How to format a 500GB or 1TB drive as FAT32 to connect to an Xbox or PS3

If you want to connect a portable USB hard drive to an Xbox 360 or PS3, you’ll need to format it as FAT32. Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer offers this as option in Windows for formatting drives larger than 32GB. There are third party tools available to do the job though, and the following instructions explain how to use them. Follow with care though, or you could lose important information on your computer. (Also please be aware that formatting a drive will delete everything on it.)

Step 1: Download fat32format from the following website: fat32format. These instructions will talk you through the command line version, but there is also a GUI version which may be easier to use.

Step 2: Extract the zip file (the next steps assume you extracted it to your C: drive, but replace this with where ever you extracted it). You’ll then have the following file: C:\fat32format.exe.

Step 3: In the Start Menu, search for cmd and launch cmd.exe.

Launch cmd.exe

Step 4: This should open a window similar to the one shown below.

Command window

Step 5: In this window (the “command prompt”), navigate to where you extracted fat32format.exe by using the cd command, e.g. cd c:\MyFolder\. If you extracted to the base of your C:\ drive, type: cd C:\ and press enter. (If you saved it to another drive, before using the cdcommand, enter that drive letter followed by a colon then press enter, e.g. D: - then use cd to navigate as before). Now type fat32format.exe followed by the letter of your portable hard drive. Be very careful to choose the correct letter or you may end up wiping other data. For example: fat32format.exe F: if your portable hard drive has letter F:\ in my computer. Press enter to start it.

fat32format

Heed the warning, type y and press enter to start it going. You’ll see Done in the command line when it’s finished. Once done, you should be able to use the drive as normal and also connect it to your Xbox!

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