How to format FAT32

FAT32 is a file system, just like NTFS. In Windows 11, FAT32 is a seriously outdated file system and normally you don’t use it anymore. Only there are all kinds of devices that really need a storage device that is formatted with FAT32. We explain exactly how FAT32 formatting works.

Let’s get started with the tool Rufus, which you must have used to create a bootable USB stick. With that bootable USB stick perhaps a vision scanner or the Windows 10-installation procedure? We’re going to use the same Rufus again, but this time to format such a bootable USB stick (or any other removable storage device) with FAT32. And in such a way that it always works! Possibly with an extra quality check of the storage device in question.

Nothing to boot

If you have downloaded and started Rufus, start with the section Features of drive. First you select the option Device the external storage device connected to the PC that you want to format with FAT32. With the option Boot Selection do you choose Not bootable. The option Partition Layout is set to MBR (Master Boot Record).

This pre-work is necessary anyway to tell Rufus that there is nothing to boot. That makes sense, because we want to be left with a bare FAT32 storage device. Pay attention to the check mark View USB Hard Drives, because with that you can look beyond just the USB sticks; but be careful…

Properly format FAT32

Now we are going to properly format the chosen external storage device with FAT32. We do this through the section Format options. With the option Volume label give the storage device a convenient name; for example HOLIDAY21. With the option File system of course you choose FAT32. The option Cluster size you can leave it at the default value; that is 16 kilobytes.

Two control strokes

With the above everything is basically done that is necessary for a formatting with FAT32 and nothing prevents you from already pressing the button START to click. But if you can/want to take some extra time, you can build in a control stroke.

Get the Advanced Formatting Options appear. Uncheck the option quick format stands. Place a checkmark in front of the option Check device for bad blocks and choose 2 rounds.

A very thorough formatting and checking. It will take some time, but it’s worth it!

Start and watch

At the section Status click the button START and you take the opportunity to take a look. In any case, it is interesting to see how the control of the bad blocks expires: thoroughly. The final result is a storage device that has been reliably tested and that you can go everywhere with FAT32 formatted. And it’s also really nice to know that you have your things in order!

The result is a beautiful and hard USB stick formatted with FAT32.

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