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How to Convert FAT Disks to NTFS

FAT stands for File Allocation Table. It is an old file system that was replaced by the New Technology File System (NTFS), which is now Microsoft’s file system of choice in its operating systems. NTFS is more reliable and stable than a FAT one. The latter is prone to errors and recovering from them can be tricky. NTFS is superior in a number of ways, including using log files to benefit automatic system repairs and using dynamic cluster remapping on bad sectors to stop them being used and causing problems. Because of these benefits you may want to convert your FAT disks to the NTFS format.

Before you convert the FAT volume there are a few things you need to be aware of. If you are using very old programs that were not written for Windows NT 4 then they may suffer performance issues after you convert the file system. This issue can be fixed by using a clear partition of NTFS. Another thing to bear in mind is that converting to NTFS is a one way street. After you have converted then you will not be able to revert it back to FAT. To restore it back you must reformat it and this means all of your data, like personal and program files, will be removed. If you do want to revert then make sure you have done a backup of everything on it so that you can restore it all later.

Before beginning the conversion process, it is definitely worth backing up all of your data. Although the chance of corruption or data loss during the process is slim, it is still better to be safe than sorry.

To convert from FAT to NTFS, you must first load up Command Prompt in Windows (search for it in the Start bar). In the command prompt you should type “convert x: /fs:ntfs”. Do not include the speech marks and replace the ‘x’ with the drive letter of the drive that you want to convert. Note that if the operating system is installed on the drive that you want to convert, you will be made to schedule the process when the computer is restarted. This is because it cannot be carried out while the operating system is running. The command prompt will then ask you to enter the current volume label for the drive. If you don’t know what the available volumes are, go to Computer and see what is listed under Hard Disk Drives. After this the conversion will be completed.

If your hard drive is full then the process may not work. If you get an error then you should try uninstalling programs you don’t need or moving some data to another drive in order to free up space.

Converting FAT disks to NTFS is a relatively easily process and one that is highly recommended. NTFS comes with a lot more benefits and FAT is now considered an outdated format. Be sure to follow the instructions above clearly and it should all go smoothly.


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