|Windows 2000 and up will recognize the partitions and the data on the drive as long as it's software partitioned using a type of software partitioning Windows recognizes - FAT (for partitions 2.x gb and smaller), or FAT32, or NTFS. |
Windows ME and below cannot recognize the NTFS software partitioning type, so cannot recognize the data on a NTFS partition.
If Windows was recognizing the drive, if it was Win 2000 and up you had problems with seeing the data on NTFS partition(s), then the NTFS software partitioning data or the data on the NTFS partition was damaged, probably by you not not clicking the Safely Remove Hardware icon and STOP ing accessing the drive when you unplugged it's USB connection while Windows was still running.
Usually that problem can be fixed by using certain programs.
OR - if Windows was NOT recognizing the drive at all, you probably had some other problem related to the USB port connection not being able to get enough current from the USB port it was plugged into.
See the info at the link in response 3.
Microsoft doesn't allow you to use the FAT32 software partitioning type for partitions larger than exactly 32gb = 32,768mb because they consider it more wasteful of drive space than NTFS software partitioning, but you can use third party programs, as you found out, to make FAT32 partitions larger than 32gb no problem.
The NTFS software partitioning version used in 2000 and up uses 4kb allocation units for it's data regardless of the size of the drive or drive partition. The FAT32 software partitioning uses various sizes of allocation units starting at 4kb depending on the size of the drive or drive partition, but starting at exactly 32gb, it uses 32kb allocation units for all data on drives or drive partitions that size or larger.
A file uses at least one allocation unit on the partition - whatever data is not being used in the allocation unit, or in the last allocation unit, by the file cannot be used for any other data and is termed slack space - it's wasted space. If a FAT32 partition has mostly huge files on it, there isn't much if any difference regarding the slack space percentage of data on the drive, and it is NOT significantly more wasteful of drive space than a NTFS partition.
However, a FAT32 partition has one limitation than may cause you problems - no one file can be larger than 4gb. There are some huge files, such as movie files, that may be larger than that.