Converting the File System without Formatting or Losing Data

Certain operating systems can recognize only one file system and if you want to keep more than one OS or make the most efficient use of your disk drive, you have to change file system. Some of the common file systems are FAT, FAT32, NTFS, etc.

Assume you have a flash drive or probably an external hard drive that currently has a FAT32 file system and you want to change it to NTFS as FAT32 does not support handling large files (over 4GB) or it is just simply old according to your consideration. But there is just one problem, you don’t want to lose your saved data. Well, this article explains exactly how you can convert one file system to another without formatting or loss of data.

While it is generally recommended to use the NTFS file system because of its stability, security and lesser defragmentation time, most of us end up using FAT32 because that is what most 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. Moreover, most of us don’t change it because of the risk of losing important data and lack of time.

Fortunately, Microsoft added a capability in the command prompt to overcome this by executing a simple command. Even though there are many applications that support this, but the Convert command is one of the easiest ways to do so. Follow the steps below to know how:-

Caution: While this method works perfectly, it is still advised you to back up your data in case anything goes wrong.

Steps to change FAT32 to NTFS

  • Go to Computer, and note the name of the drive whose file system you wish to convert
  • Navigate to Start
  • Type cmd in the search bar if you use Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. If you use Windows XP, click on Run and then execute cmd
  • Execute “chkdsk h: /f ” (without quotes) where H is the letter of the drive to undergo conversion. This checks the drive for errors and fixes them automatically
  • Execute “Convert H: /FS:NTFS” (without quotes). H 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

This command can also be used to convert FAT16 disks and works on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista. But it is important 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.

However, if anything goes wrong while changing file system or you accidentally formatted the entire drive to reconvert the file system back, especially when there is no backup, there would be a need to recover lost data. So under such cases, a reliable data recovery software is applicable.

Remo Recover is capable of restoring deleted/lost files or formatted partition from a hard drive (HDD and SSD), external hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, digital camera, camcorder, iPod, etc. While offering the advanced recovery mode Formatted/ Reformatted Recovery it`s pretty easy to use.

“If you are looking to recover deleted partition from SSD drive, then use Remo Recover and get the job done in few minutes and simple steps.”


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