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Windows 7: convert FAT32 to NTFS in XP

19 Apr 2011   #1
Montclair

Windows
 
 
convert FAT32 to NTFS in XP

I know this is (obviously) a Windows 7 site, and I apologize if me posting about XP is against the rules here -- but seems like there are some experts here that may be able to point me in the right direction. I've been experiencing the same issue as another user (Asura) who never posted as to whether he was able to fix the problem.

Specifically, I have been trying, in vain, to convert FAT32 to NTFS on a 2 disk IDE RAID 1 (mirrored) array managed by a Promise FastTrak TX2000 controller, under XP SP2. The OS runs on this array.

The file system isn't dirty, there's plenty of free space, and the drive has been defragged. I've gone as far as even pre-creating the MFT file using the fsutil command, then using the /cvtarea switch on convert.exe to avoid any MFT creation issues. I've also pre-aligned the current FAT32 16k clusters on 4k boundaries using BootIt NG.

After issuing the convert command and rebooting, chkdsk runs without errors, then the conversion starts. About 30 minutes into the conversion, I get "Drive C: was not converted.", followed by "The conversion failed.", and that's it.

There is no other information displayed. I'm at a loss as to what the problem could be, other than perhaps the RAID setup is interfering -- but it shouldn't be. I contacted Promise (the raid controller manufacturer) and had a lengthy discussion with a tech. Bottom line, the card shouldn't be the culprit.

I've also tried Partition Magic 8.01 as well, which apparently does nothing more than issue the convert command (which fails as described above.) I may try the freeware Partition Manager, but I fear it's just going to do the same thing -- issue the command line and fail.

Looking for any recommendations so I can close this issue and get the drives converted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #2
Everlong

 

Not really sure myself, but my guess is you won't be able to do it on that drive if the Windows you're using is installed on the same drive, i.e. can't do it while the drive is in use. You'd have to install Windows on to a different drive and boot in to that installation and then do the conversion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #3
Montclair

Windows
 
 

I've successfully converted drives containing the OS previously. And, that's the reason the system needs to reboot, so the drive isn't in use. But, thanks for the reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Apr 2011   #4
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Does Promise manufacturer host their own Support Forum? If so chances are high someone who has overcome that problem may be available there. It's worth a look. I'm not that up on mirroring but it seems like something that could make converting the file system as it's in use difficult to "mirror." If someone has found a work-around they probably lurk on Raid-related forums.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #5
Montclair

Windows
 
 

They do, and I could try there -- but really, the card takes control of the drives at the BIOS level before Windows even knows about them. To Windows, it just looks like a single hard drive. Off topic, but It's actually rather impressive when a drive fails. The system just keeps working and you replace the drive at your leisure and reboot. The controller starts mirroring the existing drive onto the new drive immediately, even while the system is booting. Windows can be loading and the replacement drive is being populated with data at the same time. I've done it three times over the lifespan of the box thus far, and I'm quite pleased with the capability of the setup.

I'm not really inclined to think the controller has anything to do with the conversion failing. I just wish I was getting -any- kind of error message from convert. I get nothing.

I even went as far as to include the /v(erbose) switch on the convert command line, rebooted, then watched it sit there for over an hour as filenames scrolled by -- but I fell asleep (it was 3 am)! I woke up and the box was booted back into windows, still stuck with FAT32. <sigh>
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2011   #6
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I've found on forums for specific products there's often a solution even if the product didn't cause the problem. As example, someone complains on MakeMKV forum that MakeMKV can't extract PGS subtitles. Someone answers use MkvExtractGui-2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #7
Montclair

Windows
 
 

Guess I spoke too soon -- they have no user forums at Promise. I fear I'm not going to get this one solved.

Note to all programmers: If your program can't perform it's sole purpose for existing, be sure you tell the user WHY!

I can't believe I actually have to write something as ridiculous as that. Good job, MS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #8
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I'm just guessing but my feeling is you are trying to mirror a drive as it changes states. I can't see it working smoothly. I would try to do the partition conversion separately in a standard Sata controller machine. Maybe if you know someone with USB docking stations ask them to convert them, then stick 'em back in the box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #9
Montclair

Windows
 
 

No disrespect, but if that were the case, partitioning, formatting, resizing clusters, even writing to the array at all would fail. I've done all of those things with this array, since RAID exists at the BIOS level -- the PC thinks only a single drive is connected.

Your suggestion has been one of the options I've been considering, though. It will eliminate the array as the issue if it fails. I can pull one drive, connect it to an IDE controller and try the conversion. If it succeeds, I can rebuild the array from that drive. If it fails, I'll rebuild from the existing drive. Quite a pain in the butt though, for something that should work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #10
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Montclair View Post
No disrespect, but if that were the case, partitioning, formatting, resizing clusters, even writing to the array at all would fail. I've done all of those things with this array, since RAID exists at the BIOS level -- the PC thinks only a single drive is connected.

Your suggestion has been one of the options I've been considering, though. It will eliminate the array as the issue if it fails. I can pull one drive, connect it to an IDE controller and try the conversion. If it succeeds, I can rebuild the array from that drive. If it fails, I'll rebuild from the existing drive. Quite a pain in the butt though, for something that should work.
Most likely it's because the non-destructive conversion software makes assumptions or does stuff directly to the disk, below the BIOS. MS is known for doing things the undocumented way. I used to have to buy books called "Undocumented Windows" to program it, if you can believe that.

Whether you "should" have to go to this trouble is beside the point. I'd take a wild guess it will work, just from previous experiences.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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