Built in way to Format Drive with FAT32 in WIndows

Built in way to Format Drive with FAT32 in WIndows

Just went through this
Windows no longer offers FAT32 as an options, BUT WIndows PowerShell does

Just search for Windows Power shell then open it up, then type in

format /FS:FAT32 G:

WHERE G: is the Drive that corresponds to your USD drive

It does take a while, but no malware or paying for a thirdparty app.

Below is what it will look like..

Windows PowerShell
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PS C:\Users\tim> format /FS:FAT32 G:
Insert new disk for drive G:
and press ENTER when ready...
The type of the file system is EXFAT.
The new file system is FAT32.
Verifying 119.1 GB
16 percent completed.

pnagy | 20 december 2019

Free app to format FAT32 for larger than 64GB.


lilbean | 20 december 2019

Windows 10 sucks.
I used partition wizard.

Syed.Hosain | 20 december 2019

For me, the Powershell approach did not work for a very large drive (a SanDisk Extreme Portable 500GB) for some reason.

So, I downloaded EaseUS Partition Master (free software - unless you buy the premium version) and it worked great.

pnagy | 20 december 2019

I also have EaseUS Partition Master with Premium and I like it. The UI was confusing at first. Whenever I selected a command to execute (i.e. format), there's one more step to actually execute it and I didn't noticed the extra step at first and kept assuming it was working but I was wrong and finally figured out to click on another button to execute the command.


Timhack | 20 december 2019

Good points, it will fail with a partition larger than 32GB, I used Partition Guru for my 128gb Drive

Frank99 | 20 december 2019

So this doesn't get around the 32 GB FAT formatting limitation of Windows. You had me so excited, especially since your OP shows it working with something that's probably a 128GB drive.

Sarah R | 20 december 2019

FWIW Linux ext3 and ext4 both work flawlessly and allow the full capacity of the device.

Frank99 | 20 december 2019

Yeah, but I'd have a hard time explaining to my sister how to review sentry video on her PC with an EXT4 formatted device...

pnagy | 20 december 2019

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine and he said why not insert a thumb drive into USB port of Tesla computer and let Tesla format the thumb drive instead of forcing people to format the thumb drive with either PC or Mac OS. I totally agree with my friend. It does not make sense for Tesla to force people to remove the thumb drive from Tesla's USB port to format the thumb drive from either PC or Mac OS and then put the thumb drive back to Tesla computer.

So why can't we insert the thumb drive into Tesla's USB port and format the thumb drive and go from there?


ShaunyD | 21 december 2019

I just used my Android phone to format my SanDisk 256GB High Endurance Video microSDXC Card. You can also use a Chromebook. Both are built-in FAT32.

alisse | 21 december 2019

This app is the easiest IMO in windows (click the image to download it)

@pnagy while this does make sense it doesn't necessarily fit all the use-cases. Like, what if you want to partition the drive for music and other stuff. Or some of us are using a Raspberry Pi for enhanced flexibility with the function. It's clearly a bolt-on feature still and I hope it becomes more integrated at some point (i.e. on screen instructions after a new drive is inserted and ability to view videos from the drive, in the car), but until then, having users configure it probably the best way to go.

dmitryromanooov | 19 januari 2020

I couldn't find the reason why Powershell didn't work after download! It was a problem with the drivers. I needed to update all of them. I did it with this service and now everything seems like well!!

andy.connor.e | 19 januari 2020

I've never had an issue with any storage device being able to plug it into my computer, right click on the drive, hit format, and select file system to FAT32. Only thing that does not work is HDD's and SSDs. Any SD card, flash drive should be able to do FAT32 or NTFS.

booshtukka | 20 januari 2020

My TV can format hard drives for me. Not sure why a Tesla can’t do the same.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

Dont worry about the Tesla formatting it. Just set the file system to the correct one using a computer. It takes about 5 seconds to do.

EVRider | 20 januari 2020

@andy: Depends on the computer. Windows doesn’t format >32GB drives as FAT32 without additional utilities.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

i've had a 64GB flash drive for years and can change it from FAT32 or NTFS. But an SSD or HDD however, may require the utilities. | 20 januari 2020

I wrote step-by-step instructions here with screenshots to format under Windows and Mac:

@andy - Yep, and you can change it to exFAT as well. Neither exFAT nor NTFS will work in the Tesla, and for 64 GB, Windows format doesn't work to get back to FAT32.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

are we all talking about the same thing? I am reading these comments as though im being told that windows cannot format to FAT32 file system.

As far as i understand HDDs and SSDs cannot format to FAT32 without a 3rd party utility. If im wrong about either of these statements, i will be taking screenshots after i get home.

Joho.keith | 20 januari 2020

Mac OS will format to FAT32 using the Mac Disk Utility.

Joho.keith | 20 januari 2020

Mac OS will format to FAT32 using the Mac Disk Utility.

wallbrook | 20 januari 2020

Ditch MS Windows and go with a Linux distribution. I'd suggest Ubuntu. One can install it as a dual boot. The folks at Tesla are wisely using Linux in our cars already.

sbeggs | 20 januari 2020

I have completely avoided facing this challenge by never transferring any of my 600 album salsa collection to any medium. Instead, on the Model S, I created a couple of channels like the Ray Barretto channel or I click on Amsterdam Radio Salsa and play what comes up! I am a coward! At home I play my LPs, and CDs, enjoying the liner notes and album art. Ok B.....r!

KLemMer | 20 januari 2020

Never use standard Windows to format your media for your Tesla. Not even the Powershell. Google a windows tool and use that instead.

Or better yet: use Linux or a Mac. Borrow a machine from a friend or colleague for five minutes.

Sarah R | 20 januari 2020

Or format the SD card as ext4. :-)

EVRider | 20 januari 2020

@andy.connor.e: Windows can't format any drive larger than 32GB as FAT32. Doesn't matter if it's a USB, SD card, SSD, or anything else.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

I'll be taking screenshots after i get home.

EVRider | 20 januari 2020

@andy.connor.e: To be more specific, the Windows GUI can't format >32GB drives as FAT32. People have said you can do it from the command prompt, but it's really slow because it doesn't do a quick format.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

I promise when i get home i will take a screenshot for you.

andy.connor.e | 20 januari 2020

I learned something new!

Apologies @EVRider

derotam | 20 januari 2020

And just to be clear again, you can use windows to format FAT32 >32GB from the powershell command line. Yes it is slow hell but it does work. You can't do it using the windows GUI.

It is faster to use a 3rd party app to do the format.

Atoms | 20 januari 2020

Tesla really should offer a Tesla drive pre formatted and ready to plug in.

dss | 1 februari 2020

I agree with PNAGY and ATOMS.

Since Tesla chose to use this ancient format, they should provide support. Manual says “Tesla recommends using a flash drive with at least 32 GB of storage. Some personal computer operating systems may not be able to format flash drives larger than 32 GB as FAT 32. Consider using a third party application to format flash drives larger than 32 GB.”

Well, “Some personal computer operating systems” include the most popular Windows 10. And “using a third party application” is risky. At least they should recommend one.

I have already spent 2 hours on this and I think is quite ridiculous. AI and FAT32?

For the moment, I will just make a 32Gb partition in Windows 10:
- Windows / Disk manager
- Select the USB disk / Delete Volume
- New Simple Volume / Size 32*1024=32768 / FAT32 / Done
- Make base-level folder “TeslaCam”

jmccpa | 1 februari 2020


Works with no hassle and no 3rd party software.

I predict Tesla will eventually offer use of the cloud to store the data with a modest subscritpion.

FISHEV | 1 februari 2020

"I have already spent 2 hours on this and I think is quite ridiculous. AI and FAT32?"

And you'll do that and then the flash drive will fail and can't be reformatted which is what happened to my flash drive after a couple months.

I went with the and it worked right out of the box.