I was dumb and used FAT32 as filesystem. Now I want to download files larger than the size of 4GB, which is not possible for FAT32. I use a dual boot (Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 10) and the HDD is accessed by both systems (I have two additional SSD partitions on which the systems are, but these partitions shall remain unchanged). I thought the easiest way of solving this problem is converting the filesystem from FAT32 into NTFS using Window's programm convert. And now my questions:

1) After having used "convert" how can I mount the HDD in Ubuntu again such that it is mounted at the same position as before permanently, i.e. automatically when I start the system (I think the HDD is currently mounted at /)?

2) Do I have to remove any entries in the file fstab in order to tell my system the old HDD is not longer existent?

3) are there any other things I should consider and is this a suitable "strategy".

PS: my Linux level is very low, I would be glad if you could respect that, when answering :)

Thanks in advance


The content of my fstab file is as follows ("HDD" is the internal Hard Drive I am talking about):

# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sdb6 during installation
UUID=*********************************** /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /HDD was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=*********  /HDD            vfat    utf8,umask=007,gid=46 0       1
# swap was on /dev/sdb5 during installation
UUID=***************************** none            swap    sw              0       0
  • Is this an internal drive or external? Did you add entries to fstab to auto mount on reboot or just mount when clicking on it in Naulitus or file browser you use? If Internal drive better to mount with fstab, so always mounted on reboot to same place, but external normally are not mounted with fstab.
    – oldfred
    Dec 14, 2015 at 17:19
  • @oldfred it is internal. And it mounts when starting the system without clicking on it in nautilus. The problem is that a friend of mine helped me installing both systems, when I had no experience with Linux could you explain what changes in fstab I have to remove and what changes to add, after the conversion to ntfs? I will add the content of my fstab file in my above question.
    – DonkeyKong
    Dec 14, 2015 at 17:58
  • LInk above mentions, ntfs-config which is now obsolete. I would only use manual editing of fstab. Disks will add an entry but does not default to good parameters. I see lots of variety on suggested parameters but what I use for NTFS is this: defaults,nls=utf8,umask=000,uid=1000,windows_names The windows_names prevents the use of characters not allowed in Windows.
    – oldfred
    Dec 15, 2015 at 0:39
  • @oldfred thanks a lot, I will try that. My plan is to keep the files on my Hard Drive while converting into ntfs, do you know what happens to files already containing characters not allowed in windows using windows_names? Can there be data loss?
    – DonkeyKong
    Dec 15, 2015 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


The links of Takkat and the advise of oldfred were very helpful here is what I have done:

1) started windows (10) and useed convert filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS using convert. I think I have done this by:

convert E: /fs:ntfs

were E is the name of the shared hard drive. 2) waited some seconds until conversion has been terminated, used

vol E:

and made a note of the output

3) restarted, started ubuntu and did the following using terminal:

sudo blkid | grep '[number noted in step 2 but removed "-"]'

then made a note with the output

4) edited /etc/fstab by replacing the UUID of the partition, that has been converted, by the output of step 3, changed the filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS and choose some new options suggested by the previous responders, such that my new fstab has the following content:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system>                             <mount point>   <type>  <options>                                                    <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sdb6 during installation
UUID=************************************    /               ext4    errors=remount-ro                                             0       1
# /HDD was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=****************                        /HDD            ntfs    defaults,nls=utf8,umask=007,gid=46,uid=1000,windows_names     0       1
# swap was on /dev/sdb5 during installation
UUID=************************************    none            swap    sw                                                            0       0

of course I give no guarantee neither that this works for you, nor that I remembered everything right, you do it at your own risk ;)

  • 1
    You should not use a pass of 1 on Windows formats. With / you use 1, so system checks with fsck every 40 or 60 boots. But Linux cannot run chkdsk on NTFS or FAT32. The sixth field, (fs_passno), is used by the fsck(8) program to determine the order in which filesystem checks are done at reboot time. The root filesystem should be specified with a fs_passno of 1, and other filesystems should have a fs_passno of 2. More info in man fstab
    – oldfred
    Dec 19, 2015 at 5:14
  • @oldfred: should I use 0 then for my modified line, since it is an ntfs filesystem, or 2?
    – DonkeyKong
    Dec 20, 2015 at 19:36
  • 1
    fs_passno of 0 for NTFS as Ubuntu cannot run chkdsk. And fsck does not really do anything for NTFS. You do need to be dual booting Windows or have a Windows repairCD/flash drive to be able to run chkdsk periodically.
    – oldfred
    Dec 20, 2015 at 23:52
  • @oldfred: What do you mean by "You do need to be dual booting Windows [...]". I am using a dual boot (Win/Ubuntu), but I should use fs_passno of 0 anyway, right? Regards
    – DonkeyKong
    Dec 21, 2015 at 13:49
  • 1
    You have to have a way to run chkdsk on all NTFS partitions, and that is only from Windows. Ubuntu runs fsck on its partitions automatically based on the fs_passno setting. So 0 is only valid choice. Anything else may cause errors when booting and it is trying to run fsck on your NTFS. There is a fsck setting for NTFS, but it does little and only really sets chkdsk flag for Windows to run chkdsk.
    – oldfred
    Dec 21, 2015 at 15:38

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