NTFS Conversion for Newbies

If you have come across File Systems, you surely must be knowing a file system known as NTFS. NTFS stands for New Technology File System.

Hard Disk - NTFS Conversion from FAT or FAT32

What is NTFS actually?

Wikipedia defines this as, “NTFS is the standard file system of Windows NT, including its later versions Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista“.

Points to know:

  • NTFS is the preferred file system for Microsoft’s Windows Operating System (newer versions) for partitions higher than 32GB.
  • NTFS do has several improvements over other file systems, FAT and HPFS (High Performance File System)
  • NTFS gives you improved performance, disk space utilization, more security (ACL – Access Control List) and more..

About Data Loss

Data corruption or Data loss is minimal during this conversion. It is always better to have a backup before you proceed. You are agreeing that you are trying this on your own risk and I’m not responsible for any data loss/errors.

Before you start

Read Carefully:
You should consider the following limitations before converting a partition to NTFS:

  • Certain amount of space is needed for this process.
  • This is a one-way process and you cannot revert back to FAT/FAT32 by conversion.
  • To revert back to your previous File system (eg. FAT/FAT32), you need to format the drive as FAT/FAT32 (formatting would erase all your data)


If your OS is Windows XP / Vista , it is better to have NTFS as the file System for your Windows drive.. We are going to use Microsoft’s own convert.exe for this conversion..

To Convert,

  • Open Command Prompt (Start->Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt or Run->cmd)
  • Enter

    CONVERT [drive]: /FS:NTFS, where [drive] is the drive letter of the drive you want to convert. eg: CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS

  • The conversion process will now start.
  • As you are in Windows, convert.exe will not proceed with the conversion process. You need to answer ‘yes’ to schedule it to convert the next time the system starts.
  • Windows will convert your drive to NTFS on your next restart.

Your partition will now be NTFS.