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Dan Den

FAT32 to NTFS

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Does anyone know how to change your hard drives system from FAT32 to NTFS without having to first format the drive?

I did see a few guides instructing to put this into cmd "convert <drive>: /fs:ntfs" but I can not be too sure. Can anyone who has attempted this confirm for me if this works or not.

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Without even trying to research anything, I'm pretty sure there isn't a way to change the file system on a drive without formatting it (and therefore erasing your data). If you want to preserve your data, you'll need to copy all the stuff over to another location then format the target drive, and copy everything back when you're done.

I can say this with the argument that file systems interpret data differently, that's why if your file system isn't supported on a system (like NTFS on Macs), you can't read the drive. I don't know how compatible the FAT32 system actually is with the NTFS system, but it's not likely that raw data from a FAT32 system would translate perfectly to NTFS. If you do manage to some how preserve your data through the conversion, you'll likely end up with lots of corrupted files.

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I was afraid that might be the case it would kind of defeat the whole purpose if my file became corrupted. Unfortunately for me it just so happens my 2TB is nearly full and currently it is the largest I go. I plan of getting a new drive at the end of the year, I think I will probably go for a 4TB this time; what do you think of that and do you have any suggestions on which one?

But one thing I learnt a little too late was that FAT32 drive systems could not take anything above 4GB, oh well I will be sure to format my drive and change its system the first time I get it.

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I personally like Western Digital, but if you ask any tech enthusiast, they'll have their own preferred hard drive manufacturer -_-.

If you require a file system that's compatible with both Windows and Mac, you can format the drive to exFAT under the Windows environment (not sure if the drive works on Windows when you format to exFAT with a Mac...). Otherwise, if you're just using your drive on one platform it's better to use that platform's native format.

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I usually stick with Verbatim, never failed me once all my drives I have acquired to date have been that. But unfortunately I have not seen a drive that big from them. I will see if I can find anything on Western Digital around my area. So far all I am seeing are two 2TB put together or two 3TB, is there not one that is just 4TB alone?

Nah need nothing like that, I do not touch Mac's or plan to but maybe my sister might but for now never had to bother with anything that should be compatible with Mac's.

For now let me just summarize this whole thing and correct me if I am wrong,

  • You can not change your drives system without formatting it first.
  • If you were to attempt that method in the first post you will succeed but will most likely end up with corrupted file
  • Lastly always make sure to format and change your drive to ntsc before using it.

Okay then, guess for now I will just keep zipping up the files and unzipping them when I need to use them.

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That's about right Dan Den, however I haven't heard anything about people converting file system with files intact. I don't think people do it often so I can't say.

WD drives are alright, but the external ones do suffer from dieing too fast. Due to the fact they have aggressive head parking to save power (They use the green WD drives). When you buy it you have to turn it off or else your HDD will die early.

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Alternatively, you could buy an external HDD enclosure and then buy whatever normal internal HDD you can find to put in it.

Here's a 4TB WD drive:
/>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236385&Tpk=WDBACW0040HBK&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=1796839&SID=27893119

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I don't think people do it often so I can't say.

WD drives are alright, but the external ones do suffer from dieing too fast. Due to the fact they have aggressive head parking to save power (They use the green WD drives). When you buy it you have to turn it off or else your HDD will die early.

Alternatively, you could buy an external HDD enclosure and then buy whatever normal internal HDD you can find to put in it.

Here's a 4TB WD drive:

http://www.newegg.co...39&SID=27893119

That drive is exactly what I am looking for, but unfortunately at times I use my drive for 3-4+ and a drive that dies too quickly when left on for too long does not sound like a good idea. Then again if it is my only option guess I will have to go with it, thus far I have not found another one.

Edited by Dan Den

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Sorry I typed that up incorrectly, you can leave it on 24 hours a day, but as long as you don't allow it to park the head so aggressively it will not die out as fast. Hence I linked you that idle tool it will stop the WD drive from parking the head every 5 seconds.

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There's no way to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. However, it is possible to split an HDD into more than one partition, one for NTFS and one for FAT32. Formatting is not required for that option.

FAT32 can't take files over 4GB, so I'd recommend not changing the whole drive to FAT32, but since things like PS3s only read FAT32, sometimes it is necessary to at least have a FAT32 partition (wow, I really plastered FAT32 everywhere in that sentence).

Edited by MysterySword

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Sorry I typed that up incorrectly, you can leave it on 24 hours a day, but as long as you don't allow it to park the head so aggressively it will not die out as fast. Hence I linked you that idle tool it will stop the WD drive from parking the head every 5 seconds.

I was reading (this article) up on Western Drives and it would appear as though the drive has an auto park feature and a few other one. I have to ask why is it bad if the drive arks every so often?

There's no way to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. However, it is possible to split an HDD into more than one partition, one for NTFS and one for FAT32. Formatting is not required for that option. FAT32 can't take files over 4GB, so I'd recommend not changing the whole drive to FAT32, but since things like PS3s only read FAT32, sometimes it is necessary to at least have a FAT32 partition (wow, I really plastered FAT32 everywhere in that sentence).

I see, that might explain why my 300GB drive does not show up on the PS3. So does that mean if I split my drive only the FAT32 partition will show up in the PS3?

Further more, lets say when I get the drive and I want to put aside 2.5TB for NTSF and 1.5TB for FAT32, do I have to first format it to NTFS (if it comes as FAT32) then split it or I can just split it like that?

Edited by Dan Den

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Sorry I typed that up incorrectly, you can leave it on 24 hours a day, but as long as you don't allow it to park the head so aggressively it will not die out as fast. Hence I linked you that idle tool it will stop the WD drive from parking the head every 5 seconds.

I was reading (this article) up on Western Drives and it would appear as though the drive has an auto park feature and a few other one. I have to ask why is it bad if the drive arks every so often?

There's no way to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. However, it is possible to split an HDD into more than one partition, one for NTFS and one for FAT32. Formatting is not required for that option. FAT32 can't take files over 4GB, so I'd recommend not changing the whole drive to FAT32, but since things like PS3s only read FAT32, sometimes it is necessary to at least have a FAT32 partition (wow, I really plastered FAT32 everywhere in that sentence).

I see, that might explain why my 300GB drive does not show up on the PS3. So does that mean if I split my drive only the FAT32 partition will show up in the PS3?

Further more, lets say when I get the drive and I want to put aside 2.5TB for NTSF and 1.5TB for FAT32, do I have to first format it to NTFS (if it comes as FAT32) then split it or I can just split it like that?

First about the head parking, it's bad due to the fact it does it every 5 seconds. It's only suppose to do it every 5 minutes or 20 minutes I forgot. Parking the head too much will cause wear.

Second, yes if you partition your drive with FAT32 it will show up on your PS3, but you will have to do it as a primary partition or else PS3 won't pick it up I believe. And no to having to partition the drive to NTFS first, when you partition you will see what I mean. You have unallocated space and you separate it. Man sorry I will have to post back, right now I'm kinda tired >.>

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funny. I was just wondering about this the other day. I wanted to change fat32 to exfat, so that I could transfer files over 4GB.

here is the link to the video I watched. I did it and everything has worked just fine.

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Sorry I typed that up incorrectly, you can leave it on 24 hours a day, but as long as you don't allow it to park the head so aggressively it will not die out as fast. Hence I linked you that idle tool it will stop the WD drive from parking the head every 5 seconds.

I was reading (this article) up on Western Drives and it would appear as though the drive has an auto park feature and a few other one. I have to ask why is it bad if the drive arks every so often?

There's no way to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. However, it is possible to split an HDD into more than one partition, one for NTFS and one for FAT32. Formatting is not required for that option. FAT32 can't take files over 4GB, so I'd recommend not changing the whole drive to FAT32, but since things like PS3s only read FAT32, sometimes it is necessary to at least have a FAT32 partition (wow, I really plastered FAT32 everywhere in that sentence).

I see, that might explain why my 300GB drive does not show up on the PS3. So does that mean if I split my drive only the FAT32 partition will show up in the PS3?

Further more, lets say when I get the drive and I want to put aside 2.5TB for NTSF and 1.5TB for FAT32, do I have to first format it to NTFS (if it comes as FAT32) then split it or I can just split it like that?

First about the head parking, it's bad due to the fact it does it every 5 seconds. It's only suppose to do it every 5 minutes or 20 minutes I forgot. Parking the head too much will cause wear.

Second, yes if you partition your drive with FAT32 it will show up on your PS3, but you will have to do it as a primary partition or else PS3 won't pick it up I believe. And no to having to partition the drive to NTFS first, when you partition you will see what I mean. You have unallocated space and you separate it. Man sorry I will have to post back, right now I'm kinda tired >.>

I see, so I suppose just something like 20 or 30 minutes is fine, but what happens if you let it park for long stretches of time?

And how would I go about choosing which drive is to be used as the main one or does it give me that option?

Edited by Dan Den

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Parking it for long stretch of times is fine, it's just WD were idiots when programming it. They decided doing it every 5 seconds is better, and that's just idiotic. So basically what happens is after 5 seconds the head is parked down, and then powered back up and back down, etc, causes unwanted wear.

You will see in the partition program you're using. You can make both FAT32 and NTFS primary.

See here:

3936825d3b006af006ab5d952a3fd1ea.png?1354581252

That's my partition.

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Yeah that does make sense, so I suppose I will just set it to 30 minutes. To the latter, I see so then for now I got everything I need to know when I finally get the drive. Thanks for all the help fellas till now, I will let you know how it goes when I finally get the drive.

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