I just got a new hard drive yesterday, 2TB, and copied across all the files I needed, into two partitions in the new 2TB Disk, that I created in Disk Utility (command palimpsest). One was 500GB and the other was 1TB. They were both FAT32, as they needed to be read by Linux, MacOSX and Windows. So I transferred data to the partitions respectively, and when I plugged the hard drive into the Mac Machine, it just said there was nothing there at all. Back to the Ubuntu machine, and I looked around in Disk Utility to see that the type was FAT32, but the partition type was showing Empty(0x00) .

Tried to change it in the Edit partition Button but no avail. Gparted also doesn't recognize them either. I cannot mount and view the files and I Don't want to wipe it and start again, as it took over 7 hours to transfer the data.

Anyone got any ideas?

  • If you can mount the partition and view the files, and you have a backup in case something does eventually go wrong, then what's the problem? Is the problem just that you cannot access the FAT32 volume on the Mac? – Eliah Kagan Jun 14 '12 at 16:23
  • Under what Operating System did you create those two partitions? – Mitch Jun 14 '12 at 17:38

FAT32 file system has size limitations. You cannot create a FAT32 partition greater than 32 gigabytes (GB). In addition, you cannot store a file larger than 4 GB on a FAT32 partition.

Source: Microsoft

Check here for more info

Beyond 32GB

Despite FAT32’s shortcomings in terms of maximum file size limits, lack of ACLs, and disk quotas support. Unfortunately, when the user wants to prepare a drive for use in this fashion, there is one major problem: Windows cannot format drives and partitions larger than 32GB in FAT32.

You may even consider making a partition sized at 32GB initially and then resizing it to fill the rest of the empty space. But within Windows, using the basic storage tools to resize operations is not supported on file systems other than NTFS.1


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    This is incorrect information; it seems you've misread the article. A FAT32 volume with 512-byte sectors (as is common) can be up to 2 TiB; a FAT32 volume wit 4,096-byte sectors can be up to 16 TiB. See this article. Various other restrictions sometimes apply in Windows. But the 32 GiB limit is just for what you can create in Windows. – Eliah Kagan Jun 14 '12 at 16:21
  • @EliahKagan Please take a look at this, Since the usrer did not specify which windows he's using support.microsoft.com/kb/184006 – Mitch Jun 14 '12 at 16:41
  • You can't in Windows Vista, 2000, 98, 95 – Mitch Jun 14 '12 at 16:45
  • Can you please take a look at this, and let me know. If not I will delete the answer, and have to think about it later, I can barely keep my eyes open :) OH the FAT32 part macyourself.com/2012/03/11/… – Mitch Jun 14 '12 at 17:08
  • 1
    let us continue this discussion in chat – Mitch Jun 14 '12 at 17:11

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