So what if you've set up your partitions, whether dual-booting or not, and now change your mind? You were using FAT32, for example, but now want to use disk quotas. To do so, you would need to make the switch to NTFS. But can you do this? Is such a file system conversion even possible?
The answer, in the case just mentioned, is yes. XP provides a utility that allows you to convert both FAT16 and FAT32 volumes to NTFS volumes without any adverse effect on data. It's called CONVERT, and it is run from the Command Prompt. Here's the syntax:
convert volume /fs:ntfs
Here, volume is the logical FAT drive you want to make NTFS. If you are converting the partition that holds the current operating system, the conversion will be completed at the next operating system restart.
For example, to convert the D:\ drive, you would use the command shown in Figure 4-7.
Figure 4-7. Converting from FAT to NTFS.
Before making such a significant change to your hard drive, it's always a good idea to back up your data (see Chapter 13, "XP Backup and Recovery").
Unfortunately, you can't convert a partition from NTFS to FAT. Well, I take that back, you can, but it's a bit of a hassle. It either involves third-party utilities or a reformat of the partition. Of course, reformatting wipes out all data on the partition, so if you do this and want to keep data, you must restore that data from a backup. As is usually the case, a little planning in this area can go a long way.