What is FAT 32?
FAT- File Allocation table is an index table that contains entries for each section of disk storage. Each entry records either the number of the cluster in the file or else a pointer indicating end of file, unused disk space, or special reserved areas of the disk. Usually root directory have the record of the number of very first cluster each file. Operating system reads this data I FAT table to find a particular file. So Operating system to work it is essentially needed to format a storage system with file allocation table
Types of FAT- Originally this system was designed for 8 bit but as the drives evolved the no of bits increases so is the variant of FAT. Now w have FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 based on he no of the bits drive has.
Modern systems and FAT
As modern system has been evolving day by day, therefore FAT has lost its popularity compare to modern file format system such as NTFS. However for removable drives FAT32 is still a first choice.
FAT32 only supports individual file up to 4GB size and a volume up to 2TB. That means fi you have a video file more than 4GB then you can`t store it in FAT32 formatted partition or if you have a 3TB external hard drive, then entire hard drive can`t be formatted with single FAT32 partition
How to Format a Drive with FAT32
In Windows, if you run the Fdisk tool on a hard disk that is over 512 megabytes (MB) in size, Fdisk prompts you whether or not to enable large disk support. If you answer “Yes” (enabling large disk support), any partition you create that is larger than 512 MB is marked as a FAT32 partition.
Windows also includes a FAT32 conversion tool that you can use to convert an existing drive to the FAT32 file system. To use the conversion tool, follow these steps:
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Drive Converter (FAT32).
- Click Next.
- Click the drive that you want to convert to the FAT32 file system, and then click Next.
- Follow the instructions on the screen.
Once you convert a disk to some other file system for example from FAT32 to NTFS, you can`t simply reverse the process and get back the FAT 32 partition again. For that you have to format the drive which will wipe out the data.
What to do to when it is almost unavoidable to delete FAT32 partition
You might need to switch to FAT32 either due to performance issue or Dual boot able computer, any how switching to another file system requires a format operation. Format command will definitely erase all your data. So, before you opt for this backup all your data in another drive. You can either create recovery using tool provided in windows or simply copy and paste your important data into any other drive.
What if you already deleted FAT 32 partitions without backup?
Even if you have deleted your partition without taking any back up, there are ways present to recover deleted FAT32 partition. A third party recovery tool is reliable approach in this situation. Format command generally initializes the drive. A partition recovery tool can retrieve those data back by carefully analyzing the deleted FAT32 partitions.