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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, FAT32 to NTFS conversion in Technical; Has anyone used Convert.exe to convert a FAT32 parition to NTFS? I will be doing so next Monday and I ...
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    Gaz
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    FAT32 to NTFS conversion

    Has anyone used Convert.exe to convert a FAT32 parition to NTFS? I will be doing so next Monday and I just want to know if anyone has had any problems using it. I need to format the OS partition on my Windows Server 2008 R2 to NTFS in order to use Windows Server Backup.

    I've made a backup of the partition but just I was wondering if there was anything else to expect. The server is in production but we'll have some downtime during the day so I need to sieze the moment.

    Cheers.

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    round2it's Avatar
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    cant you use the inbuilt conversion tool from command line? might mess up the raid though

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    never run it on a server but ive run it on laptops pendrives external drives and never had an issue

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    Gaz
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    I think we are talking about the same tool from cmd prompt... "CONVERT X: /FS:NTFS"

    The server is in RAID1, how would it affect the raid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    Has anyone used Convert.exe to convert a FAT32 parition to NTFS?
    Like Sted, I've never had any issues using the Convert utility, but this was on Windows client OSs. One thing to keep in mind is that the cluster size does not get converted when you go from FAT32 to NTFS. This means you will be stuck with 512 byte clusters instead of 4KB clusters (the default for NTFS).

    If you use the Convert utility to convert a volume from FAT to NTFS, Windows always uses a 512-byte cluster size. FAT structures are aligned on 512-byte boundaries; a larger cluster size does not allow conversion. (Source)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    I need to format the OS partition on my Windows Server 2008 R2 to NTFS in order to use Windows Server Backup.
    How did you end up with a FAT32 formatted OS drive? The Windows installer won't let you install Vista/7 and 2008/2008 R2 to a FAT32 partition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    The server is in RAID1, how would it affect the RAID?
    Software RAID or hardware RAID?

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    Gaz
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    Its odd. The actual OS I think is NTFS (C but this is a hidden partition that says (OS) and I think it contains the startup files
    To think about formatting it I had to assign it a drive letter. The server is a Dell T410 and the OS was downloaded from Microsofts website via my IT supplier.

    I only found out about the partition when I came to use Windows Server Backup and it listed the partition. It won't let me do a bare metal recovery as it doesnt support FAT32.

    If the partition does only include startup files, does the cluster size matter?

    The (OS) parition contains the following files.
    Boot (Folder with language folders and the file bootmgr.exe.mui in each folder)
    Recycle Bin
    Bootmgr - system file
    BOOTSECT.BAK

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur
    Software RAID or hardware RAID?
    I'm actually not sure, I think its software (onboard controller)
    Device manager says: Dell VIRTUAL DISK SCSI Disk Device
    Last edited by Gaz; 28th November 2011 at 04:52 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Like Arthur said, I didn't think it was possible to install Server 2008 R2 to a FAT32 partition.

    From what you're describing the server sounds a bit of a mess, so I would probably re-install it as new. I appreciate this'll take some time, but at least it'll work properly when it's all done

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    Gaz
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    The server is installed on NTFS. The boot partition is FAT32 at least I think its the boot partition its 2GB. A Google reveals lots of other people who have the same problem.

    The problem is when I installed it I installed it like any other OS I've installed a million times before so how do I know its not going to create this FAT32 partition again?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    During Windows 7 or 2008 R2 setup, you have the option of choosing 'Advanced', allowing you to delete, format and re-size the partition as required. This appears when Windows setup displays the available drives/locations to install Windows.

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    Would it be possible to post a screenshot of your disk management console?

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    Gaz
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    I think I'm going to have to do some testing before I dive in. I'll setup Win2k8 on a spare desktop and see whats what.

    Cheers for the help!

    EDIT
    Yeah I'll try and get you a screen shot.

    disks.jpg
    Last edited by Gaz; 28th November 2011 at 06:44 PM.

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    Thanks for the screenshot.

    For Windows Server Backup to work, you are going to need an NTFS formatted volume which is at least 560GB's in size (this could be on another server if you map a drive and have enough space there). This is because Windows Server Backup works at the volume level (it backs up the entire drive) and therefore cannot store the backup on the same volume it is backing up, despite there being plenty of free disk space. If you convert X: from FAT32 to NTFS, the next problem you will have is there won't be enough space to store the backup of your C: drive because it is only 2GB's in size.

    What I would do is boot from the Windows Server install disc, delete the current partitions (C: and X: ), create a new 250GB partition and install the operating system onto this. Once this has been done, login to Windows, go into the Disk Management console and create a second NTFS formatted volume filling the remainder of the disk and assign it a drive letter. When you run Windows Server Backup, it will now let you backup C: to the second ~308GB volume.

    Edit. Alternatively you could shrink the C: partition in the disk management console (right-click the volume and you should see the option to do this) and create another partition in the space following it. Doing it this way would save a lot of time since Windows wouldn't need to be re-installed.
    Last edited by Arthur; 28th November 2011 at 08:03 PM.

  14. Thanks to Arthur from:

    Gaz (29th November 2011)

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    Gaz
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    What If I shrink the FAT32 (X: ) partition and make an NTFS partition in the space called (Z: ) then copy the contents of (X: ) to (Z: ) and then delete (X: ) and put the space into (Z: ) if you follow lol...
    I dont have the time to start again with the server even with the backups I've got. Its all the settings that I dont have backups for, hence wanting to use WSB.
    I have a NAS drive that I use for backups.

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