Convert C: to NTFS without reformatting?



Two questions...

I have two hard drives, both are ATA100 and both are 7200RPM. Currently WinXP is on the C: drive and is FAT32 formatted, drive D: is NTFS and has all my downloaded crap, MP3s and videos, warez, etc... :) I have it set up like this in case I ever have to reformat and reinstall, that way I keep all my files. Also, I have my paging file split between the two drives (because I've heard that WinXP will use the paging file located on another drive (the one Windows is not installed on) more aggressively)...

Anyway, I am thinking about converting drive C: to NTFS like D; - the only thing is - can I do that without reformatting? I don't want to lose everything (settings and crap) unless I totally HAVE to... Also, if I ever needed to reinstall Win98 (for example, to run VIA's 4in1 driver, which doesn't run on WinXP), would I be able to if my drive is NTFS?

Second question is, which is faster? I basically just play games and crap, so I've heard that for that kind of home use, FAT32 is actually faster...

thanks / mavis
I don't think there's a noticeable difference between the speed of FAT32 and NTFS.

anyways, to convert from FAT32 to NTFS:

Open Command Prompt.
In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.

But remember that you can't turn back...(NTFS to FAT32)

Here's some info to help you choose between FAT32 and NTFS.
Originally posted by existenz

But remember that you can't turn back...(NTFS to FAT32)
yeah u can...partition magic works for me
You can change NTFS back to Fat32 if you want just kill the partition.

The Main differences I know of with NTFS Vers Fat 32 are:
Better File security.
Stable Compression.
Less Fragmenting.
Better Kernel translation.

In other words NTFS is a good system but 1 catch is that it is slower accesing than fat 32. And you can compress a NTFS drive with little fear but would you even chance it on fat 32? (Not if you’re smart LoL)

Hope This Helps....

just remember as existance already stated... once ntfs ya cant go back without formatting it. Also keep in mind since you mentioned win 98... 98 doesn't see ntfs and a format would be in order.

Me personally, if you arent trying to add extra security(setting permissions to files) i would leave all as fat32.
u can compress a Fat32 drive? since when? And, yes, u can convert NTFS to fat32 AND keep all your data. I did it.
Umm You could compress a fat32 win 98 drive. They did have the utility in system tools. But only a mad-man would try it
(I Guess this explains how i know that it wasn't a good idea heh)

On the other Matter Yes you can convert a drive with your data on it to NTFS but i wouldn't recommend it. They is always the possibility that it will erase your files. The easiest suggestion is Backup your data then format and go NTFS. It takes time but often if you do it the quick and easy way you end up regreting it.

There is no speed difference between a fat32 drive and a ntfs fact NTFS is faster thanks to the less fragmentation and better kernel translation

only slow down is lasttimeaccessed is turned on by default...this causes the NTFS timestamp to be updated anytime you access a file, you can turn this off and make it faster :)
cool... :)

Thanks for the tips guys. But Qumahlin, how would one go about turning that off? :)

fire up regedit

goto hkey_local_machine\system\controlset001\control\filesystem

then if there isn't already a key there add this


and make the value 1

hope this helps :)

woohoo over 100 posts!
thanks for the tip!

I'm gonna give it a shot now, if you guys don't hear from me for a few days, you know the reason! :) Well, either that or I'm playing with my Radeon (getting it on Tuesday, Radeon 8500, already have a Crystal Orb and RAM sinks standing by, lol)

Thanks again / mavis
ok I got it done done, didn't take too much time at all, but it is slower... :(

Oh well, now I have mass security, so my girlfriend can't see what's REALLY in that folder called "Work Schedules", lol

did you convert to ntfs or reformat? if you converted it will bes lower due to the fat32 cluster sizing remaining =o(
damn. Yeah, I just "converted" - no reformat...

That sucks! Everything is so tweaked, it'd take me forever to get back to the same level of tweakness if I reformatted... :) I suppose there's no way around it?

huh Qumahlin? I dont fink u know wut u're talking about. please dont confuse people(mavis). There is no "fat32 cluster sizing remaining". The default settings for NTFS on Windows XP is NTFS version 3.1, 512 bytes per NTFS sector and physical sector, and 4KiloBytes per cluster. EVERYTHING is converted during the conversion process to NTFS cuz its an encrypted file system and Fat/Fat32 isnt.
When a cluster is converted from fat32 to NTFS it does not take full advantage of NTFS, I was told it had to do with the allocation size defaulting to that of a fat32 system...just like if you went to format your drive right now you can choose to format using an allocation unit of 512 through 4k

If this is wrong I am sorry, but it is true that if you convert to NTFS it is MUCH slower then if you did a clean install and re-formatted with NTFS rather then converting, there are even a few posts about the speed decrease in this board that I have seen

sorry about saying it is the cluster size if that was wrong
Mavis, have you defragged the drive since converting? That might help speed things up. Give XP time to optimize itself on the new File System before you scratch it and start over (if you're considering it).
thx guys, for your help with this!!! these forums are full of some pretty helpful people (sniffs) gettin all sentimental here... :)

Actually Lonman I did defrag and it did help a bit. Otherwise I'm just gonna ride it out for a few days and see if it "optimizes" itself... lol

Thanks again for the help, guys!!!

If you're running Diskeeper, set that baby to run every 8 hours or so. I've got mine set to run every 8 and it's now defragging my 20gig XP partition in less then 30 seconds, and performance continues to improve as the days roll by. I'm really impressed with this 3-day optimization cycle programmed into XP.
3 day cycle?

Lonman can you explain a little more about the 3 day cycle feature you mentioned ?? ......... what is it? where is it? how does it work? lol thanks .................:D :D :D

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