Article ID : S500006886 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

Converting to FAT16 file system

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How to convert to FAT16 from FAT32 ?

Sony recommends to use FAT32 file system.

Difference between FAT16 and FAT32 file system:
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1) FAT16 can compress a partition, however, if you compress a partition, some data may be lost. Of course, the loss of data does not always happen, however, if a serious failure such as a disk crash occurs, it is almost impossible to recover. If the partition is not compressed, you may be able to recover it to some extent.

2) FAT16 consumes more drive space than FAT32. This is called "cluster gap." For example, if you save a 1-KB file in the hard disk drive that has only one partition of 1 GB (to 2 GB), FAT16 consumes 32 KB. Under the same situation, FAT32 consumes only 4KB. That is to say, FAT16 consumes 32 KB even if you save a file that is less than 32 KB. Not only VAIO, Windows machines have thousands of less than 32 KB files. At least, FAT16 wastes approximately 100 MB of the hard disk space.

3) From these reasons, the operational tests are performed under the FAT32 environment. Sony can tell you on how to setup FAT16, however, FAT16 may have the above risks. In the worst cases, an unpredicted failure may occur. If that happens, Sony makes every effort to support that, however, Sony may not be able to provide you a solution that satisfies you.

4) Since you have to delete the partition, all data on your hard drive will be removed. Back up your data before you start the operation.

Operation Procedure:
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The operation is broadly divided into two steps: deleting the FAT32 partition and creating the FAT16 partition.

Step A: Deleting a FAT32 partition
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1) Set the System Recovery CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive. Turn on the PC and boot the system with the System Recovery CD-ROM.
2) Press the Spacebar according to the messages.
When you receive the message, "Do you want to continue operation (Yes/No)?," type N, and then press Enter.
3) After "A:\SONY>," enter FDISK, and then press the Enter key.
4) When the message, "Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)?" appears, type N, and then press Enter.
5) On the FDISK Options screen, type 3 in the "Choose one of the following:". And then, press Enter to select "3. Delete partition or Logical Dos Drive."
6) On the next screen, press 1, and then press Enter to select "1. Delete Primary DOS Partition."
a) Press 1 in the "What primary partition do you want to delete?:", and then press Enter.
b) Enter the volume label of the hard drive in the "Enter Volume Label", and then press Enter.
c) When the message, "Are you sure (Y/N)" appears, type Y, and then press Enter.

The FAT32 partition is deleted.

Step B: Creating a FAT16 partition
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1) Press the Esc key to return to the FDISK Options screen.
2) On the FDISK Options screen, press 1 in the "Choose one of the following:". And then press Enter to select "1. Create DOS partition or logical DOS drive.
3) On the Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen, press 1 in the "Choose one of the following:". Press Enter to select "1. Create primary DOS partition."
4) After the message, "Verifying drive integrity" appears, you receive the message, "Do you wish to use the maximum available size for ...". Press Y to have one partition, or N to divide the partition, and then press Enter. When you press Y to have a single partition, you are prompted to restart the computer after the drive check. If you restart your computer with the System Recovery CD-ROM set, you can reconfigure your computer with the System Recovery CD-ROM when your computer is restarted.

The FAT16 environment is configured.

[Remarks]
When you create a partition, if you press N to divide the partition at step 4 above:
1) When the drive check is completed, you receive the message, "Enter partition size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%) to create a Primary DOS Partition". The primary DOS partition will be created:". Enter any number in Mbytes or as a percentage, and then press the Enter key. When you receive the message, "The primary DOS partition created," press the Esc key to return to the FDISK Options screen.
2) To make the created primary DOS partition to be the partition that is referenced at startup, press 2 in the "Choose one of the following:" on the FDISK Options screen. And then press Enter to select "2. Set active partition.
3) When you receive the message, "Enter the number of the partition that you want to make active", press 1 and then press Enter.
4) When the message, "Partition 1 made active" appears, press Esc to return to the FDISK Options screen.
5) You can use the rest of the hard disk partition as a drive by choosing the Create Extended DOS Partition option on the FDISK Options screen, creating the logical DOS drive on the partition, and then formatting it.

[Note]
You can set the active partition on the primary DOS partition only. In addition, you can create only one primary DOS partition normally. When the system is recovered, format the extended drive.