There is one significant drawback of using a disk with an FAT32 file system. With a FAT32 formatted hard drive or flash drive, you can only read and write small files with maximum file size of 4 GB. This makes operating in modern computers quite difficult for anyone. The FAT32 file system is created to hold small size files for any operation on the computer. In order to use it for larger files, you have to convert a hard drive or flash drive from FAT32 to NTFS format file system.
The advantage of FAT32 is also unavoidable in this regard. If a drive or flash drive is FAT32 formatted, it can be used for both Mac and Windows. This gives a strength to flash drives with less memory space which are used to carry small files. Such small flash drives are used in both the systems and thus have a Fat32 file system. But if you are using the hard drive or flash drive on a Windows for larger files, you need to convert the file system. If you do not convert file system and try to copy large files, it will show error.
Use Command Prompt
If you have data on your hard drive or flash drive and you do not want to manipulate them. Here is an option to convert the FAT32 file system to NTFS with the help of command prompt. Make sure you do it properly and the connections are intact. A small negligence may lead to deletion or loss of data or even the whole partition. However, recovering lost partition from FAT32 file system formatted drive is possible with the help of some tools. But it is recommended that you avoid it and keep your data intact.
In order to do this, follow the steps:
Go to Windows, type Run and right click on it
Select Open as Administrator to open the command prompt Window.
Type in convert <drive name> /FS: NTFS
The conversion process takes some time if you have a large volume of files in it.
By using this command, you can convert the hard drive or flash drive file system from FAT32 to NTFS. It is done without the loss of data or formatting the hard drive. But most of the times, it is recommended that you format the drive and then convert file system format.
Format and Convert
You can also do it with the help of Windows explorer on your computer. The drive will be formatted when you perform this procedure. So make sure that you make a backup of all your data on the hard drive or flash drive. If you format the drive and give it a file system format, this will be called reformatting of the drive.
In order to do this, try these steps:
Connect the hard drive or flash drive to your computer
Go to This PC for Windows 10 – For previous versions My computer
Locate your drive and Right click on it.
Click on Format - This initiates the format process and you will see a format Window
Set the file system as NTFS from the File system drop-down and click Ok.
This will format your hard drive or flash drive into the NTFS file system. You can now use this drive for moving large sized files on Windows computer.
Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.
As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.