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Old December 19th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #1
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How to format laptop for editing

I currently have a laptop which I want to use as a second editing system while on the road. This laptop is formatted in FAT32 and as far as I know it needs to be formatted in NTFS because of FAT32 limiting file sizes (I think it can only capture up to 4gigs worth of footage at a time).

When I bought the laptop I dit not receive an original copy of Windows XP and all I have is a recovery disc.

I have the following 3 questions:

1.) Is my assumption regarding Fat32 (as mentioned above) correct?

2.) How do I change my laptop setup from FAT32 to NTFS with only a recovery disc?

3.) Is it possible to leave my laptop in FAT32 and only attach an external hdd which is formatted in NTFS for capturing large amount of footage?

I am no IT expert so any advice would be welcome.

My laptop specs are:

Intel Centrino Duo 1.66ghz
1gig ram
100gig hdd
ATI x1400 dedicated graphics card
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #2
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1. Yes

2. Start/Run/CMD and from the command line type 'Convert Volume /FS:NTFS'

3. Yes, but it shows no benefit. FAT32 is slower and less reliable than NTFS.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for you response Harm. Much appreciated.

Can I convert to NTFS without having to reinstall Windows?
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Old December 19th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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Read this carefully:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314097

In particular, back up your system and verify the back up is OK before using convert.exe

You can't convert the drive immediately. You have enter the command and reboot (described in the above article).

Personally, I'd get an external drive, format it to NTFS (they usually come as FAT32) and leave the internal one alone. Performance may start out OK on the internal one but eventually capturing video etc becomes very problematic.

BTW, the jury is out about which is faster:

http://www.google.com/search?num=100...s+fat32+faster

HTH.

Last edited by John Miller; December 19th, 2007 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Added bit about speed
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Antonie Koen View Post
Thanks for you response Harm. Much appreciated.

Can I convert to NTFS without having to reinstall Windows?
Yes. A reinstall in not necessary.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #6
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Thanks John and Harm for all your advice. You've been a great help
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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Since this is the thread for HD editing, the first question is whether the machine is up to the task at all.

1) For CPU to edit native .m2t files you probably need a single core of 2 GHZ or more, if not dual core. If the machine was formatted FAT32, it could be well short of this.

2) File sizes are huge. Your .m2t or AVCHD files are probably 13 gigs per hour and the Cineform intermediate is 40 per hour if you use that CPU-saving software. To author a disc after editing you need at least 4X the disc size free. That could be 100gigs for a 2 hour project.

It may make more sense to buy a new machine!
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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:09 AM   #8
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I'll second what John said earlier, get an external drive for media, format that NTFS and leave the internal alone.

Last edited by Bill Mecca; December 21st, 2007 at 11:09 AM. Reason: tpyos ;)
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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:52 AM   #9
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Everyone else has given some great advice, and I'll my two cents:

Get yourself a RAM upgrade and step up to 2GB. You will definitely notice a performance increase by doing that. Also, if you're in the mood to spend some money, you can get yourself a 7200RPM internal hard drive for your laptop to speed things up slightly. Or, if you're looking for more portability, you can get a 5400RPM Western Digital 250GB drive- which I think is the largest 2.5" drive you can buy right now.

I think your system specs will make your HD editing experience a little choppy, even with upgrades to your RAM, so, it might be worthwhile to add up the costs of upgrading all these components and compare them to what it would cost to just buy a laptop that can do a better job of handling the task. Good luck!
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Old December 21st, 2007, 07:00 PM   #10
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I think its worth to upgrade the ram, but leave the hdd alone. If your laptop has expresscard, buy an expresscard esata adapter + external hd with esata connection. Put all your capture and edit programs on it and use it for capture/editing as well. Esata is very fast, up to 6x faster than usb 2.0. So its worth it. I think you could even run your os on it and totally part the internal hd expect for storage, but i haven't tried that yet...
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:10 AM   #11
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thanks guys for all the great suggestions. You've given me great advice and tips. Much appreciated.
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