FAT32 to NTFS conversion - 'dirty bits'

By WienSam ·
I have a USB 500GB drive that arrived pre-formatted to FAT32. I did not realise this until I wanted to store a file on it that is over 4GB and it told me that there was 'insufficient space'. I have tried to convert it to NTFS using the convert e: /fs:ntfs (where 'e' is the drive letter) but to no avail. It asked me to run chkdsk, which I have but to no avail. I have also tried the 'disk cleanup' option but that hasn't helped either. Apparently it has about 35k in 'dirty bits' (i.e. bad sectors). My system is XP Pro but the drive I am referring to has no system files on it whatsoever - it is used purely for data storage (music, videos, downloaded software in uninstalled state, documents, etc)

Is there a way around this?


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try format the USB driver

by dilumd In reply to FAT32 to NTFS conversion ...

it doesn't matter whether you copying from FAT32 To NTFS. You do not need convert FAT32 to NTFS.

Try to format the USB Driver

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I don't understand

by WienSam In reply to try format the USB driver

Could you please explain that?

I'm personally not bothered about 35k in 'dirty' sectors but I am concerned about converting the drive to NTFS so that I can store files on it larger than 4GB. I've never heard of 'format the USB'. How do you do that?

I do hope you don't mean format the hard drive, which would be the easiest option but under the circumstances is not viable, as I would then lose all of the data on it (about 350GB) and I have nowhere to transfer it to

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I think there's some confusion here ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to I don't understand

The previous poster has misinterpreted your need, I think.

I've never heard of anything about formatting a USB driver - ignore that comment.

As to how you can approach your present difficulty:
Have you tried running CHKDSK on this external drive? You might be able to recover the 'dirty bits' since by volume they are rather small.

Actually you DO have somewhere to store the present 350GB contents though. You can either transfer them to 78 DVDs in data form or you could invest in another, stable, NTFS-formatted external hard drive.

If you are attempting to save a file that is larger than 4GB there is a strong chance it is an ISO image - if so why not just burn it straight to optical disc?

These options may seem drastic to you but nevertheless they are options.

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It is an ISO and I can unpack it but

by WienSam In reply to I think there's some conf ...

I wanted to keep it as is. Running chkdsk /f /r actually resulted in an INCREASE from about 15MB of bad sectors to about 100MB of bad sectors. I am now thinking the best bet would be to obtain a second USB drive, copy everything across, re-format with NTFS on the current drive and then start again. I am currently adding about 20GB or more per month in any case and will need a second USB drive in about 3-6 months at this rate. I was wondering if there was a way around this predicament NOW (i.e. without having to forward purchase)

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A word of warning regarding your current storage ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to It is an ISO and I can un ...

USB hard drives are being slightly misread I fear. Users see them as a non-techie alternative to opening up a PC and getting their hands in the guts of the machine.

What these users DO NOT consider is the drawbacks of using external hard drives.

#1 They tend to be slower than internal drives and as such are more laboured in their task.

#2 They are rather more fragile than something that is anchored to a PCs steel frame.

#3 Because they're not anchored to the above steel frame they tend to vibrate a bit more than they should.

#4 Also due to being outside the PC case, they DO NOT enjoy the constant flow of cooling air generated by the PC case fans. Many of them have NO COOLING at all, some are housed in 'good looking' plastic cases - as any fool knows: plastic is not a particularly efficient heat conductor.

So, on the face of it a USB external hard drive may seem like the geeky thing to have but it is actually exposed to knocks, vibration, over-heating, constantly being moved, risk of accidental unplugging, and any other ills that can befall it because it is outside that big solid steel case.

Have you considered an internal hard drive?

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