Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was playing with my computer attempting to install Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS i386, and I accidentally converted my C:\ with Windows on it to EXT4, and Windows hangs on boot. All of windows is still on the drive, along with the files, but I really want to use Windows again. All I need to know is how to convert back to NTFS without losing windows. Any help would be appreciated.

share|improve this question
You don't convert between them... if Windows is still there, it must be on NTFS. What makes you think otherwise? – psusi Jun 8 '13 at 3:21
Well, I went into Gparted, and there is a 285 GB drive that is ext4, and it has windows on it. I can screenshot my home folder and Gparted for you if you like – Jacob Jun 8 '13 at 3:26
What do you mean it has Windows on it? When installing Ubuntu you have the option to either wipe out windows and replace it, or shrink the Windows partition, and use the free space to create an ext4 partition and install Ubuntu. So if there's only one partition on the drive and it's ext4, then you must have blown it away. – psusi Jun 8 '13 at 3:29
sorry, I didnt explain it properly. I'm running a version of Ubuntu that has files missing, and its in trial mode off a USB stick because I can't download it again, (My internet is very bad) I tried to make a partition of 35 GB and I have somehow converted the C:\ into ext4. I am really not sure what happened. Is there a way I can send you a screenshot? – Jacob Jun 8 '13 at 3:38
Click edit under your question to edit it, and add the image. Add it by using the the img button next to those B and I buttons. – Alaa Ali Jun 8 '13 at 6:17

Despite what some other people are suggesting, formatting a partition generally doesn't erase all the data on it. However it doesn't exactly keep them either. It wipes the file table that records what files are stored on the partition and where. Generally the data for all the files will be there, but as you start using the partition it will get overwritten with new files. You are unlikely to be able to go back to NTFS and have all the files, directory structure etc exactly as it was before. You are unlikely to be able to get Windows to boot properly without reinstalling it. You should be able to recover most of the files using a file recovery tool such as TestDisk or PhotoRec, but there is no garauntee.

share|improve this answer

I'm sorry to say it, but I believe you formatted your C: to EXT4, which erases all data on it. Like psusi said, there is no way to "convert" NTFS to EXT4 - you must be getting mixed up with formatting. Again, if this is true, all data has been lost. Be more careful next time; it even warns you!

CITATION: Convert filesystem NTFS -> EXT4?

share|improve this answer

Use TestDisk ( to undelete the files. Save the recovered files to an external drive. Then, reformat EXT4 to NTFS. Lastly, move the files from the external drive to the new NTFS filesystem.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.