Freeware to convert (& adjust partition sizing) FAT to NTFS of my 2TB HDD

Can anyone list a couple of reliable freeware (running on Win 7 x64 as well as Win XP x32)
that could

a) do on-the-fly conversion of FAT to NTFS (without disrupting data)
b) resize the partition sizing (without disrupting data)

c)I suppose WIndows itself could convert an MBR to GPT & vice versa or optionally this
    freeware can do this as well?
sunhuxAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I've been using the home version of Partition Wizard for many years:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

It is an excellent product and does everything you want. Here I'll address every requirement that you requested:

o  It is freeware.

o   It converts FAT to NTFS without causing any data loss:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/convert-fat-to-ntfs.html

o  It supports all editions of XP, Vista, W7, W8, W10, both 32-bit and 64-bit for all.

o  It moves/resizes partitions:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/resize-partition.html

o  It converts MBR to GPT:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/convert-MBR-disk-to-GPT-disk.html

The Free edition does all of that, but if you need other features in the future, you may require a non-free product — here's the comparison table of features for the various editions:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/comparison.html

Regards, Joe
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well you will find a lot of good applications that will do this in a snap...but as always something can go wrong a good backup is always a must
nobusCommented:
this  may be good to know :  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb456984.aspx
without losing data :  http://www.tweakandtrick.com/2012/02/convert-fat32-to-ntfs-file-system.html

however - when playing with disk - always backup firtst!!
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
I recall the Minitool that Joe recommends has a certain limitation for the
free version: it can't convert a 2TB partition or does it?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
a) do on-the-fly conversion of FAT to NTFS (without disrupting data)
You can convert the file system within the command line of Windows with this command: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
b) resize the partition sizing (without disrupting data)
You can shrink or expand the partitions using Windows Disk Management snap-in for Windows Vista and newer Windows systems.

c)I suppose WIndows itself could convert an MBR to GPT & vice versa or optionally this
    freeware can do this as well?
That's true. But only if the drive is empty and has no partition on it - only then can Windows do the conversion.

The operations you are going to do are potentially dangerous for your data. And somehow support is needed from the vendor who made the partitioning tool. Thus I recommend you investing money in a professional tool. Here you can find either Hard Disk Manager Pro or Partition Manager Pro: http://www.paragon-software.com/downloads/home/
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Have tried the convert command but I'm rather phobic to run the chkdsk as
I have nightmares with chkdsk /f   before

C:\Windows\system32>convert h: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is FAT32.
Enter current volume label for drive H: XP PHD U3
Volume XP PHD U3 created 8/6/2015 6:42 PM
Volume Serial Number is 1AF1-0D15
Windows is verifying files and folders...
File and folder verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.
1,953,035,168 KB total disk space.
       26,720 KB in 605 hidden files.
      627,200 KB in 19,576 folders.
  403,944,224 KB in 14,409 files.
1,548,436,992 KB are available.

       32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.
   61,032,349 total allocation units on disk.
   48,388,656 allocation units available on disk.

This drive is dirty and cannot be converted. You will need to
clear the dirty bit on this drive by running CHKDSK /F or allowing
AUTOCHK to run on it the next time you reboot.
The conversion failed.
H: was not converted to NTFS

C:\Windows\system32>
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Well, the file system has problems and they must be fixed. If you don't want to use CHKDSK then as an alternative you can copy out the data from this partition, delete it and create new NTFS formatted partition. With it you will be sure that no problem exists on the drive.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
If you can borrow a drive from a friend that can hold your data then it would be safer to copy them and then "run" the check/fix/convert process
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Ok, completed the chkdsk.  Will run the convert on Monday
nobusCommented:
if you had problems with chkdsk - that indicates  problems with the disk hardware
or the installed file system
either way - you have to fix these before getting further

what was the result of chkdsk?
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
"chkdsk /f " gave a message it's completed successfully & this round when I ran
convert, it did not report the dirty bit anymore:   in the midst of it currently
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Negative result of the conversion:

D:\>convert h: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is FAT32.
Enter current volume label for drive H: XP PHD U3
Volume XP PHD U3 created 8/6/2015 6:42 PM
Volume Serial Number is 1AF1-0D15
Windows is verifying files and folders...
File and folder verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.
1,953,035,168 KB total disk space.
       26,720 KB in 605 hidden files.
      627,200 KB in 19,576 folders.
  403,944,224 KB in 14,409 files.
1,548,436,992 KB are available.

       32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.
   61,032,349 total allocation units on disk.
   48,388,656 allocation units available on disk.

Determining disk space required for file system conversion...
Total disk space:              1953512001 KB
Free space on volume:          1548436992 KB
Space required for conversion:  2539409 KB
Converting file system
Data error (cyclic redundancy check).
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Btw Joe, in the Minitool Basic/free edition I just installed, it
offers data recovery & other functions but not conversion
to NTFS.   Looks like it's a different copy that what I had
more than a year back.  Care to share with me the link that
has a Minitool version that does this conversion (ideally it
could self-fix dirty bits & other errors prior to conversion) ?


I reran chkdsk but it did not report any data / CRC error:

D:\>chkdsk h:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is XP PHD U3.

WARNING!  F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
  35072 file records processed.
File verification completed.
  265 large file records processed.
  0 bad file records processed.
  0 EA records processed.
  0 reparse records processed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
  74274 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.
  0 unindexed files recovered.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
  35072 file SDs/SIDs processed.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  19601 data files processed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

1953512000 KB total disk space.
 403703801 KB in 15003 files.
     14048 KB in 19603 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    578067 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
1549216084 KB available on disk.

       512 bytes in each allocation unit.
3907024001 total allocation units on disk.
3098432168 allocation units available on disk.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
The CRC error was a bit unnerving.

Hmm, the chkdsk above showed the HDD is already NTFS as
I've just confirmed it by rerunning convert:

D:\>convert h: /fs:ntfs
Drive H: is already NTFS.


Btw, does convert adjust the partition size?  Don't see it when I
issue "convert /? "
nobusCommented:
no - it does not change it
you can see the file system in disk management
usually crc errors indicate disk problems -) best run a diagn on it
what model is it ?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If you right click on the drive and select properties then you can see file system type.
Get to Seagate or WD web site and get a test tool to check the drive.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Disk Management shows this 2TB partition is NTFS.

Using Windows Explorer to right-click on this external USB3
Silicone Power HDD's   "Properties", it shows as NTFS.

So all four tools (convert, chkdsk, Disk Mgmt, & Win Explorer)
concur it's now NTFS.

I was sure it's FAT32 previously because I kept getting messages
that its FAT32 from various other software just 2 to 9 days ago.

Other than the CRC error shown, don't see any file missing
from this USB HDD
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> but not conversion to NTFS

I suppose the comparison table could be wrong, but here's what it shows:

convert fat-ntfs
I've used the tool for many other functions, but not that one, and I don't have a FAT disk in a sandbox that I can try it on now. Regards, Joe
nobusCommented:
usually crc errors indicate disk problems -) best run a diagn on it
 what model is it ?
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
It's Silicone Power USB 3 external HDD :
not sure if they used WD or Seagate or ??

Can point me to the link(s) to download the
diagnostics as well?


Hi Joe

Looking at the attached main screen of
MiniTool, don't any partition conversion
/resizing option, not shown too if I zoom
into each of the options.  it's all about
data recovery
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
attached the screen
MiniToolscreen.png
nobusCommented:
i use the ubcd a lot for running diags - but look first in device manager to see what drive brand you have
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html

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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Пis the drive on warranty yet? If yes thrn copy out your data and replace it. If not then open a usb box and take the drive out. Connect it directly to pc and check again to see if you get crc error.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> don't [see] any partition conversion /resizing option,

Help
Contents
Partition Operations
Convert FAT to NTFS

You'll see this:

Convert FAT to NTFS
Help
Contents
Partition Operations
Move/Resize Partition

You'll see this:

Move-Resize Partition
Regards, Joe
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
What Joe has is Minitool Partition Wizard while what I have is Minitool Power Data Recovery:
I searched using "Minitool" & most what's returned are the Data Recovery tool.

Running the diagnostics but it's quite cumbersome for me to get the USB HDD replaced as
they don't have a distributor or agent here locally: I got it online so I guess I have to ship it
to Taiwan (Silicone Power's main office) : just got it for about 5 months this "shock-proof,
dust-proof & water-resistant USB3 drive" which was supposed to be hardy/reliable
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> What Joe has is Minitool Partition Wizard while what I have is Minitool Power Data Recovery

You may download the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition 9.1 here:
http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

Currently, that page has a link to Cnet for the download. Regards, Joe
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Thanks Joe.

EE mates,
I recall that about 30 years back, we have Norton Utilities that will mark bad sectors
as "bad" so that they won't be used again & the disk could continue to be used safely.

For CRC errors, is there something we could do like marking the 'risky' sectors as bad
so that it oculd continue to be used?
nobusCommented:
no there is no such beast
run the disk diagnostic, and see what it says, as i posted above
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The same task by marking the bad sectors bad does MS CHKDSK x:/r
And vendor tools make the same when you erase the drive (fill with zeroes).
nobusCommented:
CRC errors are not bound to sectors, but rather to data blocks:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_redundancy_check
imo - chkdsk, and vendor tools don't apply
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
With CRC errors and i guess with expired warranty you have only one option
Repartition Bad Drive which will split your HDD to partitions leaving the bad parts out...
Also from the author of the above utility there is the slight chance of repairing you drive using his utility HDD Regenerator which i have witnesses in more than 1 occasions that can do the work
nobusCommented:
i don't beleieve repartitioning, nor hddRegenerator can help with crc errors, they are calculated on data blocks in the disk logic card
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Bad Drive is free so no harm done to give it a try...and as i said for HDD Regenerator i have seen cases where the HDD was almost useless and became working at for a period of time...(months)
nobusCommented:
i have been using HDDRegenerator also - and it's a good tool
but it only rewrites the sectors at a proper level - so i don't see how this can influence the crc errors

you're free to try of course
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