How to format large SD cards for Raspberry Pi?

If you want use your large SD card with capacity of over 32GB or so you hay have some issues when trying to use it with your Raspberry Pi device. This is because large SD cards are using by default a format unsupported by the Raspberry Pi. This can be easily fixed if you follow the steps below.

Formatting the SD Card for Raspberry Pi

To format a SD card you need a PC with Windows or Mac with a SD card slot or a card reader plugged to USB port in your computer. Remember that when you format a SD card all data will be lost, so keep in mind to backup your sensitive data before continuing.

Firstly download the SD-CARD associations formatter application. You can do that from the SD-CARD association’s website. After successfull download and basic installation we can move to the next step.

Formatting the SD card on Mac or Windows is slightly different. If you are using OS X be sure that you check the “Overwrite Format” and choose the “Option” button in which you have to check “Logical Address Adjustment” as yes.

In Windows this is almost the same, simply click the “Option” button and select “FULL (OverWrite)” for the format type dropdown and “On” for the format size adjustment dropdown.

Formatting the SD card as FAT32

Now, you should reformat the SD card so that it will be recognised by our Raspberry Pi device. Fortunately, there is a great tool you can use to reformat your SD card in FAT32 format. The software can be downloaded from Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd, but this is for Windows only but alas OS X provides the Disk Utility application which can also do the exactly the same thing. You should now be able to successfully run NOOBS off your Raspberry Pi, because the boot loader will be now utilising a recognised format. Take care when using the FAT32 formatter on Windows by making sure that you are formatting the correct drive, or else it could cause a rather costly mistake that you cannot undo.

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Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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