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I have an external USB hard disk (300GB) in FAT32. The question is how can I convert the type FAT32 to NTFS without loss my data. I have 250 GB of data stored in my disk.

I was trying to do that in windows with Acronis and the native command windows convert, but neither can do. I think maybe was for the big size of data.

I hope someone can guide me a little.

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Can you add which error message you got when you tried to use convert.exe in windows? –  Hennes Jan 18 '13 at 15:18

1 Answer 1

If you want to keep the data safe and do serious filesystem manipulation (which converting the FS certainly is), then first make a backup. Then test the backup.

Next you have three choices:

  1. Boot windows (e.g. use someones computer) and use convert Driveletter: /fs:ntfs. (See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307881 for more details).
  2. Reformat the drive. You already have a known good backup and this is likely to be the fastest option. Then restore the data.
  3. Find some utility which lets you convert under Linux. I never heard of one though and some quick googling did not find any.
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It should be pointed out that NTFS support within Linux is very limited. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '13 at 15:08
As in: Do not reformat the drive from within GNU/Linux? Or as in: writing it it from the GNU/Linux side might be risky? –  Hennes Jan 18 '13 at 15:15
As in writting data to a NTFS filesystem can result in strange behavior if the same drive is booted into Windows. The last time I checked most versions of Linux only supported read only access to NTFS filesystem. This doesn't stop people from trying to develop their own NTFS and applications to implement write support. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '13 at 15:19
Ah. Been there. Got burned, but that was 5 years ago. I rather hoped that this had improved in the last years. –  Hennes Jan 18 '13 at 15:21
It has improved to a certain degree. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '13 at 15:29

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