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paul1892 01-02-2005 03:58 AM

Dual Booting - Shared Drive Question?
Newbie here looking for some advice please....

I am dual booting WinXP and RH9, I want to access documents from both operating systems - what is the best way to do this? can my Linux partition be access by WinXP or do I need to create an additional partition and use a common file system???

TIA - once again ;-)


ttolst 01-02-2005 04:04 AM

The easiest way is to create a FAT32 partition, which is the only thing they both support directly.

There are ways to make windows able to read linux file systems, but in my experience it doesn't work very well.

paul1892 01-02-2005 04:09 AM

OK - the obvious do I do that from RH? or should I just create from Windows? also, is it likely to create any parition naming problems and impact GRUB (I'm being over cautious as it is a shared machine).


ttolst 01-02-2005 04:25 AM

I sure can understand you being cautious when it comes to partitioning, it is by far the easiest way to bork a system ;-)

Now i imagine you are most worried about your windows system, so i would probably do this from windows if you have the tools for it. And i don't really know how to do it from redhat, except using fdisk, but that might scare you even more :-)

It shouldn't create bootloader problems, and it shouldn't rename partitions, though i don't know if windows will shuffle the drive letters if you create it from linux. But as long as you don't delete any partitions, the system should be recoverable :-)

An alternative to consider is that linux can read NTFS just fine, so if you primarely need to read files from your windows drive, then you can do it directly. Then you would have to use a CD or usb stick to write files back. One catch is that redhat doesn't include the NTFS driver, but you should be able to find one here:

paul1892 01-02-2005 05:18 AM

Thanks for the advice.....I've created a 2gb area in Windows (fat32) now I'm back in RH9 how the heck do I access it, I am assuming I need to mount it but is there some way I can find the mount point? (or perhaps something even easier?) - I've hunted and can't find "my computer" anywhere :)

ttolst 01-02-2005 05:37 AM

In kde you can type "devices:/" in konqueror, and get a list of drives/partitions.

I can't remember how to get a list of drives easily by other means, but you can type fdisk -l /dev/hda to get a list of partitions, and see which one matches in size. If you have more than one harddrive, then try hdb, hdc, or hdd.

When you find the correct one, you can add it to /etc/fstab to get it mountet automatically at boot. First you need to create a directory to mount it in, and then you can add a line like this to your fstab:

/dev/hda1 /mnt/whatever vfat 0 0

where you of course replace hda1 with the correct partition, and /mnt/whatever with whatever directory you want it to appear in.

Then you can type mount /mnt/whatever and it will be mountet, and will also be mountet after a reboot. You of course need to do all this as root.

There might be a problem making only root able to access the files on it, but that is fixable as well.

It is entirely possible that there is a much much easier way to do this, but been a long time since i last touched a redhat system. :-)

paul1892 01-02-2005 06:21 AM

Almost there....I have mounted and added it to fstab, but unable to access the mount as a normal user - only root. How do I open it up to all users?

ttolst 01-02-2005 06:39 AM

Right. Try changing the line in fstab to this:

/dev/hda1 /mnt/whatever vfat umask=0 0 0

now unmount it (umount /mnt/whatever) and mount it again. this should hopefully do the trick

paul1892 01-02-2005 07:27 AM

That's smashing....all working as expected - many thanks for the help, it's 2:25am here so I'm off!

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