Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2


Converts file allocation table (FAT) and FAT32 volumes to the NTFS file system, leaving existing files and folder intact. Volumes converted to the NTFS file system cannot be converted back to FAT or FAT32.


convert [Volume] /fs:ntfs [/v] [/cvtarea:FileName] [/nosecurity] [/x]

  • Volume
    Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name to convert to NTFS.
  • /fs:ntfs
    Required. Converts the volume to NTFS.
  • /v
    Specifies verbose mode, that is, all messages will be displayed during conversion.
  • /cvtarea: FileName
    For advanced users only. Specifies that the Master File Table (MFT) and other NTFS metadata files are written to an existing, contiguous placeholder file. This file must be in the root directory of the file system to be converted. Use of the /CVTAREA parameter can result in a less fragmented file system after conversion. For best results, the size of this file should be 1 KB multiplied by the number of files and directories in the file system, however, the convert utility accepts files of any size.

  - You must create the placeholder file using the **fsutil file createnew** command prior to running **convert**. **Convert** does not create this file for you. **Convert** overwrites this file with NTFS metadata. After conversion, any unused space in this file is freed. For more information about the **fsutil file** command, see Related Topics.  
  • /nosecurity
    Specifies that the converted files and directory security settings are accessible by everyone.
  • /x
    Dismounts the volume, if necessary, before it is converted. Any open handles to the volume will no longer be valid.
  • If convert cannot lock the drive (for example, the drive is the system volume or the current drive), it offers to convert the drive the next time you restart the computer. If you cannot restart the computer immediately to complete the conversion, plan a time to restart the computer and allow for extra time that the process will require because of the conversion process.

  • For volumes converted from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS, due to existing disk usage, the MFT is created in a different location than on a volume originally formatted with NTFS, so volume performance might not be as good as on volumes originally formatted with NTFS. For optimal performance, consider recreating these volumes and formatting them with the NTFS file system.

  • Volumes converted from FAT to NTFS leaves the files intact, but the volume might lack some performance benefits compared to volumes initially formatted with NTFS. For example, the MFT might become fragmented on converted volumes. In addition, on converted boot volumes, convert applies the same default security that is applied during Windows Setup. For more information about the security settings applied to converted boot volumes, see article 237399, "The Default NTFS Permissions Are Not Applied to a Converted Boot Partition," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

  • For more information about using the /cvtarea parameter, see File Systems at the Microsoft Resource Kits Web site.


To convert the volume on drive E to NTFS and display all messages, type:

convert e: /fs:ntfs /v

See Also


Command-line reference A-Z
Command shell overview
Fsutil: file