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Converting Your Hard Drive to NTFS

There are different file systems you can use with Windows and you have a choice of how you want to format your hard drive when you install Windows on your computer. File systems determine how the computer's file structure works and affects things like security and block size for files. Windows basically uses 2 different types of file systems, FAT or NTFS. If your computer uses the FAT file system then it's possible to convert it to NTFS.

NTFS partitions have much more functionality and features compared to a FAT formatted hard drive. Some of the features that NTFS offers that FAT doesn’t include:

  • The ability to apply detailed security to files and folders
  • File compression
  • File encryption
  • Larger more efficient hard drive partitions
  • More secure file sharing
  • More reliable than FAT
  • Ability to use dynamic disks for performance and fault tolerance

To convert a FAT partition to NTFS, perform the following steps:

This conversion is only possible in Windows 2000/XP/2003. Older Windows versions don't support NTFS and newer versions use NTFS exclusively.

Click Start, click Programs, and then click Command Prompt or Start, Run then type in cmd and click Ok.

At the command prompt, type CONVERT [driveletter]: /FS:NTFS where driveletter is the letter of the drive you are converting.

The computer will reboot and convert.exe will convert the partition to NTFS. Once you convert to NTFS you cannot go back to FAT without formatting the drive.

**It is highly recommended that you perform a full backup of your data on the drive that it is to be converted prior before converting just in case something goes wrong.**


 

Related Tips:
NTFS Permissions
NTFS Special Permissions

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