What is the format of your external drive?
Although I am using a Mac, my two drives (Iomega and EXQUEST) are formatted MS-DOS FAT32. The third hard drive (Iomega) came from a Windows XP user so it may also be formatted FAT32.
I'm in a similar situation, working with a 12GB file.
Does anyone know if there is a way to split your filemaker database into usable (<4GB) chunks that would work with FAT32? The only alternative I can think of is reformatting as NTFS and using something like NTFS-3G.
Yes, you can split your file into "usable chunks".
Using your 12GB file, pull down the File menu and select "Save a Copy As...". At the bottom of this dialog box, select the Type: "clone (no records) " . This makes a copy of your file without any records. In essence, a structure of your file. Since there is some overhead in the file, splitting this into three file would leave you a little over 4GB each, so you will need to split this into at least four files.
Create four "clone" files.
In your large 12GB file, find the first 1/4 of the records. For example, if there are 40,000 records, go to record 10,001, pull down the Records menu and select "Omit Multiple...". Omit 30000 records, and you are left with the first 10000 records. Open the first "clone" file and import from the main 12GB file. Since only 10000 records are found, the "clone" file will only import 10000 records.
Repeat the steps above for the other "clone" files.
Does anyone know if there is a way to split your filemaker database into usable (<4GB) chunks
It depends on what your file contains and what you would define as "useable". If you have multiple tables, you could put each table in a separate file - the functionality of the solution wouldn't be much different.
Splitting records of the same table into separate files doesn't appeal to me - what if you need to perform a find?