Converting FAT32 to NTFS

  Johnny Pepper 22:18 05 Jun 2004

I recently read in PC Advisor that the NTFS file system is faster then FAT32 & less prone to attack from hackers. How can I convert my FAT32 filesystem to NTFS. I am using XP Home Edition.

  Mikè 22:26 05 Jun 2004

From a command prompt type the following.

"convert C: /fs:ntfs" (Without the "") this will format drive C: with the ntfs format, at the next startup.

  Mikè 22:28 05 Jun 2004

Command Prompt is at Start/Programs/Accessories.

Oh yes BACKUP first.

  Mikè 22:32 05 Jun 2004

Another thought this is a one way process, to go back to Fat32 would involve a fresh install of XP.

  TomJerry 23:12 05 Jun 2004

You can convert HDD in different formats anyway you want if you use Partition Magic, Partition Expert (a free copy was on PC Advisor a couple of months ago) or Partition Commander.

  PSF 23:22 05 Jun 2004

This is from the XP help on NTFS conversion.

Choosing between NTFS, FAT, and FAT32You can choose between three file systems for disk partitions on a computer running Windows XP: NTFS, FAT, and FAT32. Use the information below to compare the file systems.

NTFS is the recommended file system for the following reasons:

NTFS is more powerful than FAT or FAT32, and includes features required for hosting Active Directory as well as other important security features. You can use features such as Active Directory and domain-based security only by choosing NTFS as your file system.
It is easy to convert partitions to NTFS. The Setup program makes conversion easy, whether your partitions used FAT, FAT32, or the older version of NTFS. This kind of conversion keeps your files intact (unlike formatting a partition). If you do not need to keep your files intact and you have a FAT or FAT32 partition, it is recommended that you format the partition with NTFS rather than convert from FAT or FAT32. Formatting a partition erases all data on the partition and allows you to start with a clean drive.
Whether a partition is formatted with NTFS or converted using the convert command, NTFS is the better choice of file system. For more information about Convert.exe, after completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER. In the command window, type help convert and then press ENTER.

In order to maintain access control on files and folders and support limited accounts, you must use NTFS. If you use FAT32, all users will have access to all files on your hard drive, regardless of their account type (administrator, limited, or standard.)
NTFS is the file system that works best with large disks. (The next best file system for large disks is FAT32.)
There is one situation in which you might want to choose FAT or FAT32 as your file system. If it is necessary to have a computer that will sometimes run an earlier version of Windows and other times run Windows XP, you will need to have a FAT or FAT32 partition as the primary (or startup) partition on the hard disk. Most earlier versions of Windows cannot access a partition if it uses the latest version of NTFS. The two exceptions are Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4 or later. Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4 or later has access to partitions with the latest version of NTFS, but with some limitations: It cannot access files that have been stored using NTFS features that did not exist when Windows NT 4.0 was released.

For anything other than a situation with multiple operating systems, however, the recommended file system is NTFS.


Once you convert a drive or partition to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will erase all data including programs and personal files on the partition.

  TomJerry 01:24 06 Jun 2004

see my post above. They are correct if only windows are used, with third party program, you can do conversion anyway you like.

  PSF 09:38 06 Jun 2004

Thanks for the info, I will bow to your knowledge of Partition Magic as I have never used it.

The info I supplied is direct from the Gospel of Bill Gates, Microsoft Help Files, but as with most things there is always another way to do something. ;-)

  powerless 09:40 06 Jun 2004

...and 40 quid to do it.

  powerless 09:41 06 Jun 2004

If you have no troubles with FAT32 then stick with it.

If you want the "extra" security large disk support etc then convert but you ainn't missing much.

  TomJerry 10:16 06 Jun 2004

Do great job as well.

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