Transfer a FAT32 to NTSF Harddrive

I have an old 25GB FAT32 harddrive that is about full. I have placed bootable NTSF 160GB hard drive into an external case. I would like to format this drive and, using Acronis Migrate Easy, transfer the entire 25GB drive to this used 160GB drive.

Question is, should I format the 160GB drive as FAT32 or can I use the NTSF format and transfer a FAT32 system to that? (Somehow I don’t think so)
Should I format this drive while it is connected to the computer that it will be used in? I intend to format this drive externally via USB while it is in its case.

If you’re trying to move the contents of your C drive (boot drive) to another harddrive, any imaging tool should transfer the filesystem from one hard drive to another using the same format, and most will allow you to resize the target drive to something bigger.

You can convert the filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS after you have transferred the image or after you have switched the hard drives. Look for help on the CONVERT command (it’s a command-line tool).

C:\Documents and Settings\User>convert /?
Converts FAT volumes to NTFS.

CONVERT volume /FS:NTFS [/V] [/CvtArea:filename] [/NoSecurity] [/X]

  volume      Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon),
              mount point, or volume name.
  /FS:NTFS    Specifies that the volume is to be converted to NTFS.
  /V          Specifies that Convert should be run in verbose mode.
  /CvtArea:filename
              Specifies a contiguous file in the root directory to be
              the place holder for NTFS system files.
  /NoSecurity Specifies the converted files and directories security
              settings to be accessible by everyone.
  /X          Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.
              All opened handles to the volume would then be invalid.

[QUOTE=DrageMester;1936816]If you’re trying to move the contents of your C drive (boot drive) to another harddrive, any imaging tool should transfer the filesystem from one hard drive to another using the same format[/QUOTE]

Are you saying I do not need to format (fdisk) the 160GB drive before using the imaging software?

Thanks for your imput, DrageMester. I have never done this before.

[quote=BarbiGee;1936824]Are you saying I do not need to format (fdisk) the 160GB drive before using the imaging software?[/quote] Probably not. Most imaging software will (re-)partition a harddrive as needed and create the necessary filesystem(s).

If you want addional partitions with empty filesystems on your new harddrive, then you can use a partitioning tool and formatting tool after using the imaging software (or before). You can create partitions and format them from within Windows if needed, although if you have very specific needs, you will have more options using dedicated partitioning software.

Hi :slight_smile:
If you have the latest versions of Acronis s/w.
Just download the pdf mauals. [B][U]Link for Migrate manual:[/U][/B]
According to them you can, in effect use the wizards to it all.
So format migrate/clone etc.
Even alter format from FAT to NTFS.

[QUOTE=BarbiGee;1936813]I intend to format this drive externally via USB while it is in its case.[/QUOTE]

That’s not likely to be a bootable arrangement. Very few systems will allow booting to an external drive. If all you want to do is copy files, it doesn’t matter that the file systems are. Just format the new drive and copy the files over.

If you want to use the new drive for your OS and boot drive, then install it internally and follow the Acronis manual for cloning the old drive to the new.

[QUOTE=CDan;1936906]That’s not likely to be a bootable arrangement. Very few systems will allow booting to an external drive. If all you want to do is copy files, it doesn’t matter that the file systems are. Just format the new drive and copy the files over.

If you want to use the new drive for your OS and boot drive, then install it internally and follow the Acronis manual for cloning the old drive to the new.[/QUOTE]

I had not planned on booting from the external drive once all the files and OS had been transfered. I intend, hopefully, to then remove the drive from the external case and install it to the PC as the bootable drive.

I could remove the DVD player, keeping the original harddrive and the CD drive in the computer, then do this transfer to the 160GB ‘target’ drive.

Would that be faster than having the 160GB ‘target’ drive attached externally?

[QUOTE=DrageMester;1936816]If you’re trying to move the contents of your C drive (boot drive) to another harddrive, any imaging tool should transfer the filesystem from one hard drive to another using the same format, and most will allow you to resize the target drive to something bigger.

You can convert the filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS after you have transferred the image or after you have switched the hard drives. Look for help on the CONVERT command (it’s a command-line tool).

C:\Documents and Settings\User>convert /?
Converts FAT volumes to NTFS.

CONVERT volume /FS:NTFS [/V] [/CvtArea:filename] [/NoSecurity] [/X]

  volume      Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon),
              mount point, or volume name.
  /FS:NTFS    Specifies that the volume is to be converted to NTFS.
  /V          Specifies that Convert should be run in verbose mode.
  /CvtArea:filename
              Specifies a contiguous file in the root directory to be
              the place holder for NTFS system files.
  /NoSecurity Specifies the converted files and directories security
              settings to be accessible by everyone.
  /X          Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.
              All opened handles to the volume would then be invalid.

[/QUOTE]

Question, DragMester; when you say "command line’ do you mean using the “run” box?


[quote=BarbiGee;1939385]Question, DragMester; when you say "command line’ do you mean using the “run” box?[/quote] You could use the run box, but I was referring to the “Command Prompt” found in Accessories; the command will run in the same way, but if you run it from the Run box, I think the command window will vanish once the conversion command exits, which might make you wonder if everything went OK.

That’s why I suggest running from Command Prompt.

Do you know if your motherboard supports 48bit LBA?

As your old hard drive is only 25GB I am guessing that you may have an older computer. On older motherboards the bios only supports 28bit LBA, which has a maximum hard drive size limit of 137GB. If your motherboard only supports 28bit LBA then when you connect the 160GB hard drive to the motherboard it will only see the first 137GB. If your new drive has been partitioned as a single 160GB partition then you will have problems.

If the motherboard bios is older than about 2003 then it may not support 48bit LBA. The easiest way to find out if your motherboard supports drives larger than 137GB is to connect the 160GB drive to the motherboard (it does not need to be partitioned or formatted) and when the computer starts go into the bios and see how large the bios says the drive is (160GB or only 137GB). but this would mean that you have to remove the drive from the USB enclosure.

If your motherboard only recognises the first 137GB there are several solutions to this problem that you can use. The easiest option is the one I used recently which is to partition the new drive with a single partition that is less than 137GB in size. (I would suggest you do this if you are unsure if your motherboard suports 48bit LBA). You can partition the 160GB drive while it is in connected via USB. If you have Windows XP it is easy to partition using the Management Console. You will have to make the partition a Primary partition and make it the active partition. Then you can transfer your old drive to the new drive. When you connect the new drive to your computer you can see if the bios has recognised the full 160GB. If it has then you can create another partition to use the rest of the space on the drive.

If your motherboard only recognises the drive as 137GB then you cannot use the rest of the space, but it should work perfectly well. But if you want to use the full 160GB you will have to either find a bios update that supports 48bit LBA or use a separate PCI hard drive controller card with it’s own bios.

Switching to a separate controller card may mean that you have to re-install Windows (or do a repair install) if Windows needs a different driver for the controller card. Windows has to load the correct drivers for the boot drive before it can see the contents of the drive and load the rest of the operating system. For this same reason you will be unable to boot off the new hard drive while it is connected via USB.

[QUOTE=DrageMester;1939412]You could use the run box, but I was referring to the “Command Prompt” found in Accessories; the command will run in the same way, but if you run it from the Run box, I think the command window will vanish once the conversion command exits, which might make you wonder if everything went OK.

That’s why I suggest running from Command Prompt.[/QUOTE]

Ah, yes. Dropping to DOS (or what is left of it). That was exactly my question. Not everyone remembers running commands from the C: prompt.

I think I will convert the FAT32 to NTSF just because it is more stable and more flexible.

Thanks

[QUOTE=Ibex;1940853]Do you know if your motherboard supports 48bit LBA?

As your old hard drive is only 25GB I am guessing that you may have an older computer. On older motherboards the bios only supports 28bit LBA, which has a maximum hard drive size limit of 137GB. If your motherboard only supports 28bit LBA then when you connect the 160GB hard drive to the motherboard it will only see the first 137GB. If your new drive has been partitioned as a single 160GB partition then you will have problems.

If the motherboard bios is older than about 2003 then it may not support 48bit LBA. The easiest way to find out if your motherboard supports drives larger than 137GB is to connect the 160GB drive to the motherboard (it does not need to be partitioned or formatted) and when the computer starts go into the bios and see how large the bios says the drive is (160GB or only 137GB). but this would mean that you have to remove the drive from the USB enclosure.

If your motherboard only recognises the first 137GB there are several solutions to this problem that you can use. The easiest option is the one I used recently which is to partition the new drive with a single partition that is less than 137GB in size. (I would suggest you do this if you are unsure if your motherboard suports 48bit LBA). You can partition the 160GB drive while it is in connected via USB. If you have Windows XP it is easy to partition using the Management Console. You will have to make the partition a Primary partition and make it the active partition. Then you can transfer your old drive to the new drive. When you connect the new drive to your computer you can see if the bios has recognised the full 160GB. If it has then you can create another partition to use the rest of the space on the drive.

If your motherboard only recognises the drive as 137GB then you cannot use the rest of the space, but it should work perfectly well. But if you want to use the full 160GB you will have to either find a bios update that supports 48bit LBA or use a separate PCI hard drive controller card with it’s own bios.

Switching to a separate controller card may mean that you have to re-install Windows (or do a repair install) if Windows needs a different driver for the controller card. Windows has to load the correct drivers for the boot drive before it can see the contents of the drive and load the rest of the operating system. For this same reason you will be unable to boot off the new hard drive while it is connected via USB.[/QUOTE]

I must confess that I have not checked the BIOS of this system. It is always in use and the owner, my partner, is lothe to give it up. He is even skeptical of the operations I propose to do on it. :doh:
I will do it anyway cause he is always after me to ‘save’ his harddrive. Just last night we cleaned up a bit more and brought the total free space up to 2.42GB.

Here is a new question he asked me:
Can some of the unused programs he has on the C: partition be moved to the D: partition as a temporary move. Then, upon installation of the larger drive, move these programs back to the C: drive? The registry in the C: drive should still have all reference to these programs so in theory, the restored programs should be ‘seen’, yes?

[quote=BarbiGee;1941483]
Here is a new question he asked me:
Can some of the unused programs he has on the C: partition be moved to the D: partition as a temporary move. Then, upon installation of the larger drive, move these programs back to the C: drive? The registry in the C: drive should still have all reference to these programs so in theory, the restored programs should be ‘seen’, yes?[/quote]
Why not just image the old HDD to the new (faster) HDD?
I know that norton ghost can resize the destination partition on the new HDD before copying everything across to it.

There is no point in using FAT32 anymore. NTFS is overall a better (and for most users faster) filesystem.