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Thread: Questions regarding FAT32 and NTFS data transmissions/backup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Hi everyone! I just registered to the forums. Go me!

    I've been a long time visitor to the site, but only now have I gotten around to actually registering on the forums. Don't know why I didn't do it a long time ago. I guess it was cause of that feeling we all get once in a while. You know the one. The one where it's like "How many friggin' forums am I gonna register to damnit!!! :mad: " Yeah, you know what I'm talking about... ;)

    Anyway, cheers to all and whatnot : peace2: , but now down to business.

    This Friday I plan to buy a super cheap student copy of Windows XP Pro and a 120GB HDD, and finally update my system. Yes, I'm still using Windows 98SE. Yeah, I know....

    After I buy these, I plan on installing Windows XP cleanly onto the new 120GB HDD with of course the NTFS file system, and then reattaching my current 40GB (it'll be disconnected during the installation) and formatting it clean with an NTFS partition as well. Thus, I'll have 160GB of NTFS goodness waiting to be exploited under my new OS. Whoop De Do. : party ha

    Here's my problem. Right now I'm using the 40GB HDD under Windows 98SE, so of course its file system is FAT32. Why this is a problem is due to the 12 or so gigs of data (Don't ask what it is......and stop raising your eyebrow at me like that ) I plan on keeping for my migration to the promised XP land, and which is obviously too large to burn onto a few cheap CD-R's for disposal after copying to the new HDD and OS.

    And so the dilemma hits me. I won't copy that much data without the (relative) safety and stability of an OS, ie Windows XP. But to install Windows XP the way it was meant to be installed, (sorry nVIDIA) I'll have to use the NTFS file system, and the NTFS file system isn't the FAT32 file system my precious backup data is coded as.

    So what do I do???

    Is transfering FAT32 data onto an NTFS HDD safe for the data? Will it automatically be turned into NTFS-type data as it's copied. Hell, is it even possible???

    What about the risk to my data if I reformat my entire 40GB HDD from FAT32 to the NTFS file system under Windows XP? Would the data become degraded in anyway due to the file system change?

    What if I then copy my 12GB of newly christened NTFS data from my old HDD to my new NTFS HDD, is there the possibility of it becoming corrupt in its transmission due to it originally being FAT32 data?

    Hell, any general information on FAT32 to NTFS (or vice versa) data transmission would be helpful!

    I mean, I've read that reformatting a HDD from FAT32 to NTFS without deleting all the data on the drive is possible, but the cluster sizes wouldn't be optimal and it isn't recommended. Since I only have one chance to do this data transfer, you can imagine the doubt "isn't recommended" is creating for me. What good would the data be to me if I format it to NTFS, copy it to another NTFS HDD and its corrupt? Single chance blown, situation officially NOT cool. :snip:

    Any and all help would of course be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to being an active participant in this know, when I'm not in college and stuff..........and not tired or hungry...........or at work...........or playing Call of Duty.........but yeah, looking forward to it! :woot:

    Until next time :wave:

    These smilies kick ASS! Best forum smilies I've ever seen, hands down.

    Out. :thumb:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001


    To put it simply, the data is the data - NTFS/FAT is the method of storing/retrieving the data.
    What type of files system used is irrelevant to the data itself as it remains in essence unchanged.

    However, I should like to point out that it seems this data is apparently of some value to you?
    If so, I would reccomend burning those CDs anyway as part of a good backup plan only. The transfer of the data not being an issue provided your hardware/OS is in good working order.
    Just for the rainy day that always comes sometime.
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Indeed. *Puffs pipe, strokes beard*

    So what you're telling me is theres practically no risk whatsoever in me formatting my data to NTFS form and then copying it to the new HDD?

    My pride as a PC enthusiast demands I say that my hardware ,and soon to be my new OS, are in good working order. And while that helps me sleep better at night with this data backup plan, a dozen Gigs is ALOT of space to permanently backup on CD-Rs. What is it, like 2 CD's and change for 1.5 Gigs of space? So I'm looking at a burn job of 16-20 CDs???

    Jeez, thats alot of burning between now and Friday...

    Ok, thanks for the help, but one more issue bugs me:

    Lets say I'm going to skip the CD-R backups and go straight to the HDD to HDD backup method.

    What method exactly should I use to do this data transfer, so like, its transmission will go with as little stages and with as little risk as possible? For example, should I format my FAT32 HDD with the data I want to backup with the NTFS file system and then copy it to the new NTFS HDD I'll be buying, or should I just copy the FAT32 data to the NTFS HDD and cross my fingers?

    Which method is less/more risky? Is there an even safer method?

    Thanks again...

    -Fiercest :thumb:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    caves of bedrock


    yes there is *no risk* invloved in copy pasting the data from one format to the other one. period .
    the least number of steps i can think of
    1) install your 120 GB HD as master and put your 40 GB as slave. format 120 GB as NTFS and install windows on it.
    2) boot in windows and copy-paste your data from 40 GB HD to 120 GB one.
    3) format your 40 GB HD as NTFS.
    btw think this whole process as buying a new closet. till now you had a small closet (40 GB) and now you bought a bigger, better closet (120 GB). you want to move your stuff from the old one to the new one. how much of risk does that invlove? :)
    btw if this data is SO important to you then no matter how many CDs you have to burn, you should do it. no there is no risk in THIS data transfer but what if your HD fails? what will you do then? and that is the kind of "rainy day" Mr. C was referring to.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Oh I see. Cool. Roger Wilco.

    Thanks for the help guys. Appreciate it a bunch. Cheers. :cheers:

    -Fiercest :thumb:

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