My friend Michael bought an external hard drive last month,
yesterday he ran to me and ask how to convert external hard drive from NTFS to FAT32
safely and easily? I was so curious about why does he want to convert NTFS to FAT32; he
said NTFS partition can’t be read by DOS system. Since protecting data and files, I
recommend him to convert external hard drive from NTFS to FAT32 with a third-party
software-AOMEI Partition Assistant, which can convert hard
drive from NTFS to FAT32 without data loss.
To computer users, NTFS and FAT32 are not strange. But seldom of them can tell what
the difference between them. NTFS and FAT32 to partition are what DOC and TXT to
text. In text, the file with DOC format can’t be read by TXT application. Similarly,
in some condition, not all files in different formatted partition can be read by
same application. First, you’d better know some knowledge about NTFS and FAT32.
FAT 32 is one of partition format in windows system. It has 32bit file table, which
strengthen FAT32’s management to partition, and break through the limitation of 2GB
space in every partition. Since the production cost of hard drive decreasing, the
volume capacity is increasing. After applying FAT32 partition format, a big
volume hard drive can be definite as a partition but not be divided into multiple
partitions. It is good for management to hard drive. Now, FAT32 is replaced by
NTFS is standard file system after Windows NT, 2000, XP, server 2003, server 2008,
Vista, and 7. It replaces FAT to offer file system for Microsoft. NTFS make advanced
on FAT and HPFS, such as to support metadata.
As mentioned above, NTFS and FAT both are file system. However, NTFS is produced late
than FAT32, but NTFS is more advanced in technology. In summary, the specific
distinction are following below:
- NTFS can support up to 64GB single file and 2048GB partition. FAT32 supports up
to single file with 4GB and partition with 32G.
- NTFS does not need Defragment your hard disk.
- NTFS support to compress partition, folders and files.
- NTFS takes a little cluster, which can help to manage space of hard drive
effectively, and avoid wasting space of hard drive at the most extent.
- In NTFS partition, you can share sources, folders and set access permissions on
files. It is more secured than FAT32 partition.
As mentioned above, NTFS and FAT32 have its own advantages. When we choose which file
system, you should consider the factors below:
- Computer is installed with single system, or multiple systems.
- The number and capacity of local installed hard disk.
- Whether has consideration about security or not.
If computer is installed single system, and there is security to consider, you can
select FAT32. Or NTFS is not bad choice absolutely.
NTFS and FAT32 are two different types of file systems, and both of them are commonly
used and contain different characters. You may make conversions between the two
types, and here we got several cases that you need to convert external hard drive to
- If your external hard drive is formatted in NTFS, you would not be able to
access some files from DOS mode or Windows 9X, then you need to covert external
hard drive to FAT or FAT32.
- NTFS can’t be recognized by many devices, such as Xbox 360, PS3, etc. in that
case, you have to convert the external hard drive to FAT32 so that it can work
with your devices.
- There are more situations in which you need to convert external hard drive to
FAT32, and there are different ways which you may realize the goal.
At present, there are two main ways that you may convert external hard drive to
FAT32, one is to convert to FAT32 with Windows built-in Disk Management, and another
one is to convert to FAT32 with third-party software like AOMEI Partition Assistant. Let’s
see the details:
Method 1: Convert an External Hard Drive by reformatting
1. Open the Disk Management in Windows.
2. Right click on the external hard drive and select “Format…” in the drop-down
3. Select “FAT32” in the “File system” line and then choose “Quick format”.
4. Finally click “Start” to format, and this process may cost you minutes.
Note: If the drive is larger than 32GB, the “FAT 32” option would be
invalid and once format, the information or data in the external hard drive will
disappear. So, backup the data or partition if necessary and you need to know how to
convert hard drive larger than 32GB into FAT32.
Method 2: Convert an External Hard Drive without formatting
You can use the third-party software to convert external hard drive from NTFS to
FAT32. The biggest advantage of that is converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss.
Comparing with disk management in computer, the third-party software will save your
time and money. You don’t need to buy other external hard drive to store data, just
for converting partition format. Among the third-party software, AOMEI Partition
Assistant is the best choice.
The specific introduction of how to convert NTFS external hard drive to
1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Select "All Tools" and
then "NTFS to FAT32 Converter".
2. Select "NTFS to FAT32" in the
following window and click "Next".
3. Select the external drive and click "Next".
4. Confirm that operation, click "Proceed"
and wait for the final result.
As a kind of advanced partition software, AOMEI Partition Assistant can easily
convert an external hard drive to FAT32, and you can also convert an external hard
drive larger than 32GB into FAT32. This software is running well with Windows
platform including Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Both 32-bit and
64-bit Windows editions are supported. With its help, you need no to format your
external hard drive and thus you can convert NFTS to FAT32 without data loss. Now,
you may download AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro
Edition and have a try.