Connvert it to a NTFS drive

If you are running NTFS partions on your main hard drive on a Windows XP machine, you may consider converting your external drive to NTFS.

NTFS is a high-performance and self-healing file system proprietary to Windows XP 2000 NT, which supports file-level security, compression and auditing. It also supports large volumes and powerful storage solution such as RAID.

The most important new feature of NTFS is the ability to encrypt files and folders to protect your sensitive data.

The only reason you may want to keep the FAT partition is in a ''multi-operating system'' environment. If you were using that drive with Win98 or similar, you may want to read this column:

Otherwise, converting is a REAL simple process.

1. Close all open applications. This process may require a reboot, so be prepared.

2. Click Start, click Run, and then type cmd, and press Enter.

3. In the command windows, type:

convert F: /FS:NTFS

4. Press Enter.

Good Luck,
Thomas L.