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adrox
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2002 4:29 am    Post subject: NTFS -> FAT32 Reply with quote

I was wondering if it would be safe to convert my NTFS drive to FAT32 so I could write on it in Gentoo. I know my Partition Magic has the option to convert the drive but I'm not sure how reliable that is.

Anyone have any experience doing this?
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delta407
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2002 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NTFS <-> FAT tends to be quite perilous, especially for programs like Partition Magic that have decent track records but have been seen to destroy file systems, partition tables, and boot records. Really, you would probably be better off getting a second hard drive and shuffling your data around that way.

Or, you could just enable NTFS support in your kernel configuration, though it's read only... hmm...
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craftyc
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2002 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a partitioning utility that allowed this facility, however I can't remeber what it's name was. :oops: . I think it was called System Commander.

Anyway, this partitioning utility allowed one to safely convert NTFS --> FAT32 or even FAT.
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neuron
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2002 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you have the posibility to make a image of the partition before you begin the conversion that's... profitable ;)

also, you can use chkdsk "fix" option, that unmounts the hd (unless you got windows / swap on it), then use partition magic and convert it while in windows, for some reason I'v had that work better than in dos..

and, it generaly works... mostly.... possibly ;)
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rogue
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've used partition magic 7 in windows 2k and xp to convert fat32 -> ntfs -> fat32

never lost any data..i've repartitioned ntfs and fat32 drives to create ext2 partitions and everything works fine. sometimes it complains about the boot sector since i have grub there and it doesn't expect anything in the boot sector..but it's never been a problem..converts fine.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2002 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neuron wrote:
and, it generaly works... mostly.... possibly ;)


Yeah, but it's that other "unlikely" section that gets ya.

Do what you want, it's your system... but people have lost data, and no "partition converter" is completely safe (given the nature of what it's doing; rearranging filesystem structures in-place).
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syadnom
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2002 4:38 pm    Post subject: slightly dangerous Reply with quote

it not 100% safe because no matter what program your running, it CAN'T copy file permission from the NTFS to FAT32, and if you just happen to be running windows2k or xp, then they might get quite confused by the lack of file permissions....

i have never 'lost' data, but if your running windows on this partition, re-think it ...
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masseya
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:04 pm    Post subject: Partition Magic.. Reply with quote

I have used Partition Magic since version 5. I have only done ONE operation that resulted in no loss of data on a drive that was running windows. Perhaps I'm inept, but the only thing that I've been able to do is resize a partition. Every conversion I've attempted has either not worked or killed the disk. It's not a program that I trust. I heard a bunch of people liked version 7 and I've tried it, but still haven't got it to work responsibly. It especially hates computers that have a hidden partition for restoring the HD to it's original configuration. (like Compaq laptops..) Just my two cents on Partition Magic...
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Malakin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all my experiences with Partition Magic it's always worked as expected.

The only time I've had data loss was once I deled a partition using the windows 2000 disk management all my partitions suddently dissapeared.
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leej
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malakin wrote:
In all my experiences with Partition Magic it's always worked as expected.


It seems very hit and miss. I've read some horror stories in linux newsgroups from users who trusted it enough not to backup their data (how silly is that?) only to lose the lot after partition conversion/resizing.
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klieber
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As some of the other posters have said, converting from NTFS to FAT32 is a Bad Idea if you plan to still boot into Windows. It's not supported by Microsoft, and for good reason -- there are a lot of significant differences between the two formats.

If you really, really need to convert, then back up the data off of your NTFS partition, delete and recreate the partition using FAT32 and restore your data from there. I still wouldn't do this because you never know how Windows will respond to having a sudden and drastic change like that.

Note that the kernel does have support for writing to NTFS partitions, though it's currently marked as DANGEROUS, which usually means stay away. However, thought I'd mention it as an option. (albeit a scary option. :))
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masseya
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 1:08 pm    Post subject: experienced users? Reply with quote

I have a computer that I would like to switch from NTFS to FAT32 because I would like to be able to write to it from my Gentoo partition. Has anyone here actually used the "Dangerous writing" supported by the kernel? I won't be writing to it all that often and would like to know what I would be risking. :)
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klieber
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2002 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: experienced users? Reply with quote

Tristam29 wrote:
I won't be writing to it all that often and would like to know what I would be risking. :)


File corruption, loss of data, locusts, tornadoes and other Bad Things. :)

Generally, things marked "DANGEROUS" in the kernel are marked that way for a reason. They're intended for developers to test out, debug, file bug reports, etc. Not for production use.

You can probably learn more about the problems associated with it by searching google or reading the LKML archives. (search for "NTFS AND write")

--kurt
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