Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss

    Member Since
    Feb 09, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Question Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    Hi all! New to the forum

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex external hard drive in the NTFS format with about 400Gb data on it. I want to re-format the drive to FAT32 so I can use it on my MBPwRD. I know how to re-format it by going through disc utility etc... but I'm almost positive all 400Gb will be lost with the wind if I do it. So my question is: How do I re-format the external drive without losing all my data?

    Should I click and drag all the contents of my external drive onto my desktop, reformat, then click and drag it all back in?

    What are the other formats used for?
    - Max OS Extended (journaled)
    - Max OS Extended (journaled + encrypted)
    - Max OS Extended (case-sensitive + journaled)
    - Max OS Extended (case-sensitive + encrypted + journaled)

    On a side note, what is partitioning and do I have to do this??

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    8,184
    Specs:
    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3
    You can't change formats ( regardless of what they are) without losing the data on there. So first backup,the data and then format to your chosen format.

    Going FAT32 means the drive will be accessible by Windows machines easily. Going to any Mac OS file system means you're restricting access to OS X unless you install special software on a Windows machine..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  3. #3
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss

    Member Since
    Feb 09, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Ledge! Where should I back up the 400Gb to? Just click and drag it all to the desktop?

    Seems like all the Mac OS formatting options are pretty useless then if it's OS X exclusive. I often transfer data (music, movies, etc) between a windows desktop and my MBP so FAT32 would be ideal for me.

  4. #4
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Location
    Waiting for a mate . . .
    Posts
    8,379
    Specs:
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM & 13"MBP 2.9Ghz i7 8GB RAM 10.10.3, iPhone5 & iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3, ATV3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bulla View Post
    Ledge! Where should I back up the 400Gb to? Just click and drag it all to the desktop?

    Seems like all the Mac OS formatting options are pretty useless then if it's OS X exclusive. I often transfer data (music, movies, etc) between a windows desktop and my MBP so FAT32 would be ideal for me.
    You can keep that drive formatted to NTFS if you want, and for your Mac to be able to read and write to it, look at something like Download MacFUSE for Mac - FUSE-compliant file system implementation mechanism. MacUpdate.com (Free) or Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X software which will cost $19.99, but from long standing members here in the forums, they swear by it. The best out there.
    If you look at re-formatting to FAT32, just remember that it has a 4GB file size limit. Meaning, if you have any files over the 4GB Limit, they wont transfer over. . . .
    Something to think about.

    Cheers
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

  5. #5
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,206
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    Highly recommend spending the $20 for the Paragon software. Keep all of my spare drives as NTFS. You will need it if you have now or ever will have movie files stored on that external drive.

    From your posts, it sounds like you're extremely concerned about losing the data you have on that external drive. Do you have the data on that drive backed up? No? Even more highly recommend another drive to back up that data.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,637
    I'll add to the recommendations for using 3rd party software to support NTFS. Besides the file size limitations, FAT32 is just a very antiquated file system that is lacking a lot of features present in NTFS and Apple's HFS+ that help ensure data integrity. It's adequate for devices like USB thumb drives for temporarily storing files to be moved between computers, but for long-term use with anything you value, avoid FAT32 like the plague.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
    ------
    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  7. #7
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss

    Member Since
    Feb 09, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the tips! Yeah I am concerned about losing all my data. My last HP brick laptop crashed and I lost everything. Unless I spend $1000AUS to get some guy to recover it... bit steep for me.

    Sounds like a 3rd party software is the way to go. I have large files on the drive, much bigger than 4Gb (HD GoPro video). I keep my large files on the external drive and import them to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 as needed. Any noticeable difference between the $20 Paragon and the free MacUpdate?

    Trying to click and drag an album by Flume across into my itunes library from the external drive also but it's not working. Some other albums on the drive have transfered across without a drama. Not sure what's going on there too?

    The weird thing is it says my media is in FAT32 but my drive's in NTFS :S Trying to upload an image of this to show you guys but it wont let me attach a 377kb PNG image...

  8. #8
    Converting NTFS to FAT32 without data loss
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    26,206
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    There are a couple of long timers here that use the free MacFuse and don't appear to have any problem with it.
    But, we get posts with folks having issues with that software from just not working to worse. Just had a poster last week that couldn't get it to work - then installed Paragon and was in business.

    There are quite a few of us using the Paragon software - I've been using it for 6+ years starting with 10.4 up to 10.8 - have not seen any posts with regard to any issues. I hate to say use the old axiom, but it has always "just worked" silently in the background for me.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Converting from FAT32 to NTFS
    By evangelist6589 in forum Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-06-2011, 02:42 PM
  2. NTFS to FAT32 using OS X?!
    By moopoo32 in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-11-2008, 03:20 PM
  3. Converting NTFS to FAT32
    By marley45 in forum Movies and Video
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-25-2007, 02:35 AM
  4. NTFS to FAT32
    By killawattz in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-07-2006, 01:51 PM
  5. NTFS or FAT32?
    By BlindingLights in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-16-2006, 08:54 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •