Formatting 5TB elements hard drive to FAT32

Does anyone know if I can format my 5TB elements portable hard drive to FAT32 using Linux? I’m trying to store 5TB of wave files and my 2021 Forester will only read FAT32. Windows will only format FAT32 on 2TB or less. Subaru hasn’t been much help other than to say if my USB device is formatted to FAT32 it should work. Any help is much appreciated.

I know you can format a 5TB hard drive to FAT32 using Windows (in theory FAT32 can support up to 17.6TB according to the Wiki)

Even if you could format the 5TB to FAT32 using Linux … the next problem you most very likely face is the issue of Partition Style.

If your Subaru Forester is limited to the old FAT32 file system, it’s also most likely limited to the old MBR (Master Boot Record) Partition Table … which has a 2TB Max Capacity limitation.

Your 5TB Element is using GPT (GUID Partition Table) to overcome the 2TB limitation to be able use the full capacity.

Thanks for the feedback JoeySmyth. I am currently using a 1TB hard drive that is GPT/FAT32 and the Forester reads that just fine. Can you provide any info or links showing how to format the 5TB using Windows?
I’ve already tried to format the 5TB into 3 partitions (2TB + 2TB + 1TB) and the Forester doesn’t recognize it. I just want 1 partition with FAT32. So far, no luck.

Ok, cool

you’ll need to find out is what’s the largest capacity or single partition size the Forester supports .

pretty much any 3rd party Partition/Format windows can do it. I used a old one 10 years ago called Swissknife. Software made by AOMEI, EaseUS etc will also do the job.

heck , if their support is so clueless i’d be willing to try formatting the hard drive exFAT as a test.

If that works, that would solve of your problems … worth a try, nothing to lose.

Formatting to exFAT was the first thing I tried. No luck. You’re right, it sure would have made my life easier had it worked. I probably pissed off the person I am working with at Subaru with my snarky comment “why are Subaru building cars in 2021 using 40 year old technology?” as my calls/emails are going unanswered. Perhaps they’re not getting back to me because of the weather in NJ. I’m going to keep on Subaru until I can get some answers. For now, I guess I’m just SOL trying to use a 5TB USB hard drive. If I can find a work around I will post it here as I’m sure there are others who are experiencing this same problem. Thanks again for your suggestions.

Mr. JoeySmyth, I’ve switched my 5TB portable elements drive to MBR (Unallocated 4657.5GB). Is there a way to make this usable? Everything I’m reading says that MBR is limited to 2TB but I have another WD 5TB external drive and it is MBR and I can use to whole 4657.5GB. I’m using MiniTool Partition Wizard Free 12.3 but it’ll only create a 2TB partition rendering the rest useless. How can one drive be MBR and I’m able to use all the space but cannot format the portable drive. Thanks again for any help.

because some drives use 512 byte emulation.

I also have a few 3TB and 4TB External drives which are MBR utilizing the entire drive capacity using 512 byte emulation.

I solved the problem. I used WD Quick Formatter, checked the XP Compatibility box which allows 4096 byte I believe, then proceeded with MiniTool Partition Wizard to format at FAT32. I now have a 5TB hard drive with FAT32 and the Forester recognizes it. I now have the undaunting task of editing the ID tags of some 130,000 plus files so that they will play in order of the track listing per album. Subaru only reads the files in alphabetical order. Not a big deal unless listening to live albums or the likes of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in which sequential order is a must. Thanks again for your input JoeySmyth.