What happened to MS-DOS format in Disk Utility's "Erase?"

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Slipface, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Slipface

    Slipface Guest

    Gang,
    I didn't notice when it disappeared, but what happened to the MS-DOS
    format option when erasing a disk in Disk Utility? I have a flash
    drive that I use on my Macs and some Windows PCs at work, and I needed
    to reformat it. I ended up doing it on a Win machine so I could retain
    the FAT format (the manufacturer of the flash drive said to NOT use
    FAT32). Would the "Unix file system" option be equivalent?

    thanks,
    _d
     
    Slipface, Dec 8, 2005
    #1
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  2. Slipface

    FPP Guest

    I'm running 10.4.2, and when I choose a partitioned volume, the option
    doesn't show up.

    When I choose the actual HD itself, I can format that as MS-DOS. For
    me, it's all or nothing...

    FPP
     
    FPP, Dec 8, 2005
    #2
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  3. It's still there, just not obvious. For each disk that appears in Disk
    Utility there should be an icon for the disk itself, and under that an
    icon for each volume on the disk. Unless you partition the disk though
    you'll only have one volume. If you select the disk instead of a volume
    on it then Disk Utility will give you the option to erase the disk to
    any format you like, including MS-DOS. This is because MS-DOS volumes
    aren't compatible with Apple's partitioning scheme, so the entire disk
    needs to be erased and a new MS-DOS style partition map written.

    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand
    http://roger.geek.nz/
    ________________________________________________________________________
    No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?

    Kryten, from the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day"
     
    Roger Johnstone, Dec 8, 2005
    #3
  4. Slipface

    Slipface Guest

    Interesting stuff, gang. Thanks for the replies.

    I looked at a flash drive again in Disk Utility. Surprisingly, I get
    MS-DOS options whether I select the secondary (partition?) or the main
    disk icon. If I select the main icon, my onely DOS option is "MS-DOS
    File System." If I select the secondary icon, I actually get 2
    options, "MS-DOS File System," or ""MS-DOS File System (FAT-16)."

    So that throws me two curveballs. The first is that I have a DOS
    option for both, when it seems from the previous posts that only the
    main icon should present an y DOS option. The second is that these
    names aren't what I expected. I expected to see either "FAT" or
    "FAT-32." Which is which?

    On a side note, I think the reason I didn't see *any* DOS options
    before is because I was working with a counterfeit flash drive. I
    spent a good chunk of time on the phone with SanDisk tech support to
    come to the conclusion that I got a bogus drive--one that most likely
    started out as a real 128MB drive, had its guts stripped out and
    replaced with junk 1.0GB guts, and didn't work reliably. I think this
    was just one of its many symptoms, showing up when I tried to reformat
    it.

    thanks for your thoughts, gang! :)
    _d
     
    Slipface, Dec 9, 2005
    #4
  5. The one that says it's FAT-16 is FAT-16. The other one, since it's not
    FAT-16, is FAT-32.
     
    Jerry Kindall, Dec 9, 2005
    #5
  6. That's normal behaviour since you can only have Apple partitions (HFS,
    UFS) or MS-DOS partitions (FAT16, FAT32) on a disk, not a mix of both.
    To change between an Apple and MS-DOS partition map you need to erase
    the entire disk and start again.

    --
    Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand
    http://roger.geek.nz/
    ________________________________________________________________________
    No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?

    Kryten, from the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day"
     
    Roger Johnstone, Dec 10, 2005
    #6
  7. Slipface

    David C. Guest

    All correct.
    Not quite.

    There is nothing in FAT/FAT32 that ties it to any particular
    partitioning scheme.

    My guess is that Apple refuses to allow this combination because a
    Windows PC will not recognize the Apple style partition table. If they
    allowed you to format this combination, people would accidentally create
    FAT volumes on Apple-partitioned drives, and then get upset when Windows
    can't access anything.

    -- David
     
    David C., Dec 12, 2005
    #7
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