I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10 in) on Black Friday for a measly $269, what a deal! After ordering the device, I decided I wanted to get a nice big SD card for it to store all of the movies and content I was sure to load onto it. So then I began reading about how get the a 64GB micro SDXC card to work with the Galaxy Tab.
Turns out this isn’t as easy as you would think, because the 64GB cards all come pre-formatted as exFAT which the Galaxy Tab and most other Android tablets won’t read. So I read up on how to format the card, and feeling confident that I could get it to work, went ahead and bought a SanDisk 64 GB microSDXC card.
Format via Samsung Galaxy S3
The simplest way to format it properly is if you have a Galaxy S3. Simply insert the card and click “Format” when it prompts you. Of course, I don’t have an S3, so… moving on.
Format via a card reader and a computer
The next available method is to have a card reader or get a card reader to connect the card to a computer, format it correctly, then use it with the tablet.
First, locate your computer with built-in SD card reader, or purchase a cheap USB card reader. I chose this Kingston simply because I have used one like it before, it works great, and is fairly cheap. Then, choose the type of computer to format with:
Format from a PC
On a PC, at least in Windows 7, you can’t format an SDXC card to FAT32. So we’ll utilize a free piece of software to do so instead:
- Download Easeus Partition Manager Home Edition from http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Partition-Master-Home-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html
- Install the software
- Insert the SDXC card to be formatted into your SD card reader and plug into your computer.
- Run Easeus Partition Manager. If it is already running, click the “Refresh” button in the toolbar.
- Find the SD card reader in the list of disks at the bottom. Double and tripple-check that you have selected the correct disk by verifying size and drive letter assignment.
- Right-click on the left-side of the partition and choose “Delete all partitions”
- Right click on the emtpy space you just freed up and choose “Format partition.”
- You can optionally give the card a name at the “Partition Label:” text box.
- Choose the File System named FAT32 and set the cluster size to 32KB or 64KB.
- Set the partition type to “Primary”
- Click OK
- Right-click on the newly created partition and click “Format”
- Format to FAT32 partition type with cluster size of 32KB (or 64KB if you choose).
- Click OK
- Click the “Apply” check mark in the toolbar and choose OK. The formatting process should now begin and will take less than a minute.
- The SDXC card will now be formatted as FAT32. This is verified by seeing the File System now listed as “FAT32.” Eject the SD card and you’re good to go.
Format from a Mac
If you’ve got a Mac, the “Disk Utility” can be used:
- Run the “Disk Utility” program that is standard with Mac OS X.
- Click on the “Erase” button.
- Select the SD card reader drive in the left column.
- For “Volume Format:” select MS-DOS(FAT) from the drop-down list.
- You can optionally give the card a name at the “Name:” text box.
- Click the “Erase” button at the bottom right.
- Exit Disk Utility, eject the SD card and you’re set to go.
Format from Linux
If you happen to have access to a Linux box, parted (or gparted) can easily be used. You can also use the GParted Live CD to boot your machine and run GParted. Things to note:
- Delete all partitions on the card first
- Create the new FAT32 partition as a primary partition, 32k (or 64k if you choose) cluster size
Commands for using parted after plugging the SD card into the system:
$ dmesg usb 1-220.127.116.11.1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 14 usb 1-18.104.22.168.1: New USB device found, idVendor=14cd, idProduct=125b usb 1-22.214.171.124.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=3, SerialNumber=2 usb 1-126.96.36.199.1: Product: AutoRUN/Partition usb 1-188.8.131.52.1: Manufacturer: Generic usb 1-184.108.40.206.1: SerialNumber: 125B20100804 usb 1-220.127.116.11.1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice scsi5 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices usb-storage: device found at 14 usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning usb-storage: device scan complete scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access Mass Storage Device PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS sd 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0 sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] 124735487 512-byte logical blocks: (63.8 GB/59.4 GiB) sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00 sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through sdd: sdd1 sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk
Now the only part of any of that garbage that we care about above is the [sdd] portion which starts on line 15. This gives us our new device:
/dev/sdd Now lets run parted:
$ sudo parted /dev/sdd GNU Parted 2.1 Using /dev/sdd Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands. (parted)
Choose “print” then delete all of the partitions that exist. From the factory, there should be 2:
(parted) rm 1 (parted) rm 2
Now create a new FAT32 primary partition (0 0 – utilizes all available space):
(parted) mkpartfs primary fat32 0 0 (parted) quit
Pull out the card and you’re set to go.