Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a tool or command to achieve it? I did some search around here I didn’t find the answer. Is that possible?

I must mention that my ext4 drive that I want to convert have data so it must just convert it and not format it

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

As with most filesystems, you can't convert in-place, but you can certainly copy your files from an ext4 filesystem over to an NTFS one.

share|improve this answer

The only in-place conversions I know of are FAT32 -> NTFS and possibly between ext filesystems. If simply having space to store a copy of the data while you format the drive is an issue (say you only have one drive) then there is a solution.

Say your ext4 is using 750GB/1000GB of space. You could shrink your ext4 to 750GB, then create an NTFS partition with the remaining 250GB, then copy 250GB worth of data. This'll free up 250GB on the ext4, shrink it again, expand the NTFS, copy more, repeat until you have all your data on NTFS.

If you have very little free space this could take a LONG time, or be unrealistic.

If there is something else you're looking to preserve (metadata) then I think you're likely out of luck. I'm not sure how rsync/tar and similar programs preserve metadata between filesystems, but that is worth looking into. rsync from ext4 to NTFS could preserve creation dates, etc. Even if tar/rsync do preserve this data in a way you want, they wouldn't be in place. It is something to get the wheels turning in your head though.

share|improve this answer
1  
There is a FAT16 - FAT32 conversion. –  Mircea Vutcovici Sep 17 '11 at 10:08
    
Ah true, can't believe I forgot! But then again FAT16 isn't used for anything anymore except Floppies and ancient hard drives... So not really anything. Or am I wrong? –  Caesar Kabalan Sep 18 '11 at 5:16
    
You can actually convert in-place from ext2/3/4 to btrfs, and then roll-back to ext if you want. It does this setting up the btrfs structures in the free space of your ext filesystem, so your drive can be formatted with both at the same time. –  tylerl Sep 18 '11 at 22:57
    
For an extra complication, floppies (or anything with 4096 sectors or less if anything else such exists) use FAT12, but FAT12 and FAT16 tend to get lumped together as just FAT. –  David Spillett Jan 17 at 17:16

Old tools like Partition Magic automated the process of shrinking a filesystem, creating another filesystem in the liberated space, moving data between the filesystems (Lather, rinse, repeat) years ago, I think Amir Ashkenazi, (just like me) is looking for such a tool... (The way tylerl said it works, only automated.) Maybe if you're willing to spend money you could use a tool like Acronis Disk Director? I haven't used it personally, (but I've heard it might work for this) so check into it before using it... If you end up diong it manually, there is a tool called EXT2Explore that reads EXT2/3/4 filesystems and allows you to save to a FAT/NTFS drive in Windows... I found it on Hiren's Boot CD...

I wish whomever voted me down would have let me know what they were looking for...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.