I have had a 1TB external HDD that I bought a while back that I formatted the other day. After I started copying all of my data to it, I realized that I accidentally formatted it over to FAT32 and it only had 430GB of the 1TB that I could use because of FAT32 restrictions. But I already started copying the data over and didn’t want to have to restart it. I found out there is a way to change the format of a HDD without loosing data!
NOTE: Although this method worked perfect for me, I would suggest you backing up your data first just in case!
- Go to Computer, and note the name of the drive whose file system you wish to convert.
- Click on Start.
- Type cmd in the search bar if you use Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows Vista. If you use Windows XP, click on Run and then execute cmd.
- Execute “chkdsk h: /f ” (without quotes) where H is the letter of the drive to undergo conversion. This checks the drive for errors and fixes them automatically.
- Execute “Convert H: /FS:NTFS” (without quotes). H is again the letter of the drive to be converted.
- The command prompt will start the conversion process and after a few minutes, CMD will say that conversion was successful.
- You can check it in the properties of the drive through right click<Properties.
A viola! You know have a drive that is NTFS with all your data still on it!