Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The size of a FAT32 partition cannot be changed without activities associated with reformatting the disk. Explain why this is so.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Canadian Luke, Tog, Breakthrough, Kevin Panko, Fazer87 Jul 2 '14 at 8:11

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about computer hardware or software, within the scope defined in the help center." – Canadian Luke, Tog, Kevin Panko, Fazer87
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

what tool are you trying to use that indicates you need to reformat the disk? – quack quixote Dec 7 '09 at 19:54
oh, and what kind of disk? standard hard-drive, or USB stick/memory card? – quack quixote Dec 7 '09 at 19:55
A FAT32 partition can be resized non-destructively. Depending on how full the partition is, some data might have to be physically moved within the new partition boundary when shrinking it. If a given software tool does not support this operation, it's not uncommon for that tool to then exclaim "Cannot Resize FAT32 Partitions" which, although technically possible, is simply not supported by that one particular application. – Breakthrough Jul 1 '14 at 15:12

The size of a partition on a FAT 32 disk cannot be changed without activities associated with reformatting the disk.

says who?

of course you can expand FAT32 partitions without 'reformatting' or data loss (e.g. with EASEUS Partition Master)

however, it is recommended to backup the drive before tampering with partition tables.

EASEUS Partition Master Home is freeware.

share|improve this answer
I recommend EASEUS Partition Master too. – Gepard Dec 7 '09 at 21:42

False premise. Microsoft Windows for a long time provided no tool to resize partitions, and apparently the Disk Management tool from Windows 7 only supported NTFS. However, it is possible using 3rd-party tools such as GParted. Here's an example of how you would shrink a FAT32 partition:

GParted shrinking a FAT32 partition

A common method to do this is to boot off of a Linux live CD and run a resizing program. GParted provides a small live CD to do this. For more detailed instructions, see Ubuntu's guide.

share|improve this answer

I didn't see a FAT32 partition in a while, though I do remember the underlying format. Anyway, are you certain that tools like gParted and Partition Magic cannot resize it?

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .