I currently have an NTFS partition on my hard disk, a relic from dual boot days with Windows, that contains a very large quantity of data ... call it my "Stuff" partition ;).

The problem is that I would prefer to have this partition formatted to ext4, but have no where to move the existing data to. Is there anyway that I can convert the drive to ext4 without losing all that data or would I need to transfer it all to a secondary storage device/partition and then just reformat?

asked 19 May '10, 10:32

Gareth's gravatar image

accept rate: 62%

Please accept an answer so the question/answer can be finished. Or provide more details so we can help.

(20 Apr '11, 13:58) rfelsburg ♦

As far as I know it is not possible. Back up your data on another partition/drive/external device. Then create ext4 filesystem and copy data from backup.


answered 19 May '10, 10:52

maszynista's gravatar image

accept rate: 33%

This is what I am in the process of doing right now.

(19 May '10, 14:00) Ron ♦

I don't understand why you say you don't have any place to put the data, and then ask if you can put it somewhere temporary "like partition or directory". So I will explain for if you have space on partition or directory okay?

I will pretend that directory has plenty of space on /tmp but you use wherever it really is okay?

lets say your ntfs disk is connected as second SATA hard drive. mount the ntfs partition on linux as example /mnt/ntfs. That will be fine. You may want to leave it like it is, but if not,

# cd /tmp
# mkdir /mnt/ntfs
# mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb1 /mnt/ntfs
# tar cvf ntfs.tar /mnt/ntfs
# umount /dev/sdb1
# fdisk /dev/sdb

Then press "D" for delete, "1" for partition 1, "N" for new, "P" for primary and accept the entire drive, then press "P" to list your new partition table and make sure it is the way you want it and that the partition is "type 83". press "w" when done.

Decide where you want that to be permanently. Like /morespace

Now do this:

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1
# mkdir /morespace
# mount -t ext4 /dev/sdb1 /morespace

Now put into your /etc/fstab too, so when you reboot it is always there at /morespace

# man fstab

Now put everything back on your new directory:

# cd /morespace
# tar xvf /tmp/ntfs.tar .



answered 24 May '10, 21:10

Anthony%20Stanton's gravatar image

Anthony Stanton
accept rate: 0%

The NTFS drive I would like to reformat has over 300GB of data on it. I do not have 300GB on my other drives/partitions. I was asking if there was anyway I could reformat by not moving the data elsewhere and not lose it OR if I HAD to move it in which case I need to go buy another drive.

(25 May '10, 06:14) Gareth

Yes, I know this is an old post BUT, in case anyone else had this problem like I did, there is a solution, although it's time consuming.

  1. If you have SOME free space, use gparted to shrink the "old" partition.
  2. Then partition and format the new free space to ext4.
  3. Copy Files over to the new partition.
  4. Again, using gparted shrink the "old" partition.
  5. Still in gparted, grow the "new" ext4 partition we created in step #2
  6. Continue looping through steps 3-5 until you've moved all data to the "new" partition

Like I said, it would take a while, but I just got done doing that same thing with 120G of files. I'm abroad and don't have the cash to buy a new drive and so, with few options did this.


answered 06 Oct '11, 14:46

mp3droid's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Actually it is POSSIBLE.

You could easily convert NTFS to ext2 / ext3 with anyconvertfs from anyfs-tools:


Then you could convert it to ext4 with tune2fs.


answered 08 Jan '13, 19:48

PASAf's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 19 May '10, 10:32

Seen: 27,612 times

Last updated: 08 Jan '13, 19:48

powered by OSQA