Originally Posted by anarchyinc
You can view both NTFS and ext3 file systems with each with the proper drivers. I can not remember the name of the program you need. But I can at least tell you that it is possible.
Linux can read fat and nfts volumes without problems. Writing is only possible for fat. The stock linux driver for ntfs has some writing capabilities but they are useless.
However, there's a 3rd party driver called ntfs-3g which is what you need if you want full read/write support for ntfs partitions from linux. Some distros might shipt if by default but it's not a part of the linux kernel.
As for windows, it will need extra drivers to read anything that's not ntfs or fat, that means you'll need to look for extra drivers. I know that there are windows tools and drivers to access ext2/3 partitions. I have no idea if there's any support at all for others like reiserfs or xfs.
As well as buying a 250GB hard drive just to test out redhat is a waste of money... Keep in mind when you are formatting the drive for the installation that linux is very small compaired to windows. My linux install only takes 1.75GB of space
Compare the prices today and you'll see that buying anything smaller than that is indeed a waste of money. It is true that linux tends to reuse code in a smarter way than most windows programs do. That means that usually with the same set of functionalities a linux installation might be smaller. But that depends entirely on the concrete things you install.
Some distros like Gentoo will force you to install a toolchain (libs+compiler+some extra tools), which the casual user would never install in windows.
If you are a gamer you are probably going to need much more than 5-10gb.