I also used to be very nervous of editing text files. 2 things help.
1 - make a backup called, for instance, fileyouareediting.bak - for obvious reasons.
2 - use Midnight Commander. In a console, just type in mc and it opens. You may need to locate a package on the web to install, first.
I don't think there's any problem with automounting Windows partitions on boot, I do
Here's the relevant part of my /etc/fstab for you to look at -
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windows vfat iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0