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Converting to NTFS

Posted on 1998-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I am trying to convert my existing C: (FAT) drive to a NTFS.  When I use the command "convert c: /fs:ntfs", and course it says it will run the command at my next restart since this is my current drive and boot drive. The problem is that when nt starts back up, I recieve an error that says "cannot open volume for direct access", and then something like conversion did not take place, then NT boots and starts as normal.
This is a 4bg Segate scsi drive with adaptec controller.
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Question by:davcos
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770137
Edited text of question
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770139
Under Disk Administrator the partition is shown as 4001 MB and the drive is shown to be 4338 MB.  Adaptec and Seagate seem to think it is an NT proble, (go figure).  I ran the "verify media" option under the Adaptec scsi utility, and it completed with no errors.  This drive is about 2 months old.
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by:eizens
ID: 1770140
It's quit strench, how you could format with FAT 4 GB partition, as it can be only 2.1 GB. May be your partition really is HPFS or NTFS?  Or Fat32?
Best regards,
                  Eizens
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Expert Comment

by:nmcdonne
ID: 1770141
Try a Low-level format of the drive using Adaptec's Utility and then format it as NTFS.
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by:eizens
ID: 1770142
For some new drives low level format is not recommended, and in some cases it  will be  disaster... Contact HDD delverer for info before trying it.
Best regards,
                    Eizens.
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770143
When I got the machine, it had a 4GB partition for C:, and 348MB partition for D:, The second drive was E: with 4.38GB.  I'm not sure if it was FAT or NTFS at this point, I just know that the original installation got so screwed up, I gave up.  

My Problem started with MS Outlook Beta 2, and MS Office.  After the first installation of Outlook, things started falling apart.  Outlook would never install successully again, and if I tried to run "checkdsk at next startup" I was getting the same error message, "cannot lock volume for direct access", this was the original installation from the the dealer.

I formatted the drive as a last resort.  I simply started the Adaptec utility, selected format C:, after the initial warnings it started flashing "formating" (no question of drive size was ask).  After about 2 hrs it said the format was complete, and I reinstalled NT.

I never thought about the partition size. Maybe this was a problem from the start?  But how could the Adaptec format a 4GB FAT system? NT still shows that C: is 4GB and that there is 3.48MB unformatted. It also shows it is FAT and no file security tabs are shown.

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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770145
I found this on the MS Knowledge Base


""CHKDSK Could Not Open Volume for Direct Access.
Last reviewed: February 2, 1998
Article ID: Q160654
The information in this article applies to:
Microsoft Windows NT Workstation versions 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0
Microsoft Windows NT Server versions 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0


SYMPTOMS
When chkdsk is scheduled to run on a partition where Windows NT Server is installed or when autochk runs on this partition after restarting the computer, the following error message is displayed and neither utilities are run against this partition.


   Can not lock volume for direct access


CAUSE
This error message means that chkdsk or autochk could not lock the partition in question. This can be caused if another utility or service such as a virus checker program or a disk monitoring program locks the partition early on.



RESOLUTION
To have chkdsk or autochk lock the partition and perform their appropriate tasks, complete the following steps:


Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

Double-click the Services icon and change the Start Type of the other third-party utility to Manual."" ??(what third-party utility??)

I wonder if it something to do with a plug-n-play feature?? Also I noticed a service named "Protected Storage" that is "running" and started "Automatic" any idea what that is?



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by:jmcguir
ID: 1770146
Are you running McAfee VirusScan?
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by:jmcguir
ID: 1770147
Are you running McAfee VirusScan?
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770148
No virus software (call me fearless), but I do have Diskeeper by Exucitive Software, and I already tried to disable that and restarted with the same error message.
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Expert Comment

by:akb
ID: 1770149
Just a thought, I think NT needs a certain amount of free disk space to perform the conversion.  How much unused disk space do you have?
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770150
There are 2.2GB free on C: and 1.9 free on D:
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770151
Uninstall Diskeeper as it works with an NTFS partition and not fat. You can use defrag for that. After Uninstalling it try to convert your partition again and let me know what happens.

Mike.
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770152
Mike,

I uninstalled Diskeeper and there was no change in my system.  I formatted this drive with an Adaptec SCSII controller (dos is not installed on this machine.)

When I installed NT (and I think this is my problem) I selected the default (leave the existing file system) and did not convert to NTFS at that time. (what kind of file system is it?)

I'm fairly sure this is the way the machine was setup from the beginning but am not exactly sure.

What I would like to do is install a new drive from scratch, let NT format for NTFS and copy my existing installation to that drive and make it my boot drive, but I understand that is not all that easy.

Worst case I'll just reinstall everything from scratch. (UGH!)

By the way...Diskeeper seemed to work fine on this drive, at least it said it was working and gave me the fragmentation information, and functioned as it does on any other machine.

Thanks
Dave Costner
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770153
I'm amazed Diskeeper didn't give you a warning message about running on a FAT, but anyhow, the amount of time you'd spend trying to figure this out, you could fdisk, reformat and be up and running in less than an hour. I'd save any existing information I needed then do a reinstall. You could spend days trying to figure out what locked your partition. Normally if your logged in as Administrator it doesn't give you a hard time when you try to convert a partition but this seems strange. What other software do you have install besided Diskeeper on your machine? It could be something minor. Let us know what you have installed besides NT before having to reinstall.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770154
Mike,

I do have a lot of sotware...and seriously doubt I could install and get registrations codes in an hour.

MS Office 97 Pro
MS Outlook 98
MS Explorer 4.0 and addons
AutoCAD Map V2.
Softdesk (runs in AutoCad)
Carlson Software (runs in AutoCad)
MadCap (runs in AutoCad)
Trailane (coordinat conversion program, stand alone)
WS_FTP
Paint Shop Pro v5
Textpad

I do not have any utilities (Norton ect.) and have not reinstalled diskeeper, no virus protection (I can't figure out which one to use),no hardware locks or dongles.

What about cloning my existing installation, or... how can I save all my file associations and personal settings?  I do have a roaming profile, will that keep my file associations?.

Thanks,
Dave Costner

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by:mikecr
ID: 1770155
Just for my piece of mind Davcos, I need you to look into disk administrator and let me know how big your partitions are on your c:, d:, e:, etc. If I didn't know any better, I think that you already have a C: NTFS partition and that's why you can't convert it. Let me know how big they are and we'll go from there. Oh, by the way, my company uses MCafee virus scan and found it to be tremendously effective in keeping us clean.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770156
Mike,

Here is what disk admin says.

Disk 0   C: FAT 4001 MB           Free Space 337 MB (UNFORMATTED)
Disk 1   D: NTFS 4338 MB
CD-ROM 0 E: CDFS
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770157
Well Davcos, you really have a problem. I actually don't know what route to go with you. Under NT 4.0 you have a 4gb fat partition that I have no idea how you got because even the newest version of the NT boot disks does not allow for a fat partition above 2.1gb or the old Dos limitation. Fat32 is the new standard that allows you to read larger disks, but it is only available for those who use Windows 95 to partition their hard drives. There is however a utility that allows an NT box to look at a FAT partition. The problem here is did the convert happen to be run in the opposite direction, original Fat NTFS and then converted to FAT? You said that the install was all screwed up. Maybe some of these guys can help me out but I think your going to have to do the format thing!
I'm just puzzled how you could have a 4gb FAT partition which I believe to be impossible if your not using the new FAT32.
Try something out. Take your D: drive and try and convert it to FAT and see if it actually works. Do this only if you don't have any information on it that you want saved and let me know what happens.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770158
Mike,

Are you saying that the boot drive cannot be larger than 2mb?  And why would NT install asume a FAT partition on a disk that had just been low level formatted.

Is the Adaptec AHA-2940 Ultra Wide loading some kind of disk overlay system?  I have talked to Adaptec and their "tech support" says no.  Maybey it formats in FAT32 and that confused NT?

Oh well, (sigh) it's running and I have work to do.  I format it some day just for peace of mind, (and software/driver installation training).  If I don't reinstall every so often, something breaks and I can't remember the trick to getting it up and running again.

Thanks for the imput.
Dave


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by:mikecr
ID: 1770159
You know what, you can't convert to FAT, it's not possible. This is the only thing I know that may fix your problem, and it's kind of dangerous. Backup every file that you possibly need onto your D: drive or some type of backup drive. ONLY after you have backed up everything run the following command: fdisk /mbr and then try to convert your partition to NTFS. I think that your drive was partitioned with something other than NT and your allocation units were set to something larger than 64K. When NT was installed, it somehow recongnized it as fat but the partition can't be converted because another type of software set it up, which "locked" the partition. Try using the fdisk /mbd command to see if it will replace the master boot record with a legitimate copy that may not be corrupted and try converting your partition again. This is a guess, so take it with a grain of salt.
Anyone else have an idea?
Mike
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770160
Adjusted points to 255
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770161
This should be worth some extra points.  I think I'll call my vendor and see how he originally formated this drive.  But wouldn't the Adaptec format clear off the original configuation?
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770162
Yes, you can have a 4gb partition if it was format as NTFS and not FAT. If you create a partition FAT then it MUST BE 2.1gb max. Somehow you got a FAT partition on your C: drive and it probably came from the vendor like that, but what did he use to partition it with? If he used FAT32 he was wrong! Unless you have the special software utility that has just come out, you can't see a FAT32 partition from NT. I would do as your doing and contact the vendor and find out exactly what he did before you try anything else.

Mike
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Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 
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Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1770163
Yes, you can have a 4gb partition if it was format as NTFS and not FAT. If you create a partition FAT then it MUST BE 2.1gb max. Somehow you got a FAT partition on your C: drive and it probably came from the vendor like that, but what did he use to partition it with? If he used FAT32 he was wrong! Unless you have the special software utility that has just come out, you can't see a FAT32 partition from NT. I would do as your doing and contact the vendor and find out exactly what he did before you try anything else.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:kmrussell
ID: 1770164
(Special Case) To convert the file system from FAT to NTFS, do the following:

                 a) Use the arrow keys to select 'Convert the Partition to NTFS'.
                 b) Choose the location of the NTFS files.
                 c) Press ENTER.
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770165
Kmrussell,

I'm not following you. I have always converted at the command prompt.  Is there another place to convert?

Davcos
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770166
If you can't convert it at a Dos prompt, how are you going convert it through the disk Administrator?

Mike
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by:eizens
ID: 1770167
I am back after a some time and I see only mess in the discussion.

I am sorry -- I was wrong. As it's written in NT4.0 manual, maximum size of FAT partition is 4 GB. So, it's your case. I think, it's FAT24 or something in this way. And your problem is with hardware or logical errors in a system.

 My proposal -- begin from the first step and check all options.
1. Backup usefull files.
2.Check with manual settings of your SCSI controller (MB and controller bios settings, jumpers and terminators, cables)
3. Find startup disk from Windows 95 OSR2 or Windows 98 (or make it using add_software/ windows_setup/startup disk option on PC with such OS).
4. boot from such disk and run fdisk. See partition info. You will be able to see if you have
FAT, or FAT32 or HPFS, or NTFS on your drive.
5. delete all  partitions on suspected drive. Run fdisk /mbr ( I am not sure that it will do something with SCSI drive, but why not to try?).
6. see partition info.
7. reboot from this disk, and check partition info. If you achieved state with no partitions, install NT using NT setup boot disks (use NTFS).

 Follow this steps and post results. It must work.
And this definitely isn't possible: You can't convert NTFS to FAT.
Best regards,

Eizens


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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770168
Eizens,

My computer works fine.  I do not want to reinstall just to convert the existing partitions to NTFS.  I think I have my answer though... seems that however this disk was originally set up, is not compatable with NTFS?  Does this sound right?
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by:eizens
ID: 1770169
Yes, it seems so. If you can live without NTFS, wait untill you have some real reasone to reinstall. But in any case you can boot from Win98 floppy, and investigate, what kind of FAT you have (FDISK will tell you).
 Also, have you any specific software installed (antivirus, compression utility or so on? If it takes access to HDD before convertion try to do it, it may be so also...
Please post results of test, I am interested, why it happens.
Best regards,
Eizens
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Expert Comment

by:jt12852
ID: 1770170
Please note that if even if you are able to convert your FATxx partition to NTFS, you may need to re-install Office97 from an account with Administrator Priviliges. (Otherwise, the shortcuts in your start menu may fail with an 'enter network password' dialog.)
c.v. KB article Q171363
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by:jt12852
ID: 1770171
Also, 'Protected Storage' is a service utilized by Outlook Express/Outlook 98 on FAT partitions (possible also NTFS, but I don't use that configuration on this machine) to allow/disallow access to mail messages stored on disk based on the logged on user. Kinda nifty if you ask me!
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by:jt12852
ID: 1770172
Davcos -
For clarity's sake, could you please repost your current configuration in the following format:

Drive 1: (Manufacturer, Total Size)
 - Partition 1 (X:) X.XGB, X.X Free (Filesystem Type)
 - Partition 2 (Z:) X.XGB, X.X Free (Filesystem Type)
Drive 2: (Manufacturer, Total Size)
 - Partition 1 (Y:) X.XGB, X.X Free (Filesystem Type)
...etc

Where X:,Y:,Z: denote drive letters currently assigned by the OS.

Somehow, this information is not quite clear in your previous messages... Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770173
It should be noted that I did give up the attempt to convert this problemed drive to NTFS.  I bought another Seagate 4.3GB drive, and did a fresh install.  Once I had NT up, I copied the files from my old problemed drive, and after some tweaking, I was back in business.  I then reformatted the drive using NT and specified NTFS.  All the drives works fine now.  And by the way, thanks to all of you for your intrest.  This is a great site and has been very interesting.

The old settings were...

Drive 1: Seagate , 4.34GB
 - Partition 1 (C:) 4.01GB, 2.2GB Free (Filesystem (NT says FAT)
 - Partition 2 (D:) 3.4MB, 3.4MB Free (Filesystem FAT)

Drive 2: Seagate , 4.34GB
 - Partition 1 (C:) 4.34GB, 3.0 Free (Filesystem NTFS)

The only wierd thing I have seen lately is that my profile has been renamed to "myprofile.000" the old "myprofile" is still there?  After I had my desktop and associations perfect, I copied all the files in the "myprofile.000" to "myprofile" and really screwed thing up.  It still appears to be using the "myprofile.000" but works fine.  Any ideas on that one?
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by:rosscoe
ID: 1770174
The limit for a FAT partition is not necessarily 2.1Gb. It depends upon your drive geometry and microsoft are quite correct in suggesting that a FAT partition can be 4Gb. Like I say, it depends upon your drive.
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by:mikecr
ID: 1770176
Rosscoe, try fdisking a 8gb hard drive with dos 6.22 and let me know if you can get above a 2.1 gb partition?

Mike
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by:eizens
ID: 1770177
After three weeks on a vacation in Tunis I am happy to  see that problem is resolved, and I think that author have remove question as resolved or give points to somebody who seems  helped, and finish  this discussion.
      Really seems it was a problem with NT, resolved by fresh install, or with HDD, resolved by format.  
Best regards,
Eizens
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770178
I would like to award "mikecr" and "eizens" my points 50/50.  Both of theier answers were a great help in pointing me in the right direction.

Please let me know how to award the points.

Thanks very much
davcos
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1770179
Windows NT will support a 4 GB FAT partition while MSDOS or Win95 will not.  That is because NT can use a 64 KB cluster size on FAT.  DOS and Win95 will only use  a maximum 32 KB cluster.  This effectively doubles the maximum size of the FAT partition but leaves the side effect that the partion would not be readable by DOS or Win95.  That does not include a DOS windows running under WinNT.  Your problem converting is probably due to SCSI drivers and probably has nothing to do with the fact that the partition os 4 GB.

Tom
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1770180
Davcos,

To split the points between mikecr and eizens you will have to get this question deleted by customer service and have your points refunded.  Once that is done you can create a question for each of them with half the poits awarded for each one.  You should make it clear in the title and text of each question that it's there to award points to these specific people.

Tom
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Expert Comment

by:eizens
ID: 1770181
I think it's too long way, you can award points to mikecr, I am satisfyed beeng able to help.
Best regards,
Eizens
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770182
In that case, Mikecr if you would like the points, just submitt another answer.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:phj
ID: 1770183
According to technet document Q160654, it is a problem regarding direct access to the disk. I will sugest that you check to see it your BIOS have an option for virus boot sector support. If so make sure that it is disable, and then try again to convert the VFAT (which is correct name for 4GB partition on NT) partition to NTFS.


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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770184
There was no antivirus software installed on this machine.  And it has been so long since I posted this question, the problem has been resolved by re formatting with Windows NT (NTFS)

Thanks anyway,
davcos
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Accepted Solution

by:
Skip earned 250 total points
ID: 1770185
The problem is really quite simple:

You are trying to convert a partition that is actively being used by NT during its restart/boot-up phase.  This is why you cannot convert upon restarting. NT will not convert a partition that is being used by even ONE process (in your case, the ALL the executive mode services are using it).   It seems that when you installed, you did not partition your HDD to allow for the system partition (which contains your boot files) to be different than your boot partition (which contains your operating system files).

Unfortunately, you have no other option than to repartition your HDD using FDISK and then to reinstall NT.  My suggestion is the following:

1.  Back up your entire drive.
2.  Boot with a DOS boot disk that will support your CD-ROM      Drive
3.  Run Fdisk
4.  Repartition your HDD so that C:\ is about 200 MB, and the      remaining space is in a single extended partition.
5.  Assign as many logical drives as you need.
6.  Reboot to DOS
7.  Install NT from the x:\I386 directory using "WinNT.exe /b" to      avoid having to make the boot floppies again.
8.  Choose to install to a different partition than your primary (C:\      drive) partition.
9.  Choose to format that partition as NTFS during the install      process.
Then restore all of your data, EXCEPT the
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Expert Comment

by:Skip
ID: 1770186
BTW,

Regardless of what you have been told by others here, FAT partitions can be up to 4GB in size under WinNT.  FAT partitions over 2GB can not be used by non-NT operating systems.  Please see Microsoft Knowledge Base article # Q118335.....and be careful whose answers you trust!  <G>
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Author Comment

by:davcos
ID: 1770187
Nice!
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