Need to format your external hard disk to FAT32 for your XBOX 360 or PS3?


Staff member
When I first bought an external hard disk, I was excited about being able to watch videos, and HD videos through my XBOX 360. I loaded my files onto the disk and hooked it up to the console.... Nothing. The disk was not recognised. At the time I did not realise that your disk needs to be formatted in a specific manner, namely FAT32 to be recognised.

I searched for solutions, and found many, each suggesting using a different method or piece of software to achieve what I needed. After some trial and error I have come accross a very simply and easy solution. This is an excellent piece of software called FAT32Format. You can find the official web page here, the download here, and step by step guide here.

The software takes about a minute to do the whole job on a low powered netbook, so if you have a more impressive system it should take no time at all.

You need to bare in mind that FAT32 only supports files smaller than 4GB. Some HD files will likely be larger than this size and as a result you may need to split them in order to store them on the disk, and play them through your console. I have found the best application for splitting or combining files to be HJSplit.

On the note of HD content, your XBOX will not play a raw MKV video file. The supported formats are AVI XVID & MP4. You can convert your MKV and other format files to the XBOX 360 playable formats using GOTSent.