Data Conversion Services

At, we recover millions of files from damaged hard disks, solid-state drives (SSDs), and other devices each month. In many cases, our clients ask us to return the data in a different file system than the original — for example, a client may want Mac OS data returned in a format that is readable for Windows computers.

We offer data conversion services for all data recovery clients. In most cases, this service is provided free of charge when the client uses our recommended file system. However, in some cases, data conversion requires hours of additional work. As data experts, we’re prepared to provide conversion at a reasonable cost.

Data conversion is also available for cases that do not involve data recovery. To learn more, call 1-800-237-4200.

What is data conversion, and why is it necessary?

The file system of a storage device allocates memory, enabling the user to store data on the device. Some operating systems (such as Windows and Mac OS) may not support certain formats. The data must be converted to another file system in order to be readable.

However, each file system has a different architecture, and data conversion is not always a straightforward process. Without appropriate safeguards, data loss can occur. Common file systems include:

  • FAT – File Allocation Table formats are widely used for portable storage devices such as USB drives.
  • NTFS – New Technology File System, associated with Microsoft Windows.
  • HFS – Hierarchical File System, primarily associated with MacOS. Note that IBM also introduced a file system called HFS, which was introduced in IBM’s z/OS and is unrelated to the Mac version of HFS. 
  • HFS+ – An updated version of HFS supported in Mac OS 8.1 and above.
  • EXT, EXT2, EXT3, and EXT4 – File systems for Linux systems. EXT3 and EXT4 are journaled file systems.
  • ReFS – Resilient File System, introduced by Microsoft and intended for use with Windows Server 2012.
  • UFS and UFS 2 – Unix File System, used on BDS systems and Solaris.
  • exFAT – Extensible File Allocation Table, a file system optimized for flash memory and intended to be “universal” — accessible on virtually all environments.

Is data conversion available for every type of file?

In most scenarios, data can be converted to another file system safely and easily, but the type of data can affect the results. For example, Apple Time Machine backups generally cannot be returned as NTFS volumes, as the data becomes unusable.

We address each scenario individually and advise on the best practice for each case. Every case is backed up prior to conversion, ensuring that any files that become unusable as a result of the process can still be accessed in their native formats.

By working with data recovery experts, you can receive your files in a convenient format while limiting the inherent risks of data conversion. To discuss your case with an engineer, call us today at 1-800-237-4200 or click here to submit a case online.