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How to Recover Lost FAT Partition from HFS External Drive

External drives generally use NTFS format if used with a Windows system and HFS+ format if used with a Mac system exclusively. However, if you are planning to use the external drive with both Windows and Mac, then a file system like FAT32 or ExFAT is used. FAT 32 file system although works with both Windows and Mac, it cannot support files of over 4GB in size. So, a better option would be to use ExFAT, as it does not have a 4GB limit, but supports both Windows and Mac.

External HDD

You can also use the same external drive for different purposes and format it using 2 different file systems. For instance, you can have both a part of the external drive as FAT and the other half as HFS. However, irrespective of whether you have a FAT file system or an HFS file system, all of these run into corruption issues at some point. The reasons can vary but here are some of the most common reasons for data loss in FAT file systems.

  • Abruptly removing the external device without first ejecting it safely is by far the most common reason for corruption in drives using the FAT file system
  • Errors during partitioning or formatting the drives using FAT file system can also result in corruption and data loss
  • Bad sectors present on the drive often as a result of corruption or other physical damage can lead to data loss
  • Using the FAT formatted drive on both Windows and Mac systems without formatting it to ExFAT can sometimes result in corruption

Recover FAT partition using Remo Recover Mac

Remo Recover is a specialized program to recover data from FAT partitions. It is equipped with algorithms that skilfully identify and recover lost partitions. Partitions are recovered in such a way that all your original data along with file names are recovered. Even the structure and folder hierarchy is maintained after recovery. So, you don’t need to worry about the false notion that data recovery tools damage your original data.

Mac OS data recovery with Remo Recover can be performed on FAT 16, FAT 32, ExFAT, HFS, and HFS+ file systems. It has the capacity to recover data from all kinds of storage devices like external and internal hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards etc.

Once you have recovered data from FAT file systems, go ahead and format the drive to repair corruption issues and start over. Again remember, if you’re planning to use the external drive on both Windows and Mac, please format it using the exFAT file system.

Format external drive to resolve corruption issues

Mac Disk Utility

To format the external drive on your Mac, just follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Applications in the Finder and select Utilities
  2. Then select Disk Utility and proceed
  3. From the left menu bar, select the external drive and click Erase
  4. Assign a name to the drive, choose a file system and format the drive

You can also partition the drive if you find that your drive is not partitioned optimally. This way, you can make maximum utilization of the storage device. But before you attempt formatting or partitioning, make sure all data in the drive is backed up.

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