Tip: Convert a Windows 2008 Volume from FAT to NTFS

Follow Our Daily Tips

TechNet Tips library

Windows Server 2008 R2 provides a utility for converting FAT volumes to NTFS. This utility, Convert.exe, is located in the %SystemRoot% folder. When you convert a volume using this tool, the file and directory structure is preserved and no data is lost.

Note that Windows Server 2008 R2 does not provide a utility for converting NTFS to FAT. The only way to go from NTFS to FAT is to delete the partition by following the steps listed in the previous section and then to re-create the partition as a FAT volume.

The Convert tool is run at the command prompt. If you want to convert a drive, use the following syntax:

convert volume /FS:NTFS

In this example, volume is the drive letter followed by a colon, drive path, or volume name. For example, to convert the D drive to NTFS, you would use the following command:

convert D: /FS:NTFS

If the volume has a label, you are prompted to enter the volume label for the drive. You are not prompted for a volume label if the disk does not have a label.

Here is the complete syntax for Convert:

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

And here is an overview of the options and switches you can use with Convert:
volume Sets the volume to work with
/FS:NTFS Converts to NTFS
/V Sets verbose mode
/X Forces the volume to dismount before the conversion (if necessary)
/CvtArea: filename Sets the name of a contiguous file in the root directory to be a placeholder for NTFS system files
/NoSecurity Removes all security attributes and makes all files and directories accessible to the group Everyone

Tip from the Microsoft Press book Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition by William R. Stanek.