How to format external USB Drive to Fat 32

When I purchased my first external USB drive, I wanted immediately to add it to my Linux system.  Yet, no matter how hard I tried, rebooting my hard drive over and over again, Linux just did not want to automatically recognize my new, shiny USB drive.

I spent several hours on Internet searching for answers, but could not find an easy one. I just did not know what else I could do. Thank heaven for good friends! One of them helped me. And the answer was so easy, that I purchased 2 more external hard drives and added them to the same system.

Here is the answer. Type the following:

fdisk /dev/sda
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 128 MB, 128974848 bytes
4 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1015 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 248 * 512 = 126976 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System

Command: n  “Create new partition!”
p           “Create primary partition!”
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder: (enter for default)
Last cylinder:  (enter for default)
Command: t
Hex code (type L to list codes): b
Command:  “Make partition #1 active!”
Partition number (1-4): 1
Command: p

Disk /dev/sda: 128 MB, 128974848 bytes
4 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1015 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 248 * 512 = 126976 bytes

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        1015      125829    b  FAT32

Command: w  “Write table to disk and exit!”

Format the USB drive with a FAT filesystem.

mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sda1  “It will work with FAT32″

That is all there is to it, really…

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