Change FAT32 to NTFS in your USB/Hard Drive Storage

Edited by Jeffrey Casel, Melsan, Maria Quinney, Eng and 2 others

Converting FAT32 to NTFS can make your data storage larger, and if you are in NTFS form, your storage will become more secure, easy to defragment, and will be able to hold large files (over 4gb). FAT32 are usually used with USB devices, and in some instances, if you are attempting to transfer huge files into your USB device, there will be an error that says "Not enough disk space", even though there is a lot of space available. That's because FAT32 cannot accommodate huge files. So here are instructions to deal with this issue:

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  1. 1
    On your computer, find the storage/drive that you want to convert
    Be sure it's in FAT32 format by:
    1. Right click the drive.
    2. Go to "Properties".
    3. Check the to see if the file format is FAT32.
    4. If it is in NTFS format, there's no need to convert anymore.
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  2. 2
    Head to your Start button
    Type cmd in the search bar (if you are running Windows 7 /win8/vista) or, go to run, and type cmd. If you are using XP, the command prompt is cmd.
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  3. 3
    While on command prompt/cmd, type chkdsk h
    /f where the letter H is your storage/drive that you want to convert. This command will run a system check to see if there are problems with your device.
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  4. 4
    After the check is done, type convert h
    /fs:ntfs where the letter H is still your storage/device that you want to convert. This command will start a conversion of your device. The time of the conversion will depend on the storage/device's capacity.
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  5. 5
    After the conversion is done, right click the converted drive, go to "Properties", check the File format to see if it's NTFS
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Make sure the device is FAT32 first, so the conversion will be a success.
  • The above procedure is useful when you have stored data.
  • If you don't have data on the storage, or you don't want to keep it, simply right click on the storage icon, and select "Format". From the format panel, select NTFS, as shown in the photo.
    Format Flash-pen into NTFS.png

Questions and Answers

Unable to format the FAT32 drive?

Hi, I've been trying to format my FAT32 USB drive when I accidentally cleared my drive that was bootable. I was trying to make the drive un-bootable. The format capacity says "Unknown". I changed the FAT32 to NTFS, but it still doesn't format. Thank you very much.

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Article Info

Categories : Hardware

Recent edits by: Melissa Meyer, Eng, Maria Quinney

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