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Converting Your File System To NTFS

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Converting Your File System To NTFS
Last Updated: 17 Jan 2002

*** PLEASE NOTE: Link(s), If Provided, May Be Wrapped ***

If your NT/2000 system was originally installed on a FAT
or FAT32 file system, it can be converted to NTFS with
the following command:


...assuming, of course, that C: is the partition which
needs to be converted.  This is a completely safe
procedure from which I have never lost any data. In
fact, under NT4, if you select an installation onto an
NTFS partition, the OS first formats it as FAT, then
runs a convert after installing a few system files.

NTFS is a far more robust and resilient file system than
FAT16/32, and is more tolerant of disk problems, without
the data loss that will likely be sustained on a FAT

Be advised that there are two negatives associated with
converting to NTFS after your installation is complete.

1. The longer you take to convert, the less free space
   you will have, and the more fragmented the MFT will
   be.  This is easily corrected with the current crop
   of defragmenters such as Speed Disk 5.xx

2. Your file system will not have the default set of
   permissions associated with it, other than the
   highly insecure:  EVERYONE:FULL

There are tools for both NT4 and Windows 2000 that will
allow you to set default permissions after a conversion
to NTFS:

• FIXACLS ................ Resource Kit (NT4)
• SECEDIT ................ Native Utility (Win2K)

Here is a tool that will display important statistics
and configuration info concerning your NTFS partitions:

• NTFSINFO ...............




• NTFS is far preferable to FATxx, and the sooner you
  convert, the better.  In Windows 2000, you should
  install directly to NTFS and just avoid the entire
  conversion process.

• This command will not convert from FAT to FAT32.
  Just FAT/FAT32 to NTFS.  For NTFS to FAT conversion,
  you'll need a 3rd party tools such as Partition Magic.

• There is no reason to be nervous about performing
  this procedure.

• The XP version of CONVERT provides additional
  parameters for setting or disabling security.

• One drawback to CONVERT (prior to XP) is that it
  creates 512-byte clusters, which are inefficient
  on modern, large drives.  In Windows XP, CONVERT
  can create proper 4K clusters, however.

• After conversion, you should definitely defrag, as
  the arrangement of your files will not be at their
  best at that point.