Drive now full

Hey everyone I have a Western Digital External Hard drive. It’s a 500 gig drive. It still has over 100 gig left, yet it won’t let me copy things over to it. The file I am trying to copy is about 10 gigs in size. The only way I can actually copy things to it is if I’m downloading pictures from my camera. But if I do a backup or try to just copy things from one drive to It, it tells me that the drive is full. I’ve emptied the recycle bin several times and it’s totally empty. I’m really scratching my head on this one. Any ideas? Thanks.

Have you tried defragging the drive?


I haven’t because the scan said it wasn’t needed. I was told that a FAT32 file system will only hold files of 2gig or smaller. Not sure if that’s true or not.

The max file size for FAT32 is 4 Gig. The 10 G file is to big.


So I bought a backup drive to back up my files and if it’s over 4gig it won’t copy over? How stupid is that? How is an average non computer person suppose to know this? Is there any  way around this? I have to have this file backed up or it’s totally pointless to have a backup drive. Any suggestions?

Why did you reformat it to FAT32? The externals for Windows come formatted NTFS for Windows unless you got one for Mac. You can convert to NTFS Then drive will work on Windows without file size restriction. If you did this to make it compatible with Mac or Playstation then it won’t work on them.


I didn’t do anything to it. I bought it and plugged it in. I did get it at best buy and I had the Geeks there transfer an old broken drive to it. Could they have done something to it? If I change it to an NTFS will I lose all the date that’s already on it? Also this is for a Windows machine.

It’s possible they did something, what was the old drive from? I don’t understand why they would have reformatted it to FAT32 unless you attach the drive to something else like a Mac, TV or video stuff. You shouldn’t loose the data but you want a copy in case there is a problem. Any time you make changes to a drive or partition you want other copies in case something goes wrong. Sometimes people even experienced ones do something wrong and wipe out their data. If you don’t have a copy you are out of luck. I use 3 externals 2 are for manual copies and the third one for drive images. I also keep one drive image on the first 2 drives. I’ve lost stuff before that wasn’t backed up. A backup means 2 copies at different places. You never want to trust important data to just one drive internal or external no matter who makes it.


They took an old external drive that stopped working and transfered the Data to it. Then I plugged it right into my computer. It’s the only thing it’s ever been hooked to that I know oft. I’ll have to go get another Ext. Drive and give you idea a shot. Thanks for your help.

As cheap as they are now it’s a good idea. If you want to free up space on your PC you can make a copy on each external. Do a search on Sync software  MS makes a free one called SyncToy. Basically you select a folder on one drive and it makes the copy of the folder on the other drive match with any change you made. Like just select say My documents on both and hit Sync and they will be the same.


Yep, that’s how I have it set up right now. So I just went and borrowed my brother’s WD 1000 Gig EXt. drive and his is also FAT32. So is there something we’ve done wrong when we’ve taken it out of the box? This is pretty frustrating now. We use SYNCBack as our backup tool. Could that have changed the file from NTFS to FAT32?

So I took the risk and converted the FAT32 to NTFS and it worked. Thanks again for your help.

Glad it worked for you. Sometimes thst will also fix a Raw partition that got corrupted.