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Once I get to school I'm going to be greated with a nice fresh install of Windows XP on a laptop. However the first thing I plan on doing is installing Linux (I'm going to be using gentoo, no help needed there). The problem I have is that I need to keep the Windows install on there so I can use it for school stuff (AutoCAD, Maple, etc). I haven't had a working install of Windows for about 10 months and I'm at a bit of a loss as to what I should do with the one I'm going to need. I want to have some room to install extra software for both the Windows and Linux installations as well as some space to store files and such. (most of the files will be on my desktop that I'll be running as a server.)
The main problem I'm facing is what file systems to use. As far as I know Linux doesn't like NTFS, and Windows doesn't like pretty much anything other than NTFS and FAT so I'm at a bit of a loss to what I should use for different things. (I don't want to have to resize partitions all the time to swap space back and forth between Linux and Windows)
About all I've been able to come up with is to install the base Windows and Linux installations on NTFS and Reisers and then take all the extra space and put it into a big FAT32 partition for programs and everything else. It seems like keeping everything on a FAT partition wouldn't be a very good idea though, and I don't even know if FAT will work with things like links, symlinks, and other unix file types.
If anyone has any Ideas that might work out well please let me know, also if anyone knows of any good open source tools to resize NTFS partitions let me know that as well (unless you think the windows partition should be on something else like FAT32, in which case I'll just re-install it).
Wouldn't the symlinks be from the FAT32 partition to the Reiserfs partition? I don't think it should be an issue. I know you're going with Gentoo, but Mandriva's partitioning tool (DiskDrake) is great for resizing NTFS. I just use Mandriva for partitioning, then install another distro.
NTFS/Ext2/3/ReiserFS resizing is simple and similar (FAT32 resizing is even more simple) under any distribution.
Have a look at the first link in my signature.
As far as I understood, you want to share files between Linux and Windows? I heard that many people have no problems with FAT32.
FAT32 is OK (just don't forget to defragment and check it once a month).