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(File Allocation Table32) The 32-bit version of the FAT file system. Employed on Windows PCs prior to the more advanced NTFS file system, the FAT32 format is widely used for USB drives, flash memory cards and external hard drives for compatibility between all platforms. However, the exFAT file system extends the maximum file size from 4GB to virtually unlimited (see exFAT).

More Advanced than FAT16
Introduced in 1996, FAT32 increased capacities (see below) and supported 255-character names (see long file names). In the event of drive failure, FAT32 can relocate the root directory and use the backup copy of the FAT table. FAT32 also reduced cluster waste by having smaller cluster sizes when drive capacity was so small that any reduction was meaningful (see cluster). For more on the FAT architecture, see FAT and file system.

A Flash Drive in a Mac
The Mac's Get Info (equivalent to Windows Properties) classifies this 16GB USB drive in the machine as an "MS-DOS" device. Curious about the 1969 date? See epoch.

    -------Maximum--------    File   Volume   NumberSize    Size    FilesNTFS     16TB   256TB    4.3G

 exFAT    16EB    64ZB    **

 FAT32     4GB     2TB      4M

 FAT16     4GB     4GB     65K

 FAT12     **      16MB     4K

 ** limited by volume size
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References in periodicals archive ?
Both of the VEDRs are equipped with a FAT32 formatted 8 GB flash memory card.
DriveSpace 3 is even more efficient in disk utilization than is FAT32, as it offers the ability to store two to three times as much data in a given space than does FAT32.
But if you convert your files to the FAT32 format, the loss of speed is nearly imperceptible.
PartitionMagic 6.0 offers an ability to split FAT and FAT32 partitions and undelete FAT, FAT32, Linux ext2 and NTFS partitions that have been previously deleted.
They include improved administration tools; support for new hardware; and a more efficient file system - unfortunately known as FAT32 - which allows bigger drives to be formatted as a single volume, and allows disk drives to hold more information.
Supported Multiple Disk Formats: Allow users to recover the lost disk partitions and get back data from File systems like HFS+, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, etc.
It is distributed as a raw disk image which includes both FAT32 and ext3 disk partitions, and it must be direct-written to an SD card.
(http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&drKey=1359&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.xda-developers.com%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D2036796&v=1&libid=1358583558418&out=http%3A%2F%2Fandroid.simpleweb.it%2Fgnote2%2Fextsd2internalsd_gnote2_fat32.zip&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.x) Mod for fat32 SD card for custom kernel
The internal 3.5" hard drive can be formatted to either NTFS or FAT32. User can create folders to store home video, music, or photos on the internal hard disk with a PC, and then immediately playback the contents on TV."
Directory Snoop is available for Windows 95 through XP and works with non-compressed FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file systems.