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  1. #1
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    Should I convert my ext. HD from Fat32 to NTFS

    OK, I'm confused. I have an Ext. HD and I see it is FAT32.

    I recently tried Macrium Reflect to do an image backup of a new computer. It backed it up in about 8 files, each 4gb. This is because the FAT32 has a 4 GB limit per file. I have other stuff on this ext. HD and I am rapidly using up my free space on this external HD.

    Should I convert to NTFS? I figure if I do, then I should be able to do an image and it would be 1 file. Also, would this give me more free space overall?

    From my reading, it looks like an easy process? It says to do:
    1.
    Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

    2.
    In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs


    So, if my drive is drive E, do I just go into the cmd. prompt and type convert e: /fs:ntfs

    Is that it? How long will that take and will it also preserve what I currently have on the drive?

    Mel

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    It doesn't take too terribly long, and yes, it is supposed to preserve the files on the drive.

    Once you start the process, do not stop it - let it run to completion.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    BBearen is correct. However, if you have any data you really don't want to lose, it would be prudent to back it up first.
    Also Fat32 has a 32 Gbyte limit, not 4gb. Fat has a 4 gb limit.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    BBearen is correct. However, if you have any data you really don't want to lose, it would be prudent to back it up first.
    Also Fat32 has a 32 Gbyte limit, not 4gb. Fat has a 4 gb limit.

    Jerry
    Jwit:

    I believe it says that my file format is Fat32. Yet my backups get divided into a whole bunch of files with 4gb.

    Anyway, my purpose for changing to NTFS would be so that I have say one 42gb backup file as opposed to roughly 10 such image files.
    Before I take that step, is there anything else I should be concerned about? I mean, is this a reasonable reason to change over?

    Mel

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If the drive is truely FAT32, it should be able to create files greater than 4 Gb. See
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true

    If you are running XP, you still can't create a 42 gb file since the limit is 32 Gb. So it is still reasonable to convert to NTFS.

    Jerry

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    If the drive is truely FAT32, it should be able to create files greater than 4 Gb. See
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true

    If you are running XP, you still can't create a 42 gb file since the limit is 32 Gb. So it is still reasonable to convert to NTFS.

    Jerry

    Jerry:

    Maybe I wasn't clear. Reread the link you mentioned. With FAT32, the maximum file size is in fact 4gb. I am talking about file size, not partition size.
    Also, I am talking about an external hard drive, not floppies.

    Mel

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    My bad, I read too quickly. You are correct. In any event, I would do the NTFS conversion.

    Jerry

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