How to convert external backup drive My Book from fat32 to NTFS

Convert a backup drive to NTFS

If you have already copied
files to your external hard drive, and you don’t want to delete them,
you can convert your hard drive to NTFS.

To convert an external drive to NTFS


Log on to your computer as an administrator.


Click Start, right-click My Computer.

Start menu with My Computer selected


In the My Computer
window, make a note of the drive letter and label assigned to your
external drive. Usually, the drive letter will be E or F. The drive
letter will not be C (that’s the hard drive inside your computer). The
label is the word between the drive picture and the drive letter. Some
drives may not have a label.

My Computer window with drive label and drive letter highlighted


Click Start, click Run, and then type convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs

For example, if your external drive is drive E, you would type convert E: /fs:ntfs

Then, click OK.

Run dialog box with convert command line entered and OK selected


command window appears. Type the label for your external drive, and
then press ENTER. If your drive does not have a label, just press ENTER.

Convert.exe command window


If a message warns you that the volume is in use by another process, close any other open windows. Then, press Y and then ENTER.

Convert.exe command window with warning message and Y entered in command line

XP converts your external drive to NTFS. When the conversion is done,
the window automatically closes. Your drive is ready for your backups.

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22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rick on July 10, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Extremely helpful…thank you VERY MUCH!!!!


  2. Posted by Fredrik on July 16, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks alot =)


  3. Posted by Jay on August 5, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Will this cause my drive to be formatted?


  4. Posted by mdk on August 15, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    i have the same issue but i have used allready the half
    if i convert my hd to ntfs will i lose my data?


  5. Posted by Cafer on August 16, 2008 at 10:29 am

    u dosent lose ur data


  6. I followed your instruction but after entering a label (in the command prompt window), it disappeared and nothing worked at all. Could you tell me why?


  7. Posted by h0St on November 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Didn’t work for me either…. it goes through verification of folders and files 100% then the old dos style box just terminates. Nothing changes….

    300gb seagate HDD with 200GB data on it. Any ideas?


  8. Posted by h0St on November 15, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    should add using XP Home SP3, laptop. The 300gb drive is external.


  9. Posted by Anonymous on March 11, 2009 at 2:47 am

    you probably have UAC turned on


  10. Posted by Johannes on March 15, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Worked perfectly in Windows 7 on my My Book ESATA Home Edition 1TB as well.


  11. Posted by Serdar on October 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    you don’t write BACKUP as volume. you have to What is your external drive volume (NAME) mine is My Book (Western Digital)


  12. Posted by Tony on October 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I have a 1TB Mybook that’s half filled. Any idea how ling it will take to convert to NTFS?


  13. Posted by Dennis on November 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you very much, works for me. My Book 2 Tb.


  14. Posted by Abhineo on November 27, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Can i convert vise versa… from NTFS to FAt32, without loss of data?


  15. I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our society, and I am 99% certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

    I don’t mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside… I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of copying our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It’s a fantasy that I dream about almost every day.

    (Posted on Nintendo DS running R4i SDHC DS NetServ)


  16. Posted by Rocky on March 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Can’t thank you enough for this article!



  17. it will not display FAT32 conversion. Unplug the external HD safely, ….. I went through the process of clearing a backup drive (took all night) ..
    Pinetop Rentals


  18. Posted by LukeAmerica2020 on October 28, 2010 at 5:27 am

    It is better to use a DOS command window instead of the RUN function. This way, if there is an error, you will be able to see the error message. Otherwise, using the RUN function, the window will automatically close before you can see the error message.


  19. Posted by Pramod on March 2, 2011 at 4:06 am

    it was so easy, did not take more than 3 minute for 250 GB LACIE with 120GB used space.
    Great, Thank you.


  20. Thanks you very much… great help.


  21. It s work perfect thanks man and the data also 100% safe ;)


  22. Posted by Anonymous on November 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Its verymuch helpfull


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