Changing ex. H.d to NTFS,will it wipe my data?

  buel 20:19 19 Nov 09

Hi, im sorry for a seemingly silly question but i want to clone my hard disk to my extenal hard drive (which has data on it) but my external h.d is Fat32 and, therefore, wont let me do it because, im told, it needs to be NTFS. I have instructions on how to convert it to NTFS but im just not sure whether doing this will erase the data on the external h.d?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:22 19 Nov 09

No it will not erase data if done by:-

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

  buel 20:24 19 Nov 09

Many many thanks Fruit Bat!!!

  buel 21:23 19 Nov 09

One more thing- I have tried to clone the h.d of my friend's laptop to my external h.d (which is NTFS) but unfortunately Acronis is telling me 'The destination drive you have chosen contains some partitions that might have useful data. The operation is possible only if the destination hard disk is empty. In order to proceed with the operation, you should either allow Acronis to delete all the partitions on the destination hard disk or click back and choose another hard disk'.
What can i do please?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:27 19 Nov 09

Do not clone, do a back up image instead.

  johnnyrocker 21:28 19 Nov 09

does your ext harddrive have data?


  buel 21:36 19 Nov 09

Hi, yes the external h.d has a lot of data on it! the only reason i wanted to clone the hard drive of the laptop was because i have good reason that the hard drive is going to fail anytime soon. May i ask why you suggested just to do back up?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:42 19 Nov 09

You only need to clone if you are replacing the drive with the one you are cloning to i.e. a larger drive.

A backup image is a copy of the drive sector by sector.

  buel 21:49 19 Nov 09

Brilliant!! At LAST i understand!! Phew!! So should my friend's hard drive fail and he replaces it with a totally new blank hard drive i can then put the sectors back on for him and that includes the o.s?

  buel 15:41 20 Nov 09


  DieSse 16:08 20 Nov 09

Cloning produces an identical copy of one drive onto another. It cannot do that if the target drive contains data and/or partitions, as you wouldn't get an identical copy.

Imaging (a particular form of backup) produces a compressed file that contains all the information from a drive - so that a drives structure, programs and data can be re-created from the image.

You can make an image onto an external drive that already contains data, without destroying that data (as long as there's sufficient space, of course).

So, to backup a drive to an external drive and then restore the contents onto a new internal drive, you can do an image and an image restore.

If using Acronis to do this, you will need to make a restore CD, which carries out the restore.

You can't clone to an external drive, then clone back to a new blank drive - the new blank drive will have no software on it to do the "re-clone".

Clonong is really for transferring an existing drive data to a new blank drive - then putting the new drive into the system in place of the old drive.

Imaging is for saving a copy of the drive to be able to replace it back onto either the same drive, or a different new drive.

If you want now to save a copy of the existing drive, and you don't yet have the new drive - you'll have to Image.

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