14 February 2011

How to Convert Fat-32 to NTFS


These are file systems for disc partitions that are present in computers running on Windows XP. NTFS, short for NT File System has been recommended by Microsoft itself, and is said to be the more powerful of the two file systems. It includes some features like the use of B-tree Directory to keep track of file clusters, and the fact that it can support very-large files. Its security measures are also an improvement on earlier file systems. FAT-32 is an earlier version of the file system. Before converting, one is advised to spend some time to learn the benefits of both systems, and since conversion takes a little bit of time, your needs should be the ones to determine which system should be embraced. It’s always good idea to back up your existing data before starting to convert. There are several ways to convert FAT-32 to NTFS which are discussed below.

Convert using the Setup Program.

The set up program has one advantage of allowing conversion of FAT-32 to NTFS without the need to reformat the partition. If you don’t need to keep the files intact and you have a FAT-32 partition, then you may format the partition using NTFS. And because formatting a partition erases all data, this allows you to start on a clean slate.

Converting to NTFS Using Convert.exe.

This method is used to convert partitions after setup. It is much easier to convert partitions to NTFS. The Setup program makes conversion easy, whether your partitions used FAT, FAT32, or the older version of NTFS. Using this method, the filed in the computed remain intact, unlike when formatting a partition where all the data is lost. To convert this way, one may follow this path, upon completing the set up:

1.Press the “Start,” button click “Run”, type cmd, and then press ENTER.A command window will then open.
2.On that window, type “help convert” and then press ENTER. Information about converting FAT volumes to NTFS is made available.

Conversion using command prompt.

Using this method, open the command prompt and click on “start” button. Go to “All Programs,” then to Accessories and then click on Command prompt. Type the following on the command prompt window; convert C: /fs:ntfs. The above command, for instance, can be used to convert drive C. it is important to remember that this is a one way process and once converted, you cannot then convert back to the earlier file system. And although there is software that may help to convert back (called Partition Magic 7.01), there is no guarantee that the exercise will be successful. The process can take up some time, so perhaps you can set it up to go through the night, but if for some reason the process takes only a few hours, it probably means that the conversion had already taken.

After the process is over, you may now restart the computer, and boot Windows XP, login using the Administrators console, and defragment the disk. This ensures that there is an adjacent area for the NTFS Master File Table.

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