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    FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    Can I convert from fat32 to ntfs on an existing install? I just inherited a laptop with xp pro sp2 but it uses fat32 and I'd really prefer to have it set to use ntfs. Can this be converted without doing a total reinstall?

    Thanks

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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    <!mskb=307881>Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307881<!/mskb> gives a detailed explanation.
    John
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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    What that article does not say is that it's worth running CHKDSK /F (very probably requires a reboot to run) to make sure there are no problems on your partition, then DEFRAG as many times as you have the enthusiasm for, to move all the files "as close to the left" as you can, leaving a great gaping area for CONVERT to play with. (CONVERT will do a CHKDSK anyway, but you might as well have the disk sorted out before it starts).

    Then, as always, it is worth doing a complete backup (an image backup, if you have the tools!).

    The convert process takes a varying length of time depending how full, how fast, etc, your hard disk is. Ensure you don't have wandering cats or infants who might pull out the power cord.

    I converted four PCs recently from FAT32 to NTFS, and the 10-15 GB of data on each took between 1
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    Excellent points John. <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>
    John
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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    Great - thanks for the input folks - much appreciated.

    Jerry

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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    May I ask an aside question please, John? Not to deter the OP from using the Convert command, but was there some reason you didn't use Partition Magic to do your conversion? I was wondering if maybe the secondary pass for changing cluster size could have been avoided if you had used PM. BTW, Acronis Disk Director suite STILL does not have the ability to convert from FATxx to NTFS. I'm at their latest build and it ain't there "yet."

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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    Al

    Two good reasons:
    1) I didn't realise Partition Magic 8.0 would do the conversion from FAT32 to NTFS with 4 KB clusters (the apology for a manual which now comes with the product makes no mention of this feature)
    2) I had converted the FAT32 partitions earlier, to get the job out of the way, and to check that CONVERT did, in fact, give 512 byte clusters

    I will check the "online help" for Partition Magic later!

    John
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    Re: FAT32 to NTFS question (XP Pro SP2)

    I guess I too should say I'm sorry for not reading the manual that I have for PM 8. When I asked the question of you I had looked only at the GUI menu within the product and not the PDF file. Surprisingly, the manual says that PM 8 uses the MS Convert utility to do the conversion. However it seems to explain the 512 vs 4K by saying that it depends on the size of the system area of the FAT32 partition. If it's a multiple of 8, then up to 4K clusters are possible.

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