Originally Posted by Rubicon244
The 300GB FAT32 partition is to be used as a shared drive for media files that can be accessed by XP and all distros (or is NTFS better?).
Is this set up possible?
From my understanding I'd have to stop the install process for the first 3 distros from writing anything to the MBR. The last distro will be responsible for setting up GRUB and the MBR. Once that's done is it just a matter of adding distros 1,2 & 3 to GRUB (assuming the last distro only recognises XP) by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst for the last distro?
Is there anything else I need to do?
All recent Linux releases support full r/w of the NTFS partition via the ntfs-3g driver. If you have a kernel < 2.6.16 then you might have problems (release is too old). It's better to use NTFS if you can because FAT32 cannot support all the features that WinXP wants to use on the filesystem.
If you already have Linux installed, then just skip the bootloader installation for all the other installations; however, you do need to make a note of what the initrd and kernel image files are so you can configure your bootloader correctly. Don't worry if you can't write them down during install time; as long as you can boot one linux installation you can mount the other partitions and check out the initrd and kernel image file names.