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Easiest way to upgrade Win2k to Windows XP

Plus I have to upgrade 2 hard drives from FAT32 (I was still using it with Win2K) to NTFS (which Windows XP uses).

I don't want to do the "normal" upgrade, I want a brand spanking new system.

Plus I'm not sure if it's possible since I want to upgrade file systems too.  Is there something that will upgrade the file system in place?

Or do I have to clear out half of my 2 hard drives, partition them as NTFS, and then copy my FAT32 data to the new NTFS, and then resize the NTFS to fill the entire hard drive?

That is my plan, I'm wondering if there is an easier way.

Friday, August 6, 2004

The "convert" command will upgrade a FAT32 partition to NTFS but it ends up with a sub-optimal 512 byte cluster size.  NTFS typically defaults to a 4k cluster.  Google will give you more details on this than you wanted to know.

Friday, August 6, 2004

<...Want brand spanking new> How big are the 2 drives?

Chances are you could save youself effort by buying a big new drive and installing XP on that along with your apps alongside the old drives -or,  for extra security after a bit more work and if your current drives are sufficiently similar- consider making a RAID 1 pair of mirrored drives to hold your user data.  Extra data shuffling to/from the new drive to get set, but you always would have 2 copies of your data rather than hoping the power doesn't fail during the insitu filesystem conversion or repartition.

Either way the new drive should be (say) 10gig bigger than the combined size of your current drives.

Back up *everything* you want to keep and check it.
Set up XP from scratch on new drive and install all your standard apps.
Copy old drive A to a subdirectory on new drive
Copy old Drive B to a different subdirectory on new drive.
Check the copies worked. Pay attention to your own user data, not the Windows stuff. Your user data includes  configuration files, document templates, standard drawings, user profiles, mail .....

now convert the filesystems of the 2 old drives to NTFS
and rearrange data, apps and profile to suit.


set up the RAID. RAID 1 halves the apparent disk capacity by keeping two copies of data.  You probably won't fit both drives' content onto each drive (they're full, right?) but NTFS isn't as wasteful of space as FAT32, and you only want to keep your precious data files on the RAID, the Windows and apps go on the new disk. Mail folders and such on the RAID, swapfile etc on the new system disk, etc, etc  Lotsa fun.

Friday, August 6, 2004

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