Converting a Volume to NTFS

Windows 7 provides the Convert utility for converting FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS. Convert is a command-line utility that requires administrator privileges to run. When you convert a volume, Convert preserves the file and folder structure and no data is lost.

Windows 7 does not provide a utility for converting NTFS to FAT or FAT32. The only way to go from NTFS to FAT or FAT32 is to delete the volume and then recreate the volume with FAT or FAT32 as the filesystem format.

You can convert any volume to NTFS, including the active, boot, and system volumes. If you try to convert the boot or system volume, Windows 7 displays a prompt asking whether you want to schedule the volume to be converted the next time you start your computer. If you choose Yes, you can restart the system to begin the conversion process. In most cases, it will take several restarts to convert the boot or system volume. Don't interrupt the conversion process and don't attempt to shut down your computer during the conversion process.

Convert needs a block of free space that's approximately equal to 25 percent of the total space used on the drive. For example, if the drive stores 5 GB of data, Convert needs about 500 MB of free space. If there isn't enough free space, Convert will not convert the volume and will instead tell you that you need to free up disk space.

You can convert a volume by following these steps:

1. Click Starts All ProgramssAccessories.

2. Right-click Command Prompt and then select Run As Administrator.

3. At the command prompt, use the following syntax to convert the volume:

convert volume /FS:NTFS

where volume is the drive letter followed by a colon (:). For example, if you wanted to convert the H volume to NTFS, you would use the following command:

convert H: /FS:NTFS

4. Type the volume name when prompted. This confirms that you are converting the correct volume.

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