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Old 04-25-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
WriteSimply WriteSimply is offline
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Sep 2006
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Default SwissKnife don't play well with 1TB drives.

It's been several hours now and I'm still waiting to fix the damage. Half of it is me not knowing what to do and the other half is Swissknife.

If you've got a 1TB drive, you can't use Swissknife to make partition. It won't recognize the full capacity. I mistakenly thought it would and instead created a partition of 432GB, leaving the rest of my drive unused and unrecognized by WinXP.

If you have used Swissknife to partition your 1TB drives correctly either 50-50 or 33-33-33, then please contribute to the knowledge base on this thread. Or if you used other programs to partition the drives to NTFS/FAT32 successfully. Thanks.

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Old 04-26-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
WriteSimply WriteSimply is offline
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Vinceṛ! Vinceṛ! Vinceṛ!

Almost 24 hours later, I fixed the problem. And as far as I know, SwissKnife still can't handle 1TB HDDs.

So here's a guideline for people who want to use a 1TB - or higher than 500GB - external HDD as a half-and-half NTFS/FAT32. My drive is a Maxtor Basics Desktop 1TB, with only USB2.0 as the interface. I use WinXP Pro; WinXP Home would work too.

1) Plug in your drive just to verify that it is 1TB. You'll find that it's gonna be about 930GB of useful space formatted in NTFS. Note the nice Maxtor Basic icon that shows up on Windows Explorer. If you want this icon to appear everytime you connect this drive to your PC, copy the Autorun.inf and Maxtor_Desktop.ico to your desktop for later.

2) Run SwissKnife - if you can bloody install it - to start it off. If you can see a full 1TB/930GB drive, then this guide is not for you. It's just for idiots like me. Here's the white-knuckle part. SwissKnife will show you that you have a 430GB NTFS drive. Now format the drive as a FAT32. It'll only take seconds.

Once that is done, Windows will update the connected drives. And you'll find that you have half a TB drive!!! This is what caused me to panic about 18 hours ago. If I had known the solution that I'm about to give you, I'd solve the problem within 15 minutes.

3) Run Windows Explorer. Click on My Computer. Right click and choose Manage. Wait a sec while Windows fires up this not-so-often used feature.

4) A new window will open. This is the Computer Management window. Yeah, I didn't know WinXP has this either. On the left side of that window under Storage, there's an option called Disk Management. Click on that. Wait a sec while WinXP connects to the Logical Disk Manager service.

Here you'll see your 430GB FAT32 drive. Click on it and you'll see that while it exists, there is also an UNPARTITIONED 503GB drive. This is the "missing" partition and you of course want to use it.

5) Click on the unpartitioned drive. Right click then choose Format. Among the options is a Quick Format. I strongly suggest you enable it because it took an hour just to format 4% of the drive if that is not checked!

The File system should be NTFS. If you want a full 1TB of FAT32, you need Fat32Formatter. Here's the link. They say it would take a while to format using this utility.

Allow WinXP to change the drive letter. You can change the drive letter - say if you want the NTFS partitioned listed before the FAT32 - later using this same window. You also want to NAME your drives to reflect the file format as FAT32 can't save files bigger than 4GB.

Then go ahead and quick format it.

6) Within a minute or so, you'll see that the format is done - hence quick format - and a few seconds later, WinXP will recognize the NTSF drive as active. You're done!

7) This step is a cosmetic one only and applies to Windows user. To get back the Maxtor Basics drive icon you lost due to the partitioning, copy back the 2 files you saved on your desktop earlier. If you somehow misplaced it, click here for the Seagate site to get it back. It's a small file. Once you've downloaded it, unzip it to BOTH drives, so you know that both the FAT32 and NTFS drives are from the same physical drive.

There ya have it. Problem solved. Now you can backup your PS3 using the FAT32 drive and use it to store your files there. Yeah, you're welcomed in advance.

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:45 PM   #3
Pepelutivruski4 Pepelutivruski4 is offline
Oct 2008

thanks man, this will come useful to me sooner than later. my external is on its last leg and will be needing about a TB soon.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
Seeking_Alpha Seeking_Alpha is offline
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Jul 2008

Another way you can format is with the Windows XP or Vista install cd that came with your computer (you kept it right?). Just put it in your drive, restart and then click F8 or F12 or whatever (the screen will tell you what to press) to get into your boot menu. Boot from the cd and follow the directions to format or setup partitions. Just make sure you don't follow the directions all the way through! You don't want a new install of Windows do you?

You can also use Gparted to format your 1Tb or larger drive to FAT32, which is what I use.

Download iso here:

and burn to cd using any disc burning utility that can burn an image, such as Infrarecorder:

If you've never burned an iso before here is a guide:

Just replace "Ubuntu" with "GParted"

Both of these are free and open source (my favorite combination). Gparted is especially helpful when you get into those situations where something like Swissknife completely messes up and Windows crashes (BSOD) whenever you plug in your external hard drive.

Oh, and if it is a brand new drive straight from the store, I recommend a FULL format. While there are better more thorough programs out there, a full format may detect any errors in the drive. Just go and watch a movie while it's going. The wait will pay off in the future.

Last edited by Seeking_Alpha; 04-26-2009 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
DarknessDK DarknessDK is offline
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Sep 2008

It's funny... I recently formatted a 1TB harddrive to FAT32 no problem in Windows XP Pro, yet couldn't in Vista Home Premium (64-bit)...

I used a a program called "fat32formatter"...
TOTAL PLATINUMS: 132 --- FAVORITE/PROUDEST: Batman: Arkham Asylum / Bloodborne / Dark Souls / Dark Souls: Remastered / Dark Souls II / Dark Souls III / Demon's Souls / Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots / Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain / Red Dead Redemption
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
Jello Jello is offline
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Sep 2007
Default No problem here

I've formatted many drives over 500 GB to Fat32 with a single partition and never had a problem. All drives were OEM drives that I installed in external enclosures and I just used the manufacturers software ie Seagate Discwizard. It just takes a minute. And no you do not need to do a full format.
(320 GIG) 60 GIG PS3 - Yamaha RX-V1800 - Oppo DV-980H - BDP-S350
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Last edited by Jello; 04-27-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
AikonEnt AikonEnt is offline
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Oct 2007
Crawley, UK

When I saw the thread title I thought you meant an actual Swiss army pocket knife thing
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:12 PM   #8
bugmenot bugmenot is offline
Jan 2007
Thumbs up Answer

I figured it best to come back to the very posts that I started down the road with...

In the end, I had tried everything I knew of. Swissknife, Partition Magic, etc.

The Answer is.

GParted from Sourceforge.

I downloaded the .iso file, burn it to CD and then plugged in my WD 1TB External Essential 2.0 drive into my little laptop and booted off the GParted CD. Once loaded, I hit enter twice for the defaults. One thing I did notice is that it only listed my local C: drive and not the USB drive - automatically. I had to click on DEVICE in the GParted menu, after which I could select and pick FAT32 > Format. Off it went, 3 minutes (if that) later, I had all 931 GB of glory ready for my PS3. I even connected my new 1TB drive to another machine just to make sure. It works!
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