Partition size limitations

 Gary -
I am currently a student just starting on my A+ I know this is small potatoes but I was given a homework assignment as thus: "find out the MAXIMUM partition sizes for a FAT system,a FAT32 system and an NTFS system. Now the instructor did not specify whether this was in a Windows format or not..but I must assume so can anyone give me these correct answers?

I am going to call him in the morning to verify it is within the windows OS but need the info . can anyone help?--thanx--Joe

4 replies

Hi Joe,

The maximum partition size of FAT32 can be 1.99 TB because there is a limitation in the Volume Boot Record's section BPB & extended BPB that the field that stores total number of sectors on disk is of 4 Bytes.So, the calculation is as follows:

Maximum number that can accomodate in 4 Byte field = 4294967295
Size of 1 sector = 512
Total Bytes that can accomodate (with 4 Bytes field for total sectors on hard disk) = 4294967295 x 512 = 2199023255040 Bytes = 2047.999 GB = 1.99 TB.

The maximum FAT32 partition can be created in disk management is 32GB, but you can use third party product like EASEUS Partition master to create 2TB FAT32 partition. But due to MBR disk limitation, you can only create 2TB FAT32 or NTFS partition, as the larggest MBR disk is 2TB.
Registration date
Thursday April 30, 2009
Last seen
May 31, 2009

yes, longtail says right, the maximum size of fat32 in disk management is 32 Gb, and if the hard disk is mbr disk, the maximun size of fat32 or ntf file system is limited to 2tb