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Converting in order to Resizing an NTFS partition...


I keep hearing about using Diskpart.exe to make my partioned drive bigger. However, I also learned, in order to use this tool I should have FAT not NTFS.

Is it possible to convert the NTFS to FAT and then use the diskpart.exe tool? Then, once I've increased the size of my partition can I simply convert the FAT back to NTFS?

Or does it even matter which one I have?

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  • ntech26 Dec 25, 2007


    Thanks for the info. I did not know NTFS was better than FAT. After googling, I found out making my partition bigger is very easy and straightforward using FAT (at least this was my non-techie understanding). That's why I was asking about converting. So, thanks for steering me in the right direction on that one :) NTFS it is!

    However, after reading what you wrote it's obviously better to stick with the NTFS and merging my 2 partitions. Unfortunately, I am VERY unclear as to how I do that. If you could tell me step by step (if it's not too long of a process for you) or direct me to a website that will tell me step by step how to do it, I'd REALLY appreciate it.

    Thanks again for the quick response!



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The only way to make your partion bigger is too merge your partitions.

The way the partition is formatted. (ie. FAT, FAT32, NTFS, etc) allows for information to stored differently. These file allocation tables use different size slots to store the information in. When you install a new program, the data is put into the first empty slot on the drive, and if there too much data for 1 slot, it uses the next available empty slot and so on until all the data is stored. If the last bit of data is just a couple of bites. The remaining space is unusable for any other program, thus wasting space.

When you delete a program, those slots are emptied and the next time you install something, it is stored in the first available empty slot. SInce most programs are not the same size, your drive soon becomes fragmented and this slows down the way the OS is able to retrieve information. (That's why defraging is a good thing.)

So using smalller allocated table sizes makes more efficient storage (less wastage of space) but on large drives this also makes for slower retrieval times and makes the OS work harder.

But to answer your question, you cannot easily convert NTFS to FAT,and I don't understand why you'd want to go to FAT from NTFS anyway. NTFS has much better security (FAT has none) and is more efficient than FAT.

But to convert to FAT you would need to do the following:


Then delete the partition that you wish to convert. This is done by going into Disk Management: right click "My Computer" -> Manage -> Disk Management, which is found under the Storage section. Right click the partition you wish to remove, and click "Delete Volume". This will erase the partition. Once you have done this, you must re-create the partition. This is done by right clicking on an unallocated region of a disk, and selecting "Create Partition". Then click "Create Logical Drive". Bear in mind that Windows cannot format a FAT32 partition that is any larger than 32GB. This is the case because FAT32 is terribly inefficient on volumes that are larger than 32GB: fragmentation becomes a serious problem.

To format this new volume, right click it, and choose Format. Again, if the volume you wish to format is larger than 32GB, FAT32 will not be one of the options available to you in the drop-down box. You will have to create multiple partitions if you want to format a large drive as FAT32. (Oops, there goes the reason you were doing this in the first place)

You would be better off just leaving it alone, and if you must have a bigger drive, either buy a larger drive, or merge 2 partitions. (Using the above method to do so)

Hope that helps.

Posted on Dec 25, 2007

  • Terri Bates
    Terri Bates Dec 26, 2007

    Before starting, Back Up All of the partitions you are going

    to merge, as you will be deleting everything on them.

    I would not advise you to merge or delete your primary

    partiton, "Drive C" If you plan to do this to drive C, you

    might as well, just re-install windows and start fresh.

    1. Right-Click on the “My Computer” icon either on your desktop or in the Start Menu and select “Manage.”

    2. A new window titled “Computer Management” comes up. Select “Storage” from the left hand side by clicking it once, then select “Disk Management(local)” from the right side by double-clicking it.

    3. Now in the lower part of the main frame (right side) of the window you should see a nice visual of all your hard drives. Each line is a different drive. Each box on a line (with a colored bar at the top and a size displayed in MB or GB) is a partition on the drive. Partitions are separations of space on a drive.

    4. First you must delete the existing partitions you want to merge. Do this by right-clicking on the partition's box and selecting “Delete logical drive...” Since you already know that you will be deleting everything on the drive, and have already backed everything up, you can safely say yes to any warning the computer presents you with.

    5. Then repeat the above step for each drive you want to merge. If you only want to merge 2 partitions that is OK and you can continue to the next step without deleting the other partitions.

    6. The box for the drive to be formatted should now have a black bar at the top of it and should say “Unallocated” under its size . Right click on it and select “New Partition...” The New Partition Wizard comes up.

    7. In the New Partition Wizard click next. (If one of the drives you deleted was the primary partition on the next page make sure “Primary Partition” is selected and click next.) If it was not a primary partition select "Logical Partition" Now make the size equal to the maximum (it should already be set to it), and click next again. On the next page the computer will automatically choose the first available drive letter for the new drive. However, if you like you can choose another drive letter from the drop-down menu, and then click next.

    8. Finally the New Partition Wizard asks if you would like to format the new partition and if so what format. Choose “NTFS” as it is faster and more secure. Leave the “Allocation unit size” as “Default.” In the “Volume label” field enter whatever name you want the drive to have. Simple is better. Avoid using spaces. Do not check the “Perform a quick format” box or the “Enable file and folder compression” box and click next. Then on the next page click finish.

    9. The wizard will now spend a little while formatting the drive. Do not close the “Computer Management” window until it finishes. You will know it is done when the word under the size of the drive changes from “Formatting” to “Healthy” and the name and drive letter you chose for the new drive show up. After it is finished you can proceed to use your newly formatted drive.



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Both Mandriva and Ubuntu are Linux based and they do have
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hda5 = extended partion which holds Ubuntu and swap
hda6 = = Ubuntu (maybe 4 GB or bigger and includes home)
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From a linux perspective, the primary reserved definitions would
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Next, get your Mandriva CDrom install disk, and begin installing
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hda5 = extended partion which holds Ubuntu and swap
hda6 = home = Mandriva (to share with Ubuntu)
hda7 = leave as undefined (it is your existing Ubuntu ""
hda8 = = Mandriva
hda9 = swap (approximately 2x the size of your RAM)

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I have a 250 Gig WD hard drive originally hooked up to Mac OSX 10.5.6.  I put files on it and then a co-worker looks at those files on a PC. Now, she's given the drive back to me to add more files. These...


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The MAC - to PC did nothing to change it. It did not change while she look it at her pc.

If u want to be able to copy files bigger than 4 gigs to your drive, change the format to ntfs.

  • It is easy to convert partitions to NTFS. The Setup program makes conversion easy, whether your partitions used FAT, FAT32, or the older version of NTFS. This kind of conversion keeps your files intact (unlike formatting a partition). If you do not need to keep your files intact and you have a FAT or FAT32 partition, it is recommended that you format the partition with NTFS rather than convert from FAT or FAT32. Formatting a partition erases all data on the partition and allows you to start with a clean drive. Whether a partition is formatted with NTFS or converted using the convert command, NTFS is the better choice of file system. For more information about Convert.exe, after completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER. In the command window, type help convert and then press ENTER.
Link to steps and other info

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Hi George,

The seagate freeagent should be reconigized by windows. The question is are you adding an additional partition or do you want to create a brand new partion. I'm assuming you want to add.

You can add more space to existing primary partitions and logical drives by extending them into adjacent, contiguous unallocated space on the same disk. To extend a basic volume, it must be formatted with the NTFS ile system. You can extend a logical drive within contiguous free space in the extended partition that contains it. If you extend a logical drive beyond the free space available in the extended partition, the extended partition grows to contain the logical drive as long as the extended partition is followed by contiguous unallocated space.

To extend a basic volume
  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Type: diskpart
  3. At the DISKPART prompt, type: list volume
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Value Description list volume Displays a list of basic and dynamic volumes on all disks. select volume Selects the specified volume, where n is the volume number, and shifts the focus to it. If no volume is specified, the select command lists the current volume with focus. You can specify the volume by number, drive letter, or mount point path. On a basic disk, selecting a volume also gives the corresponding partition focus. extend Extends the volume with focus into next contiguous unallocated space. For basic volumes, the unallocated space must be on the same disk as, and must follow (be of higher sector offset than) the partition with focus. A dynamic simple or spanned volume can be extended to any empty space on any dynamic disk. Using this command, you can extend an existing volume into newly created space. If the partition was previously formatted with the NTFS file system, the file system is automatically extended to occupy the larger partition. No data loss occurs. If the partition was previously formatted with any file system format other than NTFS, the command fails with no change to the partition.
You cannot extend the current system or boot partitions.
size=n The amount of space, in megabytes (MB), to add to the current partition. If you do not specify a size, the disk is extended to take up all of the next contiguous unallocated space.
  • To open a command prompt, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  • You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.
  • To extend a basic volume, it must be formatted with the NTFS file system.
  • You can only extend a basic volume onto the same disk.
  • You can only extend a basic volume if it is followed by contiguous unallocated space.

Hope this helps!


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