Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Convert to NTFS for greater security, part 1

To unlock all the security abilities in Windows XP, you need to be using NTFS. I will not bore you with a lengthy discourse on the technical aspects of the ways your computer reads and writes data, nor will I debate the advantages of one type over the other. I will simply say that Microsoft recommends NTFS, and if you use it you will have options and abilities enabled that you simply don’t with FAT — such as folder encryption and control over what does and does not get shared on your network.

Fortunately for you, Dear Reader, you probably already have your hard drive formatted with the NTFS file system, and those of you running Vista almost certainly have. Today I will show you how to verify if you already are using NTFS and, if you’re not, how to convert your filing system in one simple and painless step. Tommorow I will tell you how to take advantage of the security abilities inherent to NTFS and make your PC safer and your data more secure.

(Warning: the conversion process described below is NOT reversible — not easily anyway — and should you have personal reasons for using FAT32, such as your machine is set to dual-boot with Windows 98, do not do this. For most users this is a highly recommended action, though. As usual, I remind you that a full system backup is a very good thing to have.)

Tip of the day: Verify your file system and start using NTFS. As I mentioned, you may already be using the NTFS file system, and checking to see if that’s the case is easy. Double-click My Computer (which may be accessable by clicking the Start button, or on your desktop) and right-clicking on the icon for your Local disk (usually C:\) and selecting Properties.
A window like the one above will open, and toward the top it says “File system:” If it reads like my example does, you need not read any further today — but I invite you to return tomorrow to learn how to put NTFS to work for you. If it reads “File system:  FAT32” then I suggest you take the following steps to convert your hard drive to NTFS:
1) Open the Command Prompt. Start >Programs >Accessories >Command prompt.
2) Type in (without the quotes) “convert c: /fs:ntfs”, and hit Enter. [Please note that if you are converting a drive other than the C: drive, substitute the appropriate drive letter into the command.]
3) Tune in again tomorrow, and relax for the rest of today. We’re done for now.

Today’s free link: Thinking of upgrading your computer’s RAM? Use this free tool to scan your machine to see what upgrading options are available, and get recommendations to help you start your shopping process. Crucial memory advisor scan.

To jump to Part 2, click here.

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

July 17, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, converting to NTFS, file system, how to, PC, security, tech, Windows, XP | Leave a comment