purchase of a new hard drive: which brand to choose?
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Not to jump in on a question addressed to someone else, but I would disagree with the anti-reiserfs comment. It's the default filesystem for Slackware and SuSE (if not others) and there's no way it would have attained that status if it were prone to corrupting data during normal operations. Reiser hass been highly stable and reliable for a very long time, and personally, I've used it for years and have yet to see any issues with it.
Regardless, if the file system must be accessible to both Windows and Linux, then practically speaking, FAT32 would be the only option. FAT32 doesn't support *nix file permissions though, and compared to a real Linux filesystem such as ext3 or reiserfs, it's a much weaker choice. As you mention, in the event of a crash or unexpected power outage, your chances of escaping any data corruption are much increased by using a journaled filesystem than a non-journaled one.
Not to tell you what to do but based on what you've described, it sounds like your best bet may be to create a FAT32 partition for the purposes of sharing certain files between Windows and Linux, but to divvy up the rest of the drive using the OS's native file system (ie, NTFS for Windows and either ext3 or reiserfs for Linux). Again that's just my opinion, good luck with it regardless of your choice