How To: Convert FAT To NTFS Without Losing Data
NTFS(NT File System) is the standard file sytem for Microsoft’s Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.NTFS file system provides more stability, security and less fragmentation than previous FAT(File Allocation Table) file system used in operating systems like MS-DOS,Windows 98,Windows ME etc.NTFS is the recommended file system for Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems because it’s is more powerful than FAT or FAT32 file systems used in former Windows OS’s, and includes features required for hosting Active Directory as well as other important security features.Windows Vista needed NTFS file system in order to install and we can’t install Windows Vista on a FAT partition.Converting a partition from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS can be done by an inbuilt utility(convert.exe) in the Windows XP operating system.So if you want increased security and faster data encryption,go ahead and convert to NTFS.
To convert a FAT partition to NTFS, perform the following steps.
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
- In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
- After doing this the inbuilt utility, convert.exe will attempt to convert the drive for you.
For example,running the command convert E: /fs:ntfs would format drive E: to the NTFS format.You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.
- This is a one-way conversion.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.
- Make sure there is minimum 3% free space on hard disk drive partitions for proper conversion.
- Although the chance of corruption or data loss during the conversion from FAT to NTFS is minimal, it is best to perform a full backup of the data on the drive that it is to be converted prior to executing the convert command.