1 TB USB drive formats to 831 GB

Dell / Xps gen 2
April 20, 2009 at 22:35:35
Specs: Windows XP Home, 2 GB
When I first got this drive it came formatted FAT32, so I formatted it NTFS. It held 931 GB. Since then I've bought a DVD player that has a USB port which can read thumb drives and USB hard drives--if they are FAT32.

So I attempted to reformat back to FAT32 (Windows doesn't do this--I used SwissKnife), but got a partition of only about 400 GB.

And now when I tried to revert to NTFS it only shows 831 GB (as opposed to the 931 originally).

How can I get back to the original NTFS and 931 GB?

See More: 1 TB USB drive formats to 831 GB

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April 21, 2009 at 01:48:10
have a look on the manufacturers web site , some provide utility to format back to original e.g


what brand is the 1Tb drive , is it in an enclosure?

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April 21, 2009 at 07:20:12
I suggest that you partition the drive into more than ONE large partition. Then you can use it as both FAT32 & NTFS.

You may not be aware of this but FAT32 has a file size limitation of 4GB. If you intend to work with movie files you sill run into problems with CRC errors if you attempt writing files larger than 4GB to a FAT32 partition.

The only reason that your drive originally came formatted using FAT32 was for compatibility. There are other drawbacks to using FAT32 on such a large drive.

Look at the link below for help with formatting that drive.


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April 21, 2009 at 08:45:44

OtheHill just for info,
as geezer wrote he's using it to connect to a video which wont read ntfs, he's going to have trouble using ntfs for the connected hardware, if its a managed drive ie as its own built in OS it needs the original file structure.

eg http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/56071...

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Related Solutions

April 21, 2009 at 11:56:34

That is why I suggested 2 partitions or more. The OP can make FAT32 partitions for the player that needs FAT32 and use NTFS for other files.

Below is the cluster size for both.

Cluster sizes

for FAT32 are as follows:
512MB to 8,191MB = 4KB
8,192MB to 16,383MB = 8KB
16,384MB to 32,767MB = 16KB
Larger than 32,768MB = 32KB

NTFS - All partitions on a PC = 4KB default

The above may mean much wasted space when using all FAT32. Also, my point about the DVD player is that most movies are larger than 4GB which is the largest file you can write to FAT32.

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April 21, 2009 at 12:54:06
Hi Othehill

your correct no problem (re:above & personally i also partition large drives for sanity sake if nothing else)
im just wondering why he's going back to ntfs if his video doesnt read it, ok i could be wrong & he is just using it as a standard back up for pc files.

ive used a number of these drives (tho not 1Tb) and for some reason the usb video etc just dont read ntfs or anything else for that matter (m$ proprietry issue?),, the video streams on managed drives are cut down automatically to the component 1gig files or smaller, in dvds they are auto 1gig vob size.

ive used swissknife a while ago it wasnt a good decision as it didnt work and the current version seems to have major issues with some of these very large drives , have a read of the comments just bad news.
ive used the HP usb disk tool for formatting (FAT32 )usb drives this can work on non HP drives and gives the option of ntfs
on a 1Tb it may take a long time.
might be an option for the OP to try if all else fails


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April 22, 2009 at 20:24:18
Thanks for all your suggestions, guys! I'm afraid my original question was not too well thought out---more like a sort of stream-of-consciousness of my troubles.

After screwing things up with SwissKnife (and a few other downloaded free utilities) I decided to give up and get back my full NTFS drive, or at least try to! And buy a smaller drive to feed my DVD player (or just stick with thumb drives).

But even though Disk Management sees the full 1 TB (931 GB), Format only sees 811 GB. Perhaps there's another utility? Clearly I'm over my head here!

Thanks again!

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April 23, 2009 at 05:37:14
Download the disk utility from the company that made the hard drive and use it to configure the drive. That will get you back the entire drive.

Sounds like you have another partition on there that is not showing in disk management.

There is no reason why you can't format the entire drive using FAT32 if that is what you want to do. Use the same disk utilities to do that too.

If you have an off brand enclosure you can determine the brand of the actual hard drive inside by the model number of the drive. If you need more help with that then post the model here. More likely that the enclosure and drive are from the same company. If you post the model here we can steer you to the right place for the utility you need.

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April 25, 2009 at 11:50:58
OK, got it fixed! Whatta mess!

Apparently early in my attempts to go back from NTFS to FAT32 I used (or misused) SwissKnife or one of a few other utilities and somehow caused the creation of 4 partitions ("volumes"?---I'm still trying to figure out the language of partitioning) on my drive. That drive is a Western Digital WD10EAVS packaged by Fantom Drives as its USB "Green Drive."

So whenever I tried to re-format it, only the ~800 GB partition was "seen" and formatted, which accounts for my lost 100 GB.

Working between Windows XP and Vista on my two computers I finally realized this (using the Disk Mgmt tool) and was finally able to create a single, unallocated partition, and then apply the wonderful fat32format.exe utility!

So now I've got the full 1 TB drive in Fat32, as needed by my DVD player. And that player, though it disclaims compatibility with USB hard drives (it claims only thumbdrive compatibility) can see it all!

The DVD player is a Philips 5990/37 and I am highly pleased with it. Most of what I want to play has been compressed to under 4 GB, so that FAT32 limitation is not a problem for me.

I thank you all for your generous help and encouragement!

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April 25, 2009 at 14:31:39
Glad you got it sorted, for future reference for anyone loosing hdd space there is a utility called "Restore Drive Capacity Tool" a free download.
Sorry it was a bit late for you, but my memory was a bit foggy as to what it was called.

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