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I'd really like to migrate my file/ftp server to linux but I have 200GB of data that is precious to me and it's on a W2K3 server in NTFS. Is there a way I can convert an NTFS FS to a native linux FS without any data loss/degradation? I know that I can mount the HDD in linux and access the drive but from what I understand write access is shaky in NTFS volumes. This drive needs to be writable for all network clients.
Any suggestions? These Win licenses are breaking my back. Really, I need to migrate as soon as possible.
i never looked into some sort of conversion software, i have a number of big-name partition managers, and none of them would handle a conversion from ntfs to ext3... i didn't want to use some small program in case it didn't work *quite* right.
my solution: create a linux partition using existing free space, and continue to move over more and more data, while enlarging the linux partition, and decreasing the ntfs partition...
anyways, it's a bit to-do, but i found it well worth it when i migrated my server from MS to Linux...
You could get one of those nice FAT32 or NTFS external drives, copy everything onto it using backup software, copy everything to ext3 as if you were recovering a failed system. Now reformat the external drives as ext3.
I'll echo what you've already mentioned and what peterbrowne suggested -- copying the files from the existing system over to a Linux box with a drive already partitioned as ext3 ought to do it. The "shaky" NTFS write capability you refer to has to do with Linux writing data to a Windows NTFS partition, not for Linux to read from an NTFS partition and writing data to ext3.
If there are any particularly important files, you might want to burn them to DVD or CD, just to play it extra safe. -- J.W.