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Error: File is too large for the destination file system

Tried to copy an Exchange database to a drive this morning and received this error.

The reason is obvious. This has nothing to do with the free space available on the drive. The drive is FAT16 or FAT32 file system which allows only upto 4GB file size. This was used in earlier versions of Windows. With Windows 7, you can now safely convert this to NTFS without data loss, but BACKUP YOUR DATA. I did not have data loss doesn’t mean you will be spared.

Ok, so open an elevated cmd prompt and type:

convert H: /fs:ntfs

H is the drive letter.

It will show the type of the file system is FAT32.

Now you will be prompted for “Enter current volume label for drive H:” I typed in the volume label name which is “Transcend”.

First time I tried I received the error “This drive is dirty and cannot be converted. You will need to clear the dirty bit on this drive by running CHKDSK /F or allowing AUTOCHK to run on it the next time you reboot.”

Please backup your data just in case…

To resolve this, we need to run a CHKDSK /F on the drive:

Format is – chkdsk /f H:

Once CHKDSK /F completes, you may run the convert again.

I am attaching the logs from my actual conversion.

#################################################################

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]

Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>convert H: /fs:ntfs

The type of the file system is FAT32.

Enter current volume label for drive H: Transcend

Volume Serial Number is 1301-1A11

Windows is verifying files and folders…

File and folder verification is complete.

Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

488,264,768 KB total disk space.

224,800 KB in 366 hidden files.

133,632 KB in 4,050 folders.

358,411,648 KB in 88,315 files.

129,494,656 KB are available.

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.

15,258,274 total allocation units on disk.

4,046,708 allocation units available on disk.

Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first.

ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) y

This drive is dirty and cannot be converted. You will need to clear the dirty bit on this drive by running CHKDSK /F or allowing AUTOCHK to run on it the next time you reboot.

The conversion failed.

H: was not converted to NTFS

C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk /f H:

The type of the file system is FAT32.

Volume Serial Number is 1301-1A11

Windows is verifying files and folders…

File and folder verification is complete.

Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

488,264,768 KB total disk space.

224,800 KB in 366 hidden files.

133,632 KB in 4,050 folders.

358,411,648 KB in 88,315 files.

129,494,656 KB are available.

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.

15,258,274 total allocation units on disk.

4,046,708 allocation units available on disk.

C:\Windows\system32>convert H: /fs:ntfs

The type of the file system is FAT32.

Enter current volume label for drive H: Transcend

Volume Serial Number is 1301-1A11

Windows is verifying files and folders…

File and folder verification is complete.

Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

488,264,768 KB total disk space.

224,800 KB in 366 hidden files.

133,632 KB in 4,050 folders.

358,411,648 KB in 88,315 files.

129,494,656 KB are available.

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.

15,258,274 total allocation units on disk.

4,046,708 allocation units available on disk.

Determining disk space required for file system conversion…

Total disk space: 488384001 KB

Free space on volume: 129494656 KB

Space required for conversion: 789260 KB

Converting file system

Conversion complete

C:\Windows\system32>

Ratish Nair
MVP Exchange Server
Team@ MSExchangeGuru

Keywords: Convert FAT32 to NTFS without data loss, File is too large for the destination file system, cannot copy file more than 4 GB

2 Responses to “Error: File is too large for the destination file system”

  1. alina Says:

    I suggest to use Long Path Tool for quicker fix.

  2. aphelix Says:

    You can use Long Path Tool to work out this problem.

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