Format external hard drive for PS4 on Windows 10

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 by Max
sony_ps4

FAT32 and exFAT are the supported file system for Sony PS4, so if you're now using NTFS in Windows 10, it's time to the format job or just convert it FAT32 without data loss. There're many ways to format hard drive, or external hard drive, we can do it in file explorer, Windows Disk Management and third party disk managing software. We'll guide on each method for your reference.

NOTE: Format operation will cause all your data loss, so it's essential to do a backup before proceed, and restore them after formatted to another file system.

Tip: exFat is only supported on MBR disk, if you're using GPT disk, try to create a large FAT32 partition instead

Game Console \ File System NTFS FAT32 exFat
Play Station 4 (PS4) No Yes Yes (only on MBR, not GPT)
  • 1. When you plugged in the external drive, Press Win+E to open file explorer, if it shows Quick Access in Windows 10, do like this to change it to File Explorer, like we get used to it in Windows 7.
  • 2. Now Right-click on the external disk, and select "Format";
  • 3. In the new window, select exFAT from the File System dropdown menu and leave Quick Format checked; click Start to Format.
  • 4. Restore the backed up files to this disk again, may spend some time according to the file size.
file_explorer_format_exfat
  • 1. Press Windows + R to open Run box and type: diskmgmt.msc, hit Enter and Disk Management will show;
  • 2. Check the disk map in the main interface to see if the external hard drive shows unallocated space or volume;
  • 3. If it shows unallocated space, right-click on it and click New Simple Volume, follow the wizard to create new partition, click NEXT slowly and stop at the Format Partition window. Now it's time to click exFAT under File system option.
  • 4. If the external disk shows volume label in Disk Management, just click Format… from the right-click menu after you backed up private data.
  • 5. In the popup window, we select exFAT and start to format.
disk_management_format_exfat
  • 1. Right-click on Start Menu of Windows 10 and select Command Prompt (Admin);
  • 2. Input: format d:/FS:exFAT and hit Enter;
command_prompt_format_exfat

Format to exFAT is one method to use PS4, after backing up and restoring data to the external disk, may take some time but won't meet the limitation of FAT32 file system, which is 4GB maximum size of single /individual file. But if you don't want to spend time on making a backup and restoring after formatted, you can do a conversion on NTFS file system, just convert it to FAT32, another supported file system for PS4, with Partition Expert. Besides, single file maximum size gets over 4GB is not common in small sized games in PS4. Steps to convert to FAT32 for PS4:

  1. Download the portable bootable partition software from here:
  2. Run it to show disk-map on your computer, still the same, check the status of the external disk: unallocated space or single volume or uninitialized?
  3. For unallocated space disk, we click Create Volume and select FAT32;
    • For single volume disk, click the partition and click Convert to FAT32
    • For uninitialized disk, we click Initialize and Create Volume to make FAT32 partition
convert_ntfs_to_fat32

To summarize those methods about, if there's data on the source disk, the convert method is better, which is both time saving and data securing. You many argue that the transfer speed of USB 3.0 is acceptable to save data on other storage space, that's true, and backup is indeed a good habit of keep data well managed, it's up to you to backup then format or backup then convert, since everything is backed up, why not give the convert method a try

The following operating system is also supported even the page is guiding of Windows 10:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP

Besides, Windows Server Systems (from 2003 to 2016) are all supported by Macrorit Partition Expert Server Edition

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