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I have a toshiba external hard disk and I want to change it's file system to NTFS

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How do i go about doing it? (keep it simple please i'm a computer idiot)

32-bit windows vista home premium sp2 here

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

From an elevated command prompt, use the command: convert e: /fs:ntfs

It is simple and I have never seen it fail, so very reliable. Most importantly, all of your data will remain intact.

Still, if you have any one-of-a-kind data on the drive, back it up.

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if i run chkdsk first, does it guarantee that convert will not fail ? –  Pacerier Jul 19 '11 at 22:34
    
Probably helps, but again, I would say the chance is a lot less than 1% that it would fail. I have NEVER seen it fail in 17 years, and I have done that a lot of times. I am just a strong data protection advocate, so that is why I said make sure that anything super critical is backed up...You probably will not have to worry, but better to be safe. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 22:49
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If you have data on the drive that you need to keep, follow the advice to use the "convert" command-line if you cannot move the data elsewhere temporarily. But be sure to run chkdsk on the drive first because file system errors can cause the process to fail.

If you have no data to save, open Disk Manager (Right-click Computer > Manage > Disk Management). Right-click the contents of the drive in the image and delete. Make sure all contents are deleted. Right-click again and choose to create a new, basic volume. Follow the wizard and choose a drive letter and name for the volume when it asks. You can use the "quick" option for formatting unless you suspect there is something wrong with the drive.

You should do it this way because you get few chances to create new partition tables. Even if the tables are mildly corrupted, Windows can often still access them. But when that is so, one small error more and you lose access to the partition. So it is best to create new tables (original and backup are created) when you have the chance.

If you have data on the drive that you need to keep, follow the advice to use the "convert" command-line. But be sure to run chkdsk on the drive first because file system errors can cause the process to fail.

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Why would he do this?? He does not want to lose his data, just convert the file system, which can be done seamlessly without losing one file. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 6:45
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