Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Convert an Ext4 Drive to NTFS Without Losing Data

Ubuntu 2

While there isn’t a direct way to convert an ext4 drive to NTFS without losing data, it’s still possible to do so with a few steps. This article will guide you through the process of creating a new partition, formatting it to NTFS, copying your data, and then deleting the old ext4 partition.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • A Linux system with gparted and ntfs-3g installed. If not, you can install them using the package manager of your distribution. For Ubuntu, use the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gparted ntfs-3g
  • A backup of your important data. While this process shouldn’t cause data loss if followed correctly, it’s always a good idea to have a backup in case things go wrong.

Step 1: Create a New Partition

First, we need to create a new partition on the drive. This partition will be formatted to NTFS and will be where we copy our data.

  1. Open gparted by typing sudo gparted in the terminal.
  2. Select your drive from the top-right dropdown menu.
  3. Right-click on the ext4 partition and select Resize/Move.
  4. Reduce the size of the partition to create unallocated space. The amount of space you need depends on the size of the data you want to copy.
  5. Click on the Apply button to apply the changes.
  6. Right-click on the unallocated space and select New. In the File system dropdown, select ntfs.
  7. Click on the Add button, then Apply to create the new partition.

Step 2: Copy Your Data

Now that we have an NTFS partition, we can copy our data.

  1. Mount both the ext4 and NTFS partitions. You can do this through the file manager or the terminal. If you’re using the terminal, the command would be sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt/myfolder, where sdXY is your partition and mnt/myfolder is your mount point.
  2. Use the cp command to copy your files. The command would be sudo cp -R /mnt/myext4folder/* /mnt/myntfsfolder/. This command copies all files and folders from the ext4 partition to the NTFS partition.

Step 3: Delete the ext4 Partition and Expand the NTFS Partition

Once your data is safely copied, you can delete the ext4 partition and expand the NTFS partition.

  1. Unmount the partitions using the umount command, for example, sudo umount /mnt/myfolder.
  2. Open gparted again.
  3. Right-click on the ext4 partition and select Delete.
  4. Right-click on the NTFS partition and select Resize/Move.
  5. Expand the NTFS partition to fill the unallocated space.
  6. Click on the Apply button to apply the changes.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully converted an ext4 drive to NTFS without losing data. Remember to always keep a backup of your data, as this process, like any involving data manipulation, carries a risk of data loss.

Can I convert an ext4 drive to NTFS without losing data?

While there isn’t a direct way to convert an ext4 drive to NTFS without losing data, you can follow the steps outlined in this article to create a new NTFS partition, copy your data, and then delete the old ext4 partition.

Do I need to have a Linux system to perform this conversion?

Yes, you will need a Linux system with gparted and ntfs-3g installed to perform this conversion. These tools are commonly available in Linux distributions and can be installed using the package manager.

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