Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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:… – warren Jun 15 '10 at 16:40
"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
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...

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.