Win2K on FAT, best way to make FAT32?
Posted on 2000-04-21
Sparing the details of the events leading up to it...
I installed Windows 2000 Professional to a 20 GB drive that was already used as a secondary drive in Win98 system, and partitioned as follows:
2 GB FAT
4 GB FAT32
12 GB FAT32
2 GB FAT32
The installation of Win98 on the other drive (10GB, now the 2nd drive in the system) was toasted somehow in the process of upgrading some hardware, and so I never did fix it since I wanted to use Win2K anyways.
I could not boot off the CD-ROM for some reason, and the 4 boot floppies didn't work either (now, in hindsight, I think it was due to the UDMA/66 controller) so I had to do this to install Win2K:
Make the firstpartition a 2GB FAT16
Install DOS 6.22
Add CD-ROM drivers and a 32MB (the limit!) smartdrv cache ;)
Start Win2K setup & install
Well this all worked out eventually...and my plan was to convert the FAT16 to a FAT32 to regain all the wasted space going from 32K to 4K clusters.
The reason I chose to go with all FAT32 is because I may reinstall Win98 on the 2nd drive and boot that up when the rare necessity comes along, so I'd need to have support to read all the partitions. And since this is used as a personal machine and in a "secure" environment I'm not worried about the lack of filesystem security.
Anyway, I figured that since Win2K had support for all the filesystems, it would have a converter for both FAT16->NTFS and FAT16->FAT32. Well, the convert.exe only converts to NTFS from either FAT16 or FAT32.
After doing a bit of research, I found out that M$ intentionally did not provide an easy path to convert FAT16->FAT32. In fact they specifically state this in KB article Q197627 :)
So my question (finally) is what is the SAFE way to convert this partition to FAT32? I do not want to render it unbootable as I depend heavily on the ability to use my computer for just about everything.
I have Partition Magic 4.01, which doesn't support Win2K. I know they just released a patch for 5.0 -> 5.01 to support it. Would it be safe to convert the system partition with that? I've had PM fail on me before...lost an NT 4.0 setup to it once even.
If anyone has actually done this, please let me know the exact steps you took.
Points are awarded when I boot the system up on the FAT32 filesystem :)