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 » Computer Tricks And Technology Tips » Pc ( Windows ) Tips & Downloads » 

Converting your drive to NTFS

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1 Converting your drive to NTFS on Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:24 pm

WhIPL4$h

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Your hard drive must be formatted with a file system such as FAT, FAT32 or NTFS so that Windows can be installed on to it. This system determines how files are named, organised and stored on the drive. If you’re not using it already, NTFS (New Technology File System) is recommended for Windows XP because of the additional functionality it offers. If your PC came with Windows pre-installed then there’s a chance that you’re already using NTFS. The option to change over to NTFS would have been available during the upgrade process. Don’t worry if you skipped this as it’s possible to convert at any time from within Windows without losing any data.

The recommended option
There are a number of features in Windows that will only work if the NTFS file system is present, which is why it’s suggested you make use of it. File and folder permissions, encryption and privacy options are just some of those you’ll be able to access. In particular, those of you who have set up user accounts will find NTFS invaluable. For instance, if you continue to use FAT or FAT32 anyone with physical access to the drive will be able to access the files and folders that are stored there. However, with NTFS you’ll be able to use a level of encryption (Professional Edition only) that will enable you to protect your data.

You’ll also find NTFS more reliable in that it’s more able to recover from disk errors than its FAT or FAT32 counterparts. A log of all disk activity is kept so should a crash occur, Windows can use this information to repair the file system when your PC boots up again. To find out what file system you’re using, open My Computer, right-click your main hard drive and choose Properties. Take a look at the General tab to see confirmation of the file system that’s in use.

Convert now
You can use the convert tool in Windows to change the file system on your hard disk from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS. The whole process is safe and your existing data won’t be destroyed. To begin, click Start -> Run, type cmd and press [Return]. At the command prompt type convert c: /fs:ntfs and press [Return] (where ‘c’ is the letter of the drive you’re converting). When you try and run the convert utility, it’s likely that Windows XP will be using your paging file so the process won’t be completed immediately. Therefore, you’ll see a brief message on screen informing you that the conversion will take place instead the next time Windows starts up. Having restarted, the Check Disk utility will run, the conversion will be performed automatically and you may find that your PC will reboot twice more.

The benefits

With your drive now running NTFS, it’s time to take advantage of the new options that are available. Having created a number of different user accounts you can now control the level of access that’s granted to individual users. For example, there are going to be certain files and folders that you’ll want some users to be able to access but not others.

Right-click any file or folder, choose Properties and select the Security tab. A dialog will be displayed showing the names of all your users. Alongside will be two columns which enable you to select levels of access for each of them, the permissions include Full Control, Modify, Read and Write. You can then check the appropriate box to determine whether or not to Allow or Deny a particular permission. For Windows XP Home Edition users, the Security tab won’t be immediately available. To access this option you’ll need to restart your PC, pressing [F8] until a menu appears. Next select Safe Mode and wait for Windows XP to start up. You can then set your options in the same way.

Another feature is NTFS compression. It’s quick and seamless as your file or folder is decompressed automatically when you access it. (Don’t confuse this with a Zip compression utility where the files need to be extracted before they can be accessed.) Although you may have used NTFS compression on a file or folder, there’s no way of telling just by looking at it. To remedy this, open My Computer, click Tools -> Folder Options and select the View tab. Under Advanced settings, scroll down and check the option ‘Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color’, then click Apply and OK. Take a look at your compressed items in My Computer and you’ll see the text label has changed from black to blue. Something else that’s exclusive to Professional Edition users is the Encrypting File System (EFS). You can use this to protect your important data so that no one else can read it Your encrypted files and folders will only be accessible when you have logged into your user account successfully.


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2 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:02 am

chinesta10

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Great tutorial and i think I've come to notice a few things after reading the article above... I only formatted my drive with NTFS format knowing it was the recommended format for all windows but didn't actually know the real reasons behind... I think reading this article has helped enhanced my knowledge about NTFS... Initially i thought converting to NTFS will clear every data but now i know there is away to convert without loosing my data... Great tutorial and i trust it will be of immense help..


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3 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:12 pm

WhIPL4$h

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Thanks. Additionally, there us a limit on the size of file you can copy at a go with fat32. It's only up to 4GB. For instance, if you have a 16 GB pen drive and want to copy an ISO file of size say 7GB, you are going to have an error. It simply cannot be done. You would have to break the file into chunks of up to 4GB first. Else you would have to convert to NTFS before you can copy a file with size more than 4GB.


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4 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:41 am

chinesta10

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Well until now i never knew that there was such a limit to the copying files to a FAT32 formatted drive... And from the looks of it Fat32 has more disadvantages and considering the immense benefits of NTFS, i dont see why a beginner in Computing should use such a format which will restrict him/her on the size of data he/she would want to copy... Thanks for the elaboration there...


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5 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:01 pm

WhIPL4$h

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Interesting... Well the reason behind this is similar to why 32 bit machines can only use up to 4GB of ram. They can only address that much memory at a time. 62 bit systems are not so.


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6 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:02 pm

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I'll put up a post detailing that some other time.


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7 Re: Converting your drive to NTFS on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:43 am

chinesta10

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Yeah i know that when you use 32 bit version of windows, you can only use up to 4GB of your available RAM... Funny enough that I've been using and formatting pen-drives from NTFS to FAT32 but never knew that with the FAT32 there was a restriction as to the amount of data you can copy until now... Its kind of strange to me but i think I've learnt a great lesson from this tutorial....


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