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I am a total newb and have built a system for my wife who is trying to learn unix and oracle, etc etc. I had no problem building a dual boot system with w2k and Mandrake 8.2. Both systems function awesomely on their own. My question is about sharing harddrive space.
I have W2K loaded on a 6GB HD (hda1)
I have Mandrake loaded on 2GB HD (hdb1)
When I am booted into the W2K OS and I am in windows explorer I click on the D drive (the Mandrake installed HD) I get a popup that basically says "the drive is not formatted would you like to format now?" Is this correct? I was under the impression that I would be able to browse the Mandrake D drive through the W2K OS. Conversely can I access the C drive (w2k drive) from the Mandrake OS and use it to store information or install programs for the mandrake OS. I am a bit confused and would appreciate any assistance or pointing in the right direction. I couldnt find this information anywhere else.
Micro$oft are tits. consequently they refuse to support linux file systems like ext2, reiserfs etc.. you will NEVER be able to easily access the linux drive under windows. There are third party apps for it, but they're dangerous and generally lame.
BUT you SHOULDN'T be able to even see the "D" drive under windows. windows should see it, choke at the fact that it's not FAT32 or NTFS and promtply ignore it. You probably have a slight problem with the partition table on the linux drive i *think*. I'd guess that the partition is formatted as ext2 or whatever, but the table still has it listed as FAT32. using a program like cfdisk (or diskdrake i *think* but don't hold me to it) you can set the partition type officially, and then it shouldl not appear in windows in the future. that's if i guessed right of course.. other than that i wouldn't know why that's happening
the other thing i would mention is that i'd ERALLY recommend changing the drives over so linux is running as master. this way, assuming you are using lilo or grub bootloaders, you will not ever touch the windows harddrive, meaning uninstalling linux and getting rid of the boot menu is as simple as just swapping the drives back. you just have to lie to windows and make it think it's on the master channel when it's not. then again, if you're happy with things the way they are, that's fine.
Thanks for your advice, I will look into the "potential" partition problem and see if thats whats up. As far as the master drive goes, I am just using w2k boot loader program with a small edit to the boot.ini file that adds the option to boot to the Mandrake OS.
What about seeing the C drive from Mandrake OS? If the C drive with the w2k has 5GB of free space, can I share it with the Mandrake OS? Would I need a partition to do this or does it just see it and uses it? Sorry if these seem obvious, but I want to be sure of what I am getting into. Thanks again for your quick response!
oh pants, i thought you meant you could already use the windows drive. well it depends what format you're using for windows. if it's FAT32 then the chances are it's already mounted (run df and see if there's a /mnt/win or something listed) if it's NTFS then you won't be able to use it. FAT32 was reversed engineered for linux, and works fine, but ntfs is vastly more complicated, so doesn't work. sure peopel will say that you can get read only access and some will recommend using full readwrite to it, but it's just SO unstable it's not really worth the hassle. use fdisk or somethign to find what filesystem windows is using, if you don't know already
As a workaround to the NTFS issue acid mentioned, you can create a FAT32 partition somewhere on the system and park your shared data there. Since both Win2k and Linux can read from/write to FAT32 filesystems, you'll be set. This has the added safety advantage of not having your entire Windows drive mounted in Linux; if Linux bites the big one for some reason, you're Windows drive won't get horked in the process.