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A Guide to securing Windows XP


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Page 8

How to convert FAT32 NTFS File system in Windows X

Your File system will either be FAT32 or NTFS. NTFS is the more secure and newer file system. NTFS is also more recoverable and better for storage purposes. To find out what your computer is using, go to My Computer, then right click C Drive and go to Properties. You will now see the C: Drive dialogue page like the one below, and you can see my system is using the NTFS File system.


Windows XP Local disk properties


If your file system is not NTFS, you can change this by following the below steps.

Warning - before changing your file system, ensure you take a backup of your important documents. If this goes wrong it can potentially damage your operating system, and you may find re-installing windows is the only way back.

To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt

Open Command Prompt by going to Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs 

If your drive letter is C: You would type: convert c: /FS:NTFS

If the drive you are converting is the drive with all your operating system files (usually C), then the file system change will not take place until you reboot the system. This is completely normal.

At the command prompt you will be asked:
Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)

Y and hit Enter

However the dismount will fail and this is normal.

Convert needs exclusive access to the C: Drive and as we are using Windows it can not have this exclusivity.

At the command prompt you will be asked:
Would you like to schedule it to be converted the next time the system restarts (Y/N)?

Y and hit Enter to schedule the change the next time your system restarts.

When your system restarts a prompt will warn you that a conversion is about to begin. After 10 seconds your file system change will begin, and Windows will restart twice during this procedure. Your file system will now be NTFS which is more secure.

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