Yes it is possible to convert any FAT32 partition to NTFS partition Without Formatting the drive and without any Loss of Data. If you have a pen/flash drive or probably an external hard disc that currently has FAT32 file system and you want to change it to NTFS, because FAT32 does not support handling large files (over 4GB) or you want newer version of partition format for better security, and you don’t want to lose your important data. This article is for you then as it explains exactly how you can seamless convert partition from FAT to NTFS without involving any data loss.
Microsoft Windows 10 only support partition format FAT32, NTFS and exFAT-
- FAT32 : File Allocation Table (FAT) is a computer file system architecture and a family of industry-standard file systems utilizing it.
- NTFS : New Technology File System is a proprietary file system developed by Microsoft. Starting with Windows NT 3.1, it is the default file system of Windows NT family.
- exFAT : exFAT is a Microsoft file system introduced in 2006 optimized for flash memory such as USB flash drives and SD cards. It is proprietary and Microsoft owns patents on several elements of its design.
While it is generally recommended to use the NTFS file system for system partition in any Windows 10, 8, or 7 because of its stability, security and lesser fragmentation system, most of us end up using FAT32 because that is what most flash/external disks are preformatted with. Unless, we notice the “Not enough disk space error” despite disk space being available, we don’t bother to change the file system. Because no one khow about changing file-system is possible. Moreover, most of us don’t change it because of the risk of losing important data a, Microsoft developer was aware of this scenario, they added a capability in the command prompt to overcome this by executing a simple command.
FAT32 to NTFS File-System Conversion Steps-
- Go to Computer, and note the name of the drive whose file system you wish to convert.
- Click on Start >> Type cmd in the search bar if you use Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10. You can also use Windows Run (WinKey+R), click on Run and then execute cmd.
- Execute chkdsk d: /f (without quotes) where d is the letter of the drive to undergo conversion. This checks the drive for errors and fixes them automatically. This Step is very important if you don’t want to loose data.
- Execute Convert d: /FS:NTFS” (without quotes). d is again the letter of the drive to be converted.
- The command prompt will start the conversion process and after a few minutes, CMD will say that conversion was successful.
You can check it in the properties of the drive through right click<Properties.
Note: You must backup your drive before doing anything. If process failed you may loose your important data.
This command can also be used to convert older FAT disks like FAT16 disks and works on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Windows XP too. In a demo I successfully converted my flash drive’s filesystem using these steps and it worked without any data loss. It is interesting to note that this method cannot be used to reconvert NTFS file system back to FAT32. To reconvert back to FAT32, you will need to format the entire drive which will definitely cause data loss.