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FAT32 and partitions

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I am writing to ask about the 'Manage and troubleshoot disk partitioning'
side of the exam.

I am on a helpdesk temporarily and have had a challenging case to deal with
this afternoon. Actually, I could only deal with it having spent an hour or
so looking at various forums to get an idea of a solution.

The user bought an external hard drive on the basis that it was
Windows/Apple compatible, but as his operating system (XP) could not 'see'
the new drive he decided to partition a drive to FAT32 (he did this in
Computer Management not by MS-DOS commands!).

Apparently, he did something - he doesn't know what - so called here. I went
to have a look at his laptop and had no idea what he was talking about. After
a little research, it seems that there are no tools to revert from NTFS to
FAT32 so the user needs to delete a partition of the drive before recreating
it as FAT32.

However, even then, XP cannot 'see' FAT32 volumes above 32GB and I'm certain
hsi external drive is something like 250GB. This means he would need to split
the drive, logically, into little portions before XP could see it.

Of course, maybe he just didn't install the drivers?!

What I wanted to ask here was is this the kind of 'level' to expect in the
exam? As I say, resolving his problem is not proving easy and I was naive to
all this, but as he was rabbiting on about his precious iPod music files and
FAT32, I started to wonder about how high the demands of this part of the
exam actually are - quite apart from my amazement at the lengths people will
go to to listen to White Christmas.

If anyone has links to simple tutorials, I'd be grateful.


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Lawrence Garvin
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"SteveH" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

> What I wanted to ask here was is this the kind of 'level' to expect in the
> exam?

You do need to be aware of the functional limitations of FAT32 -- but that's
about it.

As far as the Windows XP community is concerned, FAT32 is as archaic as the
Windows 9x systems that precipitated its creation.

Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCITP, MCBMSP, MCTS(x4), MCP
Senior Data Architect, APQC, Houston, Texas
Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-200

MS WSUS Website:
My Websites:;
My MVP Profile:

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