I had an external hard-drive with a fat32 partition (which I used for exchanging files between ubuntu and windows), some unallocated space, and a ext4 partition (which I used to backup my linux system).

I then used gparted to enlarge the fat32 partition to include the unallocated space. After that, the hard drive kept working well on ubuntu while on windows I get the message that The drive is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system.

Windows' Disk Management says that the drive's file system is RAW. I read around and the only way to solve this seems to reformat the partition, but since it works fine on ubuntu I would first like to understand:

  1. What happened exactly?
  2. Is there now way I can fix this without formatting?
  • 2
    The maximum size of standard fat32 partition is 32GB. Dec 12, 2017 at 15:02
  • In effect, it was way above that (around 350GB) before the size increase and I never had a problem with it.
    – Fede9390
    Dec 12, 2017 at 15:05
  • @IporSircer According to Wikipedia (and Microsoft) FAT32 supports partitions up to 2 TiB with the default 32 KiB cluster size
    – Fox
    Dec 13, 2017 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


The problem looks like a BUG in libparted and happens when a FAT32 is resized on Linux, most users are having the same error when using (non updated) GParted live CD.

It is that Windows enforces (checks) the boot sector of the partition and if it has first bytes different to a specific value windows does not allow to access the FAT32 partition.

Resize partition (because a BUG) causes that such bytes changes.

That is the cause, the solution without (BackUp on Linux, reformatting it on Windows, restore data) is unknown by me... i suffer the same on a 1.8TiB FAT32 (32KiB cluster).

  • 1
    Claudio is correct in that this is a bug in unpatched versions of libparted 3.2. A work around is available. You can manually set the initial bytes in the partition so that Windows will once again recognize the file system. See Bug 759915 comment 21 to learn how to do this. Note that recent GParted Live CD images do contain a patched version of libparted and do not suffer from this problem. Jul 24, 2019 at 19:50

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