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FAT32 vs NTFS

Posted on 2002-07-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Hi guys,

I have a 40GB HD with 2 partitions and they are:

[C:] FAT32 50%
[D:] NTFS 50%

I want to convert D: into FAT32, how can I?

Thanks

Lagruga
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Question by:lagruga
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Expert Comment

by:sorgie
ID: 7155221
You have to reformat. You can go from 32 to NTFS but not thr reverse
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Author Comment

by:lagruga
ID: 7155230
How can I reformat? I have tried under DOS but because its NTFS its not recognised.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 7155232
Sorgie is correct.  Here's a quotation from the following web page:

http://www.labmice.net/FAQ/win2kinstallfaq.htm

Should I choose FAT, FAT32, or NTFS as a file system?  
 For most Windows 2000 installations, Microsoft recommends that you format your partitions using NTFS on all drives over 1GB in size. If you are a home user and have no security requirements, or plan on dual booting your workstation between Windows 98 and Windows 2000, you may wish to use FAT32 instead of NTFS. NTFS is much more efficient than FAT32 on large volumes, provides file level security, encryption, compression, and support for RAID. Also keep in mind that you can convert a FAT32 partition to NTFS, but you cannot go back without reformatting your drive and losing your data. For more information, see our section on Windows 2000 File Systems
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 7155240
Use Fdisk to delete the non-DOS partition and then re-create it; then you will be able to format.
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Author Comment

by:lagruga
ID: 7155260
I have tried that. The FDISK does not allow me to delete the extended DOS partition. It says that I have a logical drive but when I ask to show me it it says "No logical drives defined". I can not remove the extended DOS partition without removing the logical. So, what are my options? By the way I have read your previous comments and I am aware of FAT and NTFS. I have actually expressed myself incorrectly when I said "convert", what I really mean is that I am having problems reformatting and I am wanting to do that so that I can convert D: back to NTFS.

Lagruga
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Accepted Solution

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ElTempestad earned 40 total points
ID: 7155341
I believe if you have the NT installation disk you can run the installation only up to the point where it tells you what drives you have and what file systems are on your system. At that point you select the D drive and the file system you want. My memory is a bit skecthy, but i think it can be done that way. If anybody agrees please indicate if so. good luck lagruga!
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 7155355
I am not exactly sure what you have done previously to create your two partitions, one being FAT32 and the other NTFS.  Here is a Microsoft Knowledge Base article on How to use Fdisk and Format to partition/repartition a hard disk.  I have made the link to that part of that article where it describes how to re-partition and format the extended partition and logical drives of a hard disk:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q255867#4

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by:sorgie
ID: 7155363
How did you create it?? Win NT, 2000 or XP pro??
Do you have win2000 boot disk??
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 7155365
When you started Fdisk (after choosing large disk support), I presume you got this menu:

1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Set active partition
3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4. Display partition information
5. Change current fixed disk drive
  (this option is only available if you
   have two physical hard disks in the computer)

Then, when you chose option 3, did you get this menu:

1. Delete Primary DOS Partition
2. Delete Extended DOS Partition
3. Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition
4. Delete Non-DOS Partition

If you have logical drives defined within the extended DOS partition, then you won't be able to delete the extended partition until you delete the logical drives within them. But you say it tells you there are No logical drives defined?

I thought, though I'm not sure, that the NTFS partition would be seen as a Non-DOS partition, so that you would need to choose option 4 of the above menu rather than 2 or 3.
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Author Comment

by:lagruga
ID: 7155382
-Sorgie I created when installing W2K

-Lee - believe or not I have tried all your comments before and have visited your links as well and none of that worked for me, unfortunately. I have also used option 4.Delete Non-DOS Partition and that didn't work. I will try ElTempestad's option, it sounds a good option and I haven't tried that yet.

Lagruga


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by:LeeTutor
ID: 7155407
All right, Lagruga, then I will leave you in the capable hands of Sorgie and EITempestad, for I haven't eaten yet, and I know next to nothing of Win2k, WinNT, or WinXP.  I'll come back to learn what has worked...
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Expert Comment

by:sorgie
ID: 7155449
If you have your WIn2K cd you will find a folder you can create boot floopys. Why not try using them since that is the OS on the partiton.
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 7155548
You can use Partition Magic to convert the NTFS partition back to FAT32.

You should be able to use a Win98 bootdisk and run fdisk and remove all non DOS partitions and after rebooting that repartition and use FAT32
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Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 7155982
Ray is correct, PM will do it without loosing data
If you don't care about the data on it, then you can also go to www.bootdisk.com and get delpart. It will delete the ntfs partition, then you can use fdisk to recreate it, and then format it fat32
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Expert Comment

by:jatcan
ID: 7157454
Hey Lagruga,

If you go here:

http://www.ranish.com/part/

you can download a free partition manager that is pretty straight forward and will delete the NTFS partition (EXT non-dos). If you have a Linux setup disk, it will do the same with it's disk druid partitioning software. Make sure you red the instructions very carefull or you will hose your win98 installation also. Partition Magic is probably the easiest(not free) solution to delete the partition. I have only tried reverting from NTFS back to fat32 on one occasion, when winnt4 was still the big thing. Partition Magic advertised then that it could do it also, it couldn't. I highley doubt it if it can now, without making the system unstable, but that is only an opinion and not an educated one.

A much better solution IMHO(in my humble opinion) is to delete win98 from your system and convert the fat32 partition INTO ntfs and be done with it. Again, thats JMHO(Just My Humble Opinion).

Cheers.
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Author Comment

by:lagruga
ID: 7157670
Hi everyone

Eltempestad made the first suggestion that worked from top to bottom, so I guess he deservs the credit but thanks to all your inputs and time.

Lagruga
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