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Windows 7: Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS


Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS

How to Convert a FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS in Windows 7
Published by Brink
25 May 2009
Published by

How to Convert a FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS in Windows 7



information   Information
This will show you how to convert a drive or partition volume with a FAT (FAT16) or FAT32 file system to a NTFS file system in Windows 7 without having to format the volume and lose your data on it.
Note   Note
Before you start to convert a FAT or FAT32 volume to NTFS, please consider the following limitations and requirements:
  • UDF and CDfs file systems are only used with optical media and cannot be converted to NTFS.
  • FAT12 is the only format used on floppy diskettes (as if these are used anymore ). This does not apply to a USB flash key though.
  • The conversion to NTFS is a one-way process. After you convert a drive or a partition to NTFS, you cannot convert it back to FAT or to FAT32 unless you format it again as FAT or FAT32.
  • The convert command requires that you have enough free space on the drive or on the partition that you want to convert to be able to convert it. If Convert.exe determines that there is not sufficient free space on the volume, it will not convert the volume.
  • If the files are being used on the volume that you are trying to convert, then you will be prompted with:
    "Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? <Y/N>"
    • Quit all the programs that are using the files on the drive, and then type Y at the command prompt to convert the drive to NTFS.
  • If the drive or partition volume that you are trying to convert is in use, then you will be prompted with:
    "Convert cannot gain exclusive access to the drive letter drive, so it cannot convert it now. Would you like to schedule it to be converted the next time the system restarts? <Y/N>"
    • To resolve this issue, type Y at the command prompt. The volume or drive will be converted to NTFS the next time that you restart the computer.
warning   Warning
Although the chance of corruption or data loss during the conversion is minimal, it is recommended that you backup any data that you do not want to lose on the volume that you want to convert before you start the conversion to be extra safe.

The only way to convert a NTFS disk back to a FAT or FAT32 disk is to format the disk.

Before you begin, note that the FAT32 file system has size limitations. In this version of Windows, you cannot create a FAT32 partition greater than 32 GB (32728 MB). In addition, you cannot store a file larger than 4 GB on a FAT32 partition. For more information, see Comparing NTFS and FAT file systems.





Here's How:
1. To Use a Elevated Command Prompt in Windows
A) Open an elevated command prompt.

B) Go to step 3.
2. To Use a Command Prompt at Boot
A) Open a command prompt at boot.

B) In the command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

C) In the command prompt, type list volume and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This will let you see what the drive letter is for the drive that you want to connvert since it may not always be the same drive letter that it is in Windows.

D) After making note of the drive letter, type exit and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS-command-1.jpg
E) Continue on to step 3 to convert the drive.
3. In the command prompt, type convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute drive letter for the drive letter of the FAT or FAT32 drive or partition that you want to convert to NTFS. For example, I want to convert my USB flash key with the drive letter G: , so I would type convert g: /fs:ntfs and press enter.
Name:  Command.jpg
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4. If prompted to Enter current volume label for drive (drive letter) (ex: G: ), then enter the name (ex: NEW VOLUME) of this drive letter as it is displayed in the Computer window and press Enter. (see screenshots below)
Name:  Current_Volume_Label-1.jpg
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Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS-current_volume_label-2.jpg
5. When the conversion to NTFS is complete, you receive the Conversion complete message. (See screenshot above)
NOTE: This may take a while to convert depending on full and large the drive is. It may also seem like it has hung at points, but be patient and let it finish.

6. Close the command prompt.
NOTE: If you used a command prompt at boot, then also close the System Recovery Options window and restart the computer.
That's it,
Shawn





20 Nov 2009   #1
djpurity

Windows7 on desktop & Vista on laptop
 
 

When I tried this, it said:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\Windows\system32>convert G: /fs:ntfs
CONVERT is not available for RAW drives.
C:\Windows\system32>

My G drive is a Samsung 300GB HD300LD PATA connected via IDE slave. It used to hold all of my work on it. Is it possible to still recover this data? When I go into BIOS, or when my system posts, it shows the file system is formatted FAT32. Maybe I should try this from a fresh boot and not from within Windows 7?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Andrea,

It seems that the drive is blank or has not been formatted with the RAW error like that. Try removing any (slave/master) jumpers on the drive to see if it may allow you to afterwards. It should work just fine in Windows 7 though.

Be sure to backup your data on that drive to be safe though if possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #3
Akpsp

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Hello. Can i also make a external hdd NTFS into a fat 32 partition? i wanna back up my ps3 so i can install ubuntu on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Akpsp,

Yes, but it cannot be converted so you will have to format the external drive as a FAT32 partition instead. Be sure to backup anything on the drive that you do not want to lose first though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #5
djpurity

Windows7 on desktop & Vista on laptop
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Andrea,

It seems that the drive is blank or has not been formatted with the RAW error like that. Try removing any (slave/master) jumpers on the drive to see if it may allow you to afterwards. It should work just fine in Windows 7 though.

Be sure to backup your data on that drive to be safe though if possible.
I used a program called Drive Dig (or something like that) that digs up all images, data, etc, on drives that aren't "formatted" .... I was able to recover some data.... but not much. I don't know what happened, but I think the MBR got wiped out. The Master Boot Record... or the partition table got wiped out. I need to rebuild it, or just format the drive and count my losses. It used to have all my backed up good data, including things I can't replace or otherwise find... I wonder if there is a tool to recover the MBR or rebuilt the partition table... ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2009   #6
hotrodbob1976

Windows 7
 
 

I am unable to format my 32GB USB Flash Drive with format or convert. Here is a screen shot of what happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2009   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Bob, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Does your USB flash drive have write protection built into it? If so you will need to turn that off first. Also look in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to see if you may be able to format it in there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2009   #8
hotrodbob1976

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Bob, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Does your USB flash drive have write protection built into it? If so you will need to turn that off first. Also look in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to see if you may be able to format it in there.
Thanks. I will check that out when I get home. How do I check write protection?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2009   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

It depends on your USB flash drive. Some have a switch to turn it off and on, some are software protected, and others have a special parition on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Convert FAT or FAT32 Volume to NTFS





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