How Long Will It Take to Convert a Hard Drive from FAT32 to NTFS?
For one reason or another, your computer’s hard drive may be currently formatted as a FAT32 file system drive. Unless you have a very important reason for keeping it as FAT32 drive, you are likely better off opting for the security and reliability of the NTFS file system.
One reason you may want to keep FAT32 is for software compatibility or if you use another operating system on your computer that cannot read NTFS. Unless you specifically know you need FAT32, consider converting to NTFS.
How long it will take to convert your hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS is determined by a few factors. The first is the size of the volume you are converting. Larger volumes (hard drives of hard drive partitions) take longer to convert.
The second factor affecting conversion time has to do with how full the drive is. Drives filled with information nearer the total size of the drive will take longer than drives that are mostly empty. In fact, the faster conversions from FAT32 to NTFS take place on drives that are completely empty.
The last factor that affects conversion time from FAT32 to NTFS has to do with the cluster size you choose. Smaller cluster sizes take longer to convert. Typically, however, you should choose the default Windows cluster size that depends on the version of Windows on which you are doing the conversion.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for determining how long a FAT32 to NTFS conversion will take. At the low end, expect at least 20 to 30 minutes but it could take as long as several hours. Be sure to backup your hard drive’s data before the conversion because there is always the possibility that something will go wrong and you could lose some or all of your files.
One thing you should never do is interrupt the conversion process by restarting your computer during the conversion from FAT32 to NTFS. Cutting the power during the process is a sure way to lose your data and files on your hard drive. Backing up is essential since it is also possible to lose power during the process. Protect yourself and do a full back up of your hard drive before converting from FAT32 to NTFS.