Format GPT hard disk in Windows to MBR & exFAT

If you need to use big, over 2 GB files both in Windows and Mac OS X’s, MBR partition format and exFAT file system could be the most practical option for your mobile HDD.

However, note that there have been reliability problems with exFAT in hard use. Always keep a backup on a trusted media.

Mac OS X’s Disk Utility is easy, but what to do if you have to quickly reformat an GPT/EFI disk (from Mac or Win 7) to MBR partition layaout and exFAT file system in Windows 7 or XP ?

Let’s assume the external hard disk is Disk 3 (check with Computer -> Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management) and the drive letter is  G:

2) In Windows 7, Choose Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt -> Right-click & choose “Run as administrator”

In Windows XP, use Windows-R and cmd — for exFat support you have to install a patch first: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=955704

3) Type commands

diskpart
select Disk 3 
clean
create partition primary
assign letter=g 
exit
format g: /fs:exfat /q
exit

Some technical info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Compile and enable exFat support in Ubuntu or Debian: http://www.hilltopyodeler.com/blog/?p=455

One thought on “Format GPT hard disk in Windows to MBR & exFAT

  1. If you have to use Apple OS X Disk Utility by command line, use

    diskutil list

    to locate the number of the disk to be formatted and e.g.

    diskutil partitiondisk disk3 1 mbr exfat my-500GB 100%

    to partition and format your 4th disk to be Windows compatible… the numbering starts from 0.

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