How To Change Hard Drive Partition To FAT32 With No Data Loss


17.10.2011

How To Change Hard Drive Partition To FAT32 With No Data Loss

Although this is an old format I am sure there are many Windows XP users that might still find it useful. FAT32 was a common term back when installing Windows 98 and even older version. Now let’s see how we can convert a hard drive to FAT32 format without erasing data on it.

This is an action that could prove very useful if managing a dual boot system with multiple operating systems because there are cases where NTFS format is not supported. But there is a bad understanding of this action because most people think this can’t be done without erasing the data on that partition. This misunderstanding happens mainly because most people are using only the tools offered by Windows. I also love to rely on another app, Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition, a tool that helps you in every aspect of hard drive partitioning.

1st of all let’s see the steps needed to get Paragon Partition Manager installed:

  1. You begin by downloading this application from here

  2. Now after the download is complete open My Documents,” and navigate to “Downloads”. Among other downloaded things (that I am pretty sure you forgot are there) double click on the cnet_pm_free_msi.exe. This is the executable for this application.

  3. The installation process is very simple to follow and all the required instruction will be shown on screen.

After installing the app let’s see how we can format the partitions without erasing any data on them. Here are the steps:

  1. 1st of all launch the launch the Paragon Partition Manager app from “Start” menu or from the folder you install it.

  2. Locate and click on the “Local Disk” drive you wish to manage and convert in the “Disk Map” box.

  3. After that open the “Partition” menu and click on the “Convert File System.”

  4. From the options presented locate the FAT32 one and select it. This can be found next to the box where the “Please select new file system” appears. Just click the “Convert” button.

  5. After the conversion is complete click on “Finish”. Take in consideration that depending on how much juice your computer has it can take from 15 to 60 minutes for the conversion to take place. Also the size of your partition is another factor that greatly influences a conversion time.

There are a few things that you must remember. 1st of all, for you all new comers to FAT32 world, know this is a format that doesn’t handle files larger than 4GB, so you can say goodbye to those blue-ray movies. Another important aspect, if you are planning to use on that partition Windows Vista or Windows 7, this format is not supported by these latest Microsoft operating systems. Windows XP and earlier versions allow it and use it.

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