will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

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sandyfeder

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Jun 16, 2007
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I have a very straightforward question: I am running WinXP Pro on my computer and I just got an external USB hard-drive to back up my data before I upgrade to VISTA.

My internal hard drive is NTFS file system, and the external drive is FAT32. My data backed-up perfectly.

However, I understand that VISTA is NTFS only (for the drive that it's installed on, which in my case will be the internal drive). I will be installing the VISTA OS on the internal drive, and using the external drive solely for backing up data.

I don't want to back up my data externally, upgrade my PC to VISTA, and then discover that I can't access the data on the external drive.

Here's my only question: will VISTA work with a FAT32 external drive, or do I have to convert that external drive to NTFS *before* I attempt to connect it to VISTA?

awaiting your replies - I'll appreciate all the help I can get! :)
 
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It will work fine. Seamlessly.

And, even if it didn't (which it will), you could convert to NTFS without losing data.
 

sandyfeder

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Jun 16, 2007
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thanks for your reply - I'll keep this external drive as FAT32 and will stop worrying about it! - but what you wrote 2nd is curious: I thought that changing from FAT32 to NTFS would mean that I'd have to completely reformat that drive and thereby wipe out all data already on it
 
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No. Data loss is not necessary so long as there is some free space.

convert F: /FS:NTFS
 

DoubleHelix

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I wouldn't run a convert command without backing the data up first. Things can and do go wrong.
 
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