[Noisebridge-discuss] Mac MSDOS FAT32 XHDD drive formatting problem...

Brink Of Complexity brink.0x3f at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 08:20:37 UTC 2013

Before going to lots of trouble with yet another operating system in the
mix, please realize that Windows XP doesn't recognize drives with an EFT
partition table, which is what modern systems use by default.  Symptoms of
an unrecognizable partition table are: the drive hardware is recognized by
Windows, but you can't do anything with it. Sound familiar?

The legacy partition table type you need is Master Boot Record.

To format drives with MBR partition tables using OSX, just pick the
"Partition" option from Disk Utility before doing "Erase". Setup the
partition layout however you'd like, then click the "Options" button and
choose "Master Boot Record" as the partition table type before you apply

Then format however you'd like.

*Hint: if you were to make a Linux boot disk on the same stick instead,
you'd probably still have to format the drive with MBR partition tables
first, especially if the machine you're installing to is a couple years old.

Hope that helps!

- Brink

On Jun 12, 2013 12:36 AM, "Eric W. Rasmussen" <ewr at majortek.com> wrote:
> That's a great tutorial. Thanks for suggesting Linux as a solution. I'll
simply add that Unetbootin is my boot creator of choice. Everyone has their
> Sounds like "Someone" needs to upgrade to a better (ahem...linux)
operating system.
> I just performed the final upgrade to my laptop (Asus U52F). I already
replaced the RAM w/ 8GB a couple of years ago. I installed a Samsung 120GB
SSD and put the original HDD (600GB) into a CD drive caddy. I did the
appropriate modifications for TRIM, swapiness, cache and
mounting/permissions. LinuxMint14. This thing runs my vm's like they are
native. My RAM usage is lower. My CPU usage is lower.
> The weather is great! Thanks Linux.
> On 06/11/2013 10:51 AM, Aaronco Thirtysix wrote:
>>>> I have a X USB HD formatted OS 10.5 FAT32 that I would like to format
as a Windows XP drive.
>> Besides what Eric wrote, you could also use a Linux Live distro to
>> partition and format the X USB HD "as a Windows XP drive".
>>>> XP will not recognize it, no driver letter appears when I connect it
via USB cable.
>>>> It only shows up in Control Panel, Device Manager and there only as a
USB, from which I have found no way to format it.
>>>> I've tried every trick in the book but nothing works.
>> Since you are starting off using WindowsXP, there is almost always
>> just _bound_ to be an extra USB port and/or an optical drive (i.e., a
>> CD/DVD drive) on your device for the purposes booting a Linux distro
>> from live media. If it's an extra USB port you've got (and your
>> device's BIOS boot-order recognizes USB), then you'd use a bootable
>> liveUSB; if it's an optical drive you've got instead of a second USB
>> port, then you'd use a liveCD.
>> You might wish to do at least these four things:
>> 1) Visit a Linux live distro site such as
>> - SystemRescuCD, http://www.sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage
>> - The UltimateBootCD (which has Parted Magic Linux),
>> http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
>> - SLAX, http://www.slax.org/
>> - Puppy Linux (Wary, Slacko, or Precise versions),
>> - Knoppix, http://www.knoppix.org/
>> - plenty of other live distros just as good...
>> .. and then download to your hard drive, the .iso image file of one or
>> more of these.
>> 2a) If you are Yes able to boot from a liveUSB through re-ordering
>> your device's BIOS, then download and install to WindowsXP the YUMI
>> Multiboot USB Creator --
>> http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/ -- to create
>> a working liveUSB from the .iso image(s) you downloaded from above. Of
>> course, you would need an extra and empty USB drive of sufficient
>> capacity for this multiboot liveUSB to work.
>> 2b) If you are UNable to boot from any liveUSB through changing the
>> boot order of your device's BIOS, then you'd need to burn one or more
>> of the .iso image files you downloaded from above onto separate blank
>> CDs using a Writeable CD/DVD drive. If using WindowsXP for this, you
>> might need to additionally install image-writing software such as
>> CDBurnerXP, ImgBurn, DeepBurner, ...etcetera, assuming you don't have
>> something suitable for this already installed.
>> 3) You'd boot up your device with your liveUSB (or liveCD is
>> necessary) inserted, and make sure in your BIOS boot-order that the
>> liveUSB or liveCD boots 1st before the WindowsXP HD does. Once a boot
>> menu for the live media comes up, you should take the default
>> selection (take the choice of booting into Parted Magic if using
>> UBCD). If the default menu selection somehow doesn't work, then
>> depending upon the Linux distro, you might have to reboot and then
>> choose another boot menu selection.
>> 4) Once booting w/ a working Linux live desktop, the next steps are to
>> insert your X USB HD into a free USB port and then use the Linux
>> distro's utilities to diagnose and maybe repartition and reformat that
>> X USB HD. Might have to use any of these distro's Command Line
>> Interface (CLI) XTerm windows to do these tasks. Typically involved
>> are the Linux CLI commands 'badblocks' (like the Windows XP CHKDSK but
>> more thorough), 'fdisk', 'cfdisk', mkfs', ...etcetera. Eric's
>> suggestion of using NTFS seems okay; also might want to consider using
>> another fdisk/cfdisk FAT32 partition-type such as type 0B or type 0C
>> and then running a complete 'mkdosfs -F 32 -cv
>> /dev/<USB-partition-name-from-fdisk>'
>>>> The drive is fully functional when connected to a MacBook Pro and can
>>>> formatted back and forth from MS DOS FAT 32 to OS10.5 which tells me
it's working.
>>>> Any suggestions?
>> _Fully_ scanning this drive for any possible media errors as well as
>> properly partitioning+formatting the drive (steps 1-4 above?) are
>> definitely some suggestions here.
>> Others ought to definitely step in with more and even better suggestions.
>> -A
>> --
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