Is MS-Dos FAT the same as FAT32?

Is MS-Dos FAT the same as FAT32?

Microsoft Disk Operating System, also known as Microsoft DOS. MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and few operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as “DOS” (which is also the generic acronym for disk operating system).

What is MS-Dos FAT?

MS-DOS (FAT) – This is Disk Utility’s name for the FAT32 filesystem. Advantages: FAT32 offers near-universal interoperability with virtually every computing system on the planet. A drive formatted this way can easily transfer files between Macs and PCs.


Dos requires a computer commander to command us, just as we humans depend on the brain to control things like work and study. The commander of the computer is DOS. Of course, you become the Commander-in-Chief: you command the DOS to manipulate the computer.

What is FAT32?

File Allocation Table32 is 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.

FAT32 is the oldest of the three file systems available to Windows. It was introduced all the way back in Windows 95 to replace the older FAT16 file system used in MS-DOS and Windows 3. Limitations come with that age, however. Individual files on a FAT32 drive can’t be over 4 GB in size that’s the maximum.

Can MS-Dos read FAT32?

However, OS X and Windows both can read and write to a format called FAT32, which used to be used for Windows all the way back into the MS-DOS days. Most modern Windows systems use the NTFS file format, which OS X can read, but not write to. So your best bet for compatibility is FAT32.

Difference between MS-Dos FAT and FAT32:

Here are some differences between MS-Dos FAT and FAT32:

  • File Allocation Table(FAT) is a file system used on computers. Its function is to map out which areas of the drive are unused and which areas of the drive contain files. A file system is very important as it facilitates the seamless reading and writing files to the drive.
  • FAT32 is just one of the variants of FAT that appeared as it evolved to adapt to the increasing requirements of computing. It is the latest and most widely used in the succession of FAT variants.
  • FAT32, as could be easily discerned by the 32 suffix, uses 32 bits to represent each cluster value. The more notable FAT variant that preceded FAT32, commonly known as FAT16, uses 16 bits; older versions of FAT used 12 and 8 bits.
  • More bits directly translate to more locations that can be addressed and more total usable storage.
  • FAT32 can have partitions of up to 2TB or 2000GB, which is significantly more compared to the 4GB limit that can be addressed by FAT16. FAT32 also has a 4GB limit to the size of individual files.
  • FAT32 has prompted the move towards other more superior file systems like NTFS and Ext3.
  • Due to its age and popularity, FAT32 has become the file system of choice for removable media like flash cards, USB drives, and even for the internal memories of cameras and mobile phones.
  • Using FAT32 means that the device will very likely work with whatever operating system it is connected to.
  • FAT32 is the only version of FAT that is still widely used.


Steps to format USB to fat32?

Follow these steps to format USB to fat32:

  1. Connect the USB storage device to the computer.
  2. Open Disk Utility.
  3. Click to select the USB storage device in the left panel.
  4. Click to change to the Erase tab.
  5. In the Volume Format: selection box, click.
  6. Click Erase.
  7. At the confirmation dialog, click the Erase.
  8. Close the Disk Utility window.

Final basic points of FAT OR FAT32:

1.FAT32 is just a variant of FAT.
2.FAT32 uses 32 bits while other variants of FAT use less.
3.FAT32 has the highest capacity among different FAT variants.
4.FAT32 is the only variant of FAT still in widespread use today.

MS-DOS (FAT) is Disk Utility’s name for the FAT32 filesystem. Virtually all cameras and videocameras support FAT32, too. It’s the closest thing we have to a universal file system format, which is why most flash drives are formatted this way right out of the box.

Most are in the form of flash drives. FAT32 doesn’t support files larger than 4GB, and this is its biggest drawback.
If asked “Is Mac DOS FAT the same as FAT32?” If you partition and format the drive in OS X Lion for use on both systems, Windows and OS X, OS X lists the format as MS-DOS (FAT). But it actually converts the drive. Formats as FAT32.


FAT32 is a filesystem and has nothing much to do with the operating system. So whatever OS it is, FAT32 is FAT32, and they’re the same. Afaik, MS-DOS used FAT16 as its default filesystem, while FAT32 was first introduced by Win95 OSR2, or Win97 as known by others.

I hope this guide is helpful to you . Thank you for reading this.