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2011-11-10

A+: Checking and changing file systems

Follow these steps to determine what file system was used to prepare a Windows hard drive:
Step 1. Open Windows Explorer.
Step 2. Right-click the drive letter in the Explorer Window and select Properties.
Step 3. The Properties sheet for the drive will list FAT32 for a drive prepared with FAT32, and NTFS for a drive prepared with NTFS.

Convert.exe
Windows includes the command-line Convert.exe program to enable users to change the current FAT32 file system on a drive to NTFS without reformatting the drive (which would wipe out all of the information on the drive).  To convert a drive’s file system using Convert.exe, follow these steps:
Step 1. Open a command-prompt window. (For Windows Vista, refer to the options that follow this list.)
Step 2. Type Convert x: /fs:ntfs and press Enter.

Note:
The x: is a variable. Replace it with the drive you want to convert, for example c:, d:, f:, and so on.
To see advanced options for Convert, type convert /?.
In Windows Vista, you will need to run this command in elevated mode. There are several ways to open a command-line in elevated mode. Here are two options:
• Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. Click Continue at the permission window.
• Click Start and type cmd. Then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to execute cmd.exe in elevated mode. Click Continue at the permission window. 

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