Good day!

How can I format an 80GB hard disk as fat32 and install winxp? Thanks!

You can't. Win XP uses the NTFS format. But if you have the Windows XP disc. Then all you have to do is place the disk in the drive and start the computer.

It should automatically boot from the CD. Though you may be prompted to. Just press Enter.

Once it's loaded. All you have left to do is follow the awesome instructions for installing windows. :)

This is of course assuming that you have nothing else on the Hard Drive. If you do. Then when you come to the Partitioned Screen just delete the partitions that are there. Unless you aim to keep your old operating system. If you do. Then you may want a dual boot.

But I'm sure you'll get more help from someone else before I wake up. :) Great thing about this place. There is always someone around to correct me or back me up. :D

Good night.

Hi Lightninghawk,

Sorry I forgot to mention why I want this hard disk to be formatted as fat32. So that I will have an access to change it to the other operating system or dual systems in the future. Thanks, Light...

If you want to have access to files in case you change to a different operating system or if you want to add another OS in order to dual boot later, partition your drive into different partitions. Make your Windows XP partition NTFS (since you have to) and only make it big enough to hold the OS and some of the programs that wouldn't be useful on other systems (such as the latest versions of Office and such). I usually allocate a 10-20GB partition for Windows XP to live on. The remaining partitions can then be formatted to FAT32 if you'd like.

chrisbliss18 is right all you have to do is create two partitions. Depending on what operating system you are going to use more, or are going have more things stored on is how I would judge which partition you would want larger.

I reccomend XP to have a little more space, plus NTFS has a much better and more compact filing system.

What is the other operating system you are wanting to dual boot with? Windows 98?
Just curious

Hi Chris , Hi Light,

That's what I want to do. Make two partitions: one for fat32 and one for ntfs or vice versa or both fat32 but how? My plan is to install dual systems (win98 & winxp) in the future. Thanks!

When you install XP, you can setup the partitions at that time. One of the first screens that you'll come to will have you select the partition you wish to install Windows to. If the drive currently has partitions set, delete all of them (follow the guide at the bottom of the screen to see what key does what). Now you should see your drive totally unpartitioned. Press C to create a partition. The size of the partition will automatically be set to the full size of the drive, don't use that; rather, make the partition the size that you want your Windows XP partition to be. After you have created the Windows XP partition, press C on the remaining space to create another partition. You can repeat this step as many times as you'd like to create how ever many partitions you want to have on your system. Once you have created all the partitions you wish to create, move the cursor over the partition you wish to install Windows to and press the Enter key.

After Windows has installed, you can format the partitions by going to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, and selecting Disk Management from the window that pops up. To format a partition, right-click it and select "Format...".

I got it now aside from this:

Making two - 40gb partitions: one for winxp as boot drive (NTFS) and one for a spare or storage disk (FAT32). How can I make this spare disk format as fat32? Since as I know you can only format a disk or partition as fat32 up to 32GB. Will a disk management let me format the remaining 40gb partition as fat32? Thanks, Chris!

In order to ensure that you don't run into problems by hitting the 32GB barrier, make all your secondary storage locations 32GB or smaller. So you could have a total of three partitions: a 30GB NTFS one for the OS, a 30GB partition formatted in FAT32 for media files, and a 20GB partition formatted in FAT32 for programs or another operating system.

You need to create the FAT32 partition(s) before you install Windows XP. After you create the FAT32 partitions you just have to follow the steps in the XP installation to use the remaining space on your hard drive and partition it with NTFS.

For Creating the FAT32 Partitions
you'll need a bootdisk to start up in an DOS environment. Then fdisk to creat it. You can retrieve a boot disk at http://bootdisk.com - Here is a tutorial we have in our book for class.
It will also show you how to delete a partition just in case something goes wrong and you have to start over.


1. DISK is used to create partitions on your hard drive.
2. You will need a boot disk to start in a DOS environment.
(If you need to create a boot disk you can find a boot disk at http://bootdisk.com.)
3. Start your PC with the boot disk in the floppy drive
4. Type the command FDISK
5. Select Y to allow large hard disk support

Partitioning a New Drive
(A Single Large Partition)

1. Select 1 Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 1 Create Primary DOS Partition
3. Select Y (the default) to use the maximum available size for a Primary DOS Partition and to make the partition active.
4. Reboot with the floppy
5. Format the drive

Partitioning a New Drive
(Multiple Partitions)
Creating a Smaller Primary DOS Partition and Making it Active
1. Select 1 Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 1 Create Primary DOS Partition
3. Select N to use the max space available to make the partition active.
4. Enter the partition size you want for Primary DOS Partition
5. Press Enter and your Primary DOS Partition will be created
6. Press Esc
7. You will see a warning that no partitions are set active. This needs to be done in order to boot from the primary partition
8. Select 2 Set active partition
9. Enter 1 for the partition you want to make active
10. Press Esc to continue

Making the Extended DOS Partitions and Logical DOS Drives
1. Select 1 Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 2 Create Extended DOS Partition
3. Press Esc to continue
5. You will be asked to create a logical drive in the Extended Partition. You need to do this. Set your extra drive with a letter that isn’t being used by your other partition(s)
6. Use the full remaining size for the logical drive size
7. Press Esc to continue
8. Reboot with the floppy and Format the DOS Partitions you created

Deleting a Single Partition
1. Select 3 Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 1. Delete Primary DOS Partition
3. Enter 1 for the primary partition to delete
4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure

Deleting Multiple Partitions
You will have to, in order, delete the Logical Drives, then the Extended Partition, then the Primary Partition
Deleting the Logical DOS Drives
1. Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 3. Delete Logical DOS Drive in the Extended DOS Partition
3. Enter in the drive letter of the one you want to delete
4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure
6. Repeat this until all the logical drives are deleted
7. Press Esc until you are back to the main menu

Deleting the Extended DOS Partition
1. Select 3 Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 2 Delete Extended DOS Partition
3. Enter Y to continue

Deleting the Primary Partition
1. Select 3 Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Delete Primary DOS Partition
3. Enter 1 to delete the primary partition
4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure
You are sure in this case. But please take caution when using the FDISK utility. Once you delete something. It’s not going to come back.

That really isn't necessary Lightninghawk. The Windows XP setup makes it very easy to partition the drives without the use of special bootdisks. I guess I have to give credit to Microsoft for finally getting something right with their install procedures.

chrisbliss18 I didn't realize that you could create a FAT32 partition using XP or the XP installation Process. Are you saying that you can?

You can manage partitions before the installation. Once the partitions are setup and one of them is selected to use for the OS, that partition will be formatted to NTFS but the remaining ones will be left as unformatted. Once the installation is complete, you can use the Disk Manager to format the unformatted partitions to whatever file system you wish to use.

Anothing nice thing about Windows XP is that you can create one partition and use it for the install while leaving the rest of the drive unpartitioned. After the system is installed, you can use the Disk Manager to partition and format the remaining drive space.

Would that help to protect your system or progam & personal files more. Since the seperate partition would be a different drive letter than what most mal-ware/viruses are programed for?

Hi Chris & Light,

In this discussion I have just picked more tips and learned a lot. I will apply your both procedures and study all consequences. I think everything is now clear to me. Thanks a lot, Light & Chris.... Good day...