disk management, which will erase all data on the partition, including programs and personal files. 

    Perfect FAT32 Formatter - MiniTool Partition Wizard

    Since using the command prompt has drawbacks in file system conversion, we suggest users to try the second way, i.e. using third party partitioning tool. By using such kind of software, we can also carry out NTFS to FAT32 conversion. Here, the FREE partitioning software MiniTool Partition Wizard is strongly recommended due to its reliability and high efficiency.

    Guide on FAT32 to NTFS conversion by using MiniTool Partition Wizard:
    Step 1. Launch the program to get its main interface, we can see the detailed information of our disks and all executable operations:  

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    Step 2. Select the FAT32 partition we are going to convert and choose "Convert FAT to NTFS" from the left pane to get the following interface:  

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    Step 3. Click "Start" button to start converting file system. When it shows "complete", hit "Close" to exit. At this time, file system conversion is finished. 

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    Do it Yourself

    We all have heard the saying that practice makes perfect. Now it's your turn to break FAT32 limitations by using both Windows built-in Command Prompt and free MiniTool Partition Wizard. Why not get rid of FAT32 limitations right now to enjoy Blue-ray movies and big games as you wish? Of course you will make a wise choice.