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Back in Windows 95 OSR2 (I believe), there was a conversion tool that would take your extant FAT16 partition and change it to FAT32 non-destructively (most of the time).

Are there any tools like that now for going from one file system type to another in situ without destroying the data?

Examples: from etx3 to ext4? Or NTFS to XFS?

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I just picked those two as examples.. any others would be cool/fun, too - ReiserFS3 to JFS or FAT to etx2... –  warren Jun 15 '10 at 15:20
    
this could be done to a new fs/partition with some of the techniques here: superuser.com/questions/11453/… –  warren Jun 15 '10 at 16:40
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"Windows 95 ... would ... change it to FAT32 non-destructively (most of the time)" made me laugh. Most of the time is such a great description of Windows 95. Most of the time it didn't crash (if you rebooted once a day). Most of the time networking would work. Most of the time... –  Wayne Johnston Jun 16 '10 at 1:53
    
@Wayne Johnston - yes yes, we all look back and laugh at Windows 95 :) ..but whether it was funny or always successful, it was still a nifty function :) –  warren Jun 16 '10 at 16:54
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

For ext3 to ext4 you can use:

tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/yourfilesystem

followed by:

fsck -pDf /dev/yourfilesystem

To return the system to a consistent state. However, I don't believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that this is a complete conversion. I believe there may be an issue with extents...

For FAT to NTFS:

convert (your drive letter here): /fs:ntfs

NTFS to XFS I have no idea but I would doubt it. NTFS is proprietary...

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the built in convert command in Windows (even in windows 7), let you convert a FAT filesystem to NTFS,

For other convertions Partition Magic may do the job.

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