I have a 1TB external hard drive with about 800gb data of ext4 format. Is there a way of converting it to ntfs format without having to format hence losing my data?


As far as I know, no. Being able to convert a FAT32 drive to NTFS is an exception, not a rule, and converting from one modern, journaled file system to another to another is implausible. For that matter, you can't convert from NTFS to another FS/

Any file system operation is tricky - I suppose you could shrink the EXT4 partition, then create a small NTFS partition, move some files, and repeat until everything is moved over and the EXT partition is gone, but one mistake and its all gone.

Backing up, reformatting and copying back the data is the smart choice.

You might also want to look into ext3/4 drivers for windows if its just a matter of access. I had reasonable luck in the past with them, but I haven't worked with them recently

  • I have 879gb of data so copying the data is not an option.this shows that fat32 to ntfs is possible its only that I do not know whether ext4 to ntfs is possible – Mutuma May 26 '14 at 14:37
  • I suspect fat32 to NTFS is probably only possible cause fat32 is very simple in comparison to most filesystems. I also vaguely recall you can upgrade within the ext family, but the specific requirement you have is unlikely to be met – Journeyman Geek May 26 '14 at 14:39
  • I would recommend borrowing/buying an external 1TB drive then to facilitate the move - just as JG said, FAT32->NTFS is a special case and doesn't prove anything. You can usually upgrade within FS families (ext2->ext3, FAT16->FAT32, etc.), though. – Zaroth May 26 '14 at 14:41
  • If you can't buy, borrow someone's drive, copy data to it and then copy back – phuclv Jun 3 '14 at 8:14
  • converting from one modern, journaled file system to another to another is implausible actually anyconvertfs can convert from any file system that supports sparse files to many Linux file systems. Is it safe to convert NTFS to ext2 with anyconvertfs?, how to convert NTFS to ext4 in windows?, Convert filesystem NTFS -> EXT4? – phuclv Jul 22 '18 at 6:30

It's not possible, but it certainly could be since file systems can be resized on the fly these days. That alone tells me it's entirely possible but it would probably never be recommended. 879 gigs isn't much, try managing like 11 TB.

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