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Ok so I'm currently using Windows XP on this machine but want to move over to Linux. But here's the thing - I've got like ~500 gigs of stuff on my harddrives taht I really don't want to get rid of. Is there any (safe) way to convert these harddrives from NTFS to a format that Linux can use. I've read that Linux can not see NTFS drives but can't write to them. Which isn't much good either. The stuff on the harddrives is mostly MP3s and Movies, which I would really like to be able to use in Linux.
If you have some free space to work with, you can move things from the NTFS drives to Linux (like reiserfs or ext3) drives. But if you're requirement is to have them available to both Windows XP and Linux, then it sounds like converting to FAT32 is your only option (or the only one I'm aware of).
The safest thing to do would be to get another hard drive that has enough space to fit everything on your largest current drive. Install linux on the new drive (ext3 or reiserfs), and then transfer everything from the your largest current drive to the new linux drive. Then you can format the old drive with whatever filesystem you want and move things from your other ntfs drive onto that one.