I have a 2TB external hard drive that was pre formatted as one giant NTFS partition. I used windows 7 disk utility to partition it into two 1TB partitions and then formatted as FAT.

The formatting was over in a matter of seconds only. Then I copied several gigabytes of data from Mac OSX to my hard drive, and now Windows doesn't see that partition. In Mac it is shown as ExFAT.

Is there a way to fix this issue without losing my data? What is the problem here essentially?

1 Answer 1


These phenomenon may be due to the limitations of FAT32. Technically, the maximum size of a FAT32 partition is 32 GB, which yours obviously appears to be larger than. How can this be explained? I figure that the built-in partition software "cheated" a little bit and formatted it to the exFAT format instead, which circumvents such size constraints, and explains why it shows up in Mac as exFAT. Also, in the past (older than Windows XP), exFAT drivers were not bundled with the operating system. While that should've been fixed now (Windows 7), you might want to check that your computer can read exFAT drives.

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