Changing NTFS to FAT32

New Zealand
December 31, 2009 9:18pm CST
I recently purchased a 1.5TB external HDD, but while copying files I found that it couldn't hold files larger then 4 gigs because it was FAT32. I converted it to NTFS, only to find the next day that I couldn't use it on my Linux laptop. This is highly frustrating, as I bought the HDD for use on both computers. Is there any way I can change it back to FAT32 without having to format it? I can delete the files that are larger then 4 gigs, but I don't want to have to copy several hundred gigs over again. If I absolutely have to format it, I will, but I'd prefer not to. Thanks.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@Asylum (48323)
• Manchester, England
1 Jan 10
I believe that this can be done via the Command window, but I do not really recommend it. Open the Command by typing cmd into the run dialogue box and type convert E: /fs:fat32 This is assuming that E is the drive letter for your external hard drive, otherwise use the appropriate letter. I have tried this but I have passed this information to a few friends in the past and nobody has said that it does not work. Personally I would simply reformat and copy the data again, although the actual choice is your's. As far as I can remember, Linux should read NTFS systems.
• New Zealand
3 Jan 10
I just tried that and it said that convert is not available for NTFS drives. I also spent 18 hours yesterday having cmd formatting it, and it was supposed to convert it too, but when it finally got to 100%, it said this drive is too big for FAT32, which is stupid because it came as FAT32. I formatted it again this morning, not with cmd, but it's still NTFS. Linux doesn't read NTFS.
• New Zealand
3 Jan 10
I just looked it up then, apparently most Linux distributions have the NTFS-3G driver installed on them. I don't know why mine doesn't, but I'm going to see if I can get it.
• New Zealand
3 Jan 10
This should be my final response to you... Don't know what happened, but my laptop is now reading the external. It's still NTFS. I don't know how that works, but it does. Thanks a lot.
@thedark (156)
• India
28 Jan 10
you can convert NTFS to FAT 32 by formatting your drive through linux. however, i do not recommend doing so as NTFS provides better security and management features than FAT32
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
1 Jan 10
It seems that there is an option or way to do so. Go to the link listed below. I have not tried it before so I cannot say whether it works or not. Someone says that we can also use Partition Magic.