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A friend of mine has an OEM machine with XP Home installed, but the file sytem is FAT. Her son finds that a lot of his games wont work on FAT system. Can I convert to NTFS, but also without corrupting the installation files in case at a future date if her PC goes wrong, the PC can be reset to factory condition. Will the original files stay FAT or convert to NTFS on conversion. I have thought of one possible solution but don't know if it will work, by formatting the hard drive and re-installing from another XP Home disc but using the original OEM product key ???????? The PC is a TIME product and I can't seem to get any information of them as the company appears to have gone bust. Any helpful suggestions or pointers will be much appreciated. Thanx
Eamon

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Last Post by sunrise1314
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Partition Magic seems to be able to do that.

Thankyou for your indepth reply, I don't even know what 'partition magic' is????

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Partition Magic seems to be able to do that.

What is 'partition magic' ????

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To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt
1.
Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
2.
In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.
Important Once you convert a drive or partition to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will erase all data, including programs and personal files, on the partition.

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Thankyou Kaosreigns the conversion seems straightforward, but this is an OEM PC, no installation disc, what happens to the installation (hidden files) on the hard drive, ie if the PC needs to be reset to factory standards again, will the files still be avaliable to enable this, will they be lost in the conversion, stay as FAT or also be converted to NTFS? The lady in question would like the PC to remain NTFS so converting back to FAT is not a problem.

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what happens to the installation (hidden files) on the hard drive...

Nothing, usually. Are the restoration files stored on a separate partition on the drive?

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Thankyou DMR, the files are on the same hard drive, but unless the drive creates its own partition (unlikely) after installation of OEM files, no partition. Still would like some feedback of just deleting the hard drive, re-installing with an XP Home disc, but instead of using product key of the disc use the OEM product key, would that work ?
thanx Eamon

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Still would like some feedback of just deleting the hard drive, re-installing with an XP Home disc, but instead of using product key of the disc use the OEM product key, would that work ?

In theory, yes- that should work. However, I can't give you a 100% guarantee on that; "real life" doesn't always subscribe to theory, and OEM setups can have their own peculiarities.

It sounds like you're overcomplicating/overthinking this a bit. If you have an XP Home disc, why are you worried about hanging on to the option of the OEM's factory restore? Conversely, why think about reformatting with an XP install CD if you have the factory restore option? If the system gets hosed badly enough that you have to use either option, you're looking at a reformat of the drive and a full reinstall of the OS and all of your applications. The FAT vs NTFS issue becomes pretty moot at that point.

If the Time company you refer to is the UK-based computer company, they are still in operation as far as I know. You can find customer support numbers on the following site; why not ask them directly?:
http://www.totalcaresupport.com/

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Thankyou again DMS, I have a installation disc for XP Home, my product key on it. The PC in question is a friends. Her PC is the OEM and its FAT, she wants it permenantly NTFS to enable her son to play his games. I am looking ahead in case of problems, I've already reset to factory standards and re-installed applications, made it safe etc once before, because she doesnt seem to understand about running spyware,adware AV regularly. So I am anticipating her coming round to me asking to put it right again. This is where my knowledge is lacking, I can convert to NTFS no problem, but I dont know what happens to the OEM files, do they convert, stay FAT or are partioned anyway??????? Thanx again,
Eamonn.

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What problem is your friend experiencing that is preventing her son from playing his games? I have never heard of any software that requires the partition that it resides on to be a specific file system. NTFS doesn't change the files, it just changes the way they are stored on the disk.

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NTFS doesn't change the files, it just changes the way they are stored on the disk.

Exactly- NTFS is just a more (than FAT) efficient and secure filesystem format in which to store files on a drive; the type, function, and contents of files themselves are independent of the filesystem on which they are stored.

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I have run the conversion a bunch of times without a problem, I still do not know why you need NTFS for to run games. Other than that it is a good idea to have NTFS over FAT.

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I bet its got to do with the security features... the game prolly tries to invoke an API call to allow all users to have access to the game (this is a very common setting, so a user does not have to be logged on as admin) and of course, its gona fail. also note, that fat does not support unicode at all. IMHO, fat is done. hard drives are much bigger than 32GB now adays. just convert to NTFS.

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