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Can I convert an NTFS volume to case-insensitive? If I can do it by formatting / erasing, that is fine. I have a backup. BTW, I cannot use FAT, exFAT, EXT3, EXT4 or others. I have to use NTFS.

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It's not the volume that's case-insensitive, it's the OS... – Mehrdad Feb 8 '12 at 6:40
Windows is case insensitive when it comes to file/directory names... – soandos Feb 8 '12 at 7:15
@Lance: The volume contains data and metadata. Case-sensitivity is a kind of behavior. There isn't anything "case-sensitive" about bytes/characters on the disk... it's the program that behaves in a case-sensitive way, nothing else. – Mehrdad Feb 8 '12 at 7:23
@soandos: Then I think you mean "case-preserving", not "case-sensitive"? Because the latter makes no sense... it's like saying "your web page is fast". It's not the page, it's the browser that renders it fast (or the server that processes it fast). – Mehrdad Feb 8 '12 at 7:26
Lance, @soandos: Furthermore, notice that the OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES structure lets you tell the system whether you want case-sensitive or case-insensitive behavior (OBJ_CASE_INSENSITIVE). That would not make any sense if it was a volume-related thing instead of an OS-related thing. – Mehrdad Feb 8 '12 at 7:38

NTFS is case sensitive (see here) depending on the namespace that it is running under. In a Win32 environment, it will be case insensitive, in other POSIX environments, it will be case sensitive. In essence, it is much more about the OS than the FS (filesystem).

Generally speaking though, this just means that the OS has the option of treating something as case insensitive (it could do case insensitive compare on its own).

There is no change that you are going to change the filesystem in this way to make it case insensitive. It would:

  1. require WAY to much low level coding
  2. impact all the operating systems that would need to run on the FS

If you are looking for something more specific (say, convert all file names to lower case on the drive) there might be something that can be done, but the filesystem itself will remain unchanged.

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Umm. Wiki says Allowed characters in filenames: In Posix namespace, any UTF-16 code unit (case sensitive) and In Win32 namespace, any UTF-16 code unit (case insensitive).. – Bibhas Feb 8 '12 at 7:28
In Adobe Photoshop CS5 installer, I am allowed to choose the destination to install. If I choose the NTFS volume, the installer says "cannot install on a case-sensitive volume". – Lance Feb 8 '12 at 7:30
@Bibhas: Did you see that it said In Win32 namespace? That has nothing to do with the volume; it's simply a part of the OS. – Mehrdad Feb 8 '12 at 7:30
@Lance, It is most definetly possible to run CS5 on NTFS without changing it.. according to something I found on google, you can fix your issue by "Navigate to Adobe Photoshop » (Control-Click and choose Show Package Contents » Contents » Resources » asn. In that folder, there should be a single file called PS.SIF. Rename the file to PS.sif, and Photoshop should now launch. The same thing needs to be done to ImageReady to get it to work." – soandos Feb 8 '12 at 7:31
@soandos:Thanks. In your plan, it seems no way to get around the actual installer check. In waiting so long for all this discussion, I got tired of waiting, and just installed on the case-insensitive volume (HFS+). Now I will try copying the app folder to the NTFS volume, use your tiny hack, and see if it works. I have copied older versions of Photoshop to a different volume before and it always works like a champ. This is quite a different bird though. – Lance Feb 8 '12 at 7:59

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