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Old 05-12-2004, 09:49 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 73

Rep: Reputation: 15
FAT32/NTFS Question

I run a dual boot system that has Mandrake 10 and Windows XP. I have a whole heap of media and document files that currently reside on the WinXP NTFS partition that I can read from Linux, but cant write to. I want to be able to read and write these files from both OSs.

I have heard of partial NTFS write support, but I dont want to risk using it just yet. I was considering creating another FAT32 partition for the sole purpose of the data files, but are there any disadvatages to doing this? I have noticed that on a small FAT32 partition I have, files, when viewed from linix all have 777 permission, is it safe (or possible) to change this? If not, is it in any way unsafe/unsecure to have 777 permissions (I am the only one who uses this computer)? If I can change the permissions, will that cause problems for XP reading those files?

Thanks in advance

Old 05-12-2004, 10:34 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 15
Floyd, you can enable ntfs write support by recomiling the module but as you said you run a risk of data loss. If you are not willing to take that risk, you will have to create a FAT32. The permissions can not be changed, since the file system does not cater for file-level security. The obvious answer is thus that if you have files that are that sensitive in terms of privacy, don't store them on your FAT32 but keep them on linux. Since only you use the computer, I'd say there's no problem, in fact I installed my windows on a fat32 partition purely for that reason. All that I do is that I don't install apps on the windows partition since i can't run it from windows anyway - i just put my documents, pictures, music etc there so I can access it in read/write mode from both OS's (which is laughable since i never use windows, it doesn't even have network or a wallpaper set up yet)

I can't tell you what the names are, but there are commercial utils available to read linux filesystems from windows also, if you actually feel the need to spend money on that.
Old 05-12-2004, 11:16 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware 9.1/10.1, Mandrake 9.1/10.1
Posts: 75

Rep: Reputation: 15

If you really wants to read/write to NTFS then you can have a look here:

I use several linux live CD dist. which had Captive included, it can read/write NTFS partition quite well, haven't corrupt any files (yet).

However I only use captive on rescue purpose, if I want to read/write data under both linux and windows, I would rather save it on a fat32 partition.
Old 05-12-2004, 11:48 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Mandrake, SUSE, Fedora
Posts: 122

Rep: Reputation: 15
For the FAT32 partition try something like the following in /etc/fstab:

/dev/hdXn       /mnt/data       vfat            quiet,showexec=no,uid=floyd,umask=007     0 0
Change the device and the mountpoint to correspond to your system.

Having every file with the permissions of 777 looks like the result of having "umask=000". Using the option of "showexec=no" will stop everything from being marked as executable.

Since you're the only user of the system then you can use the "uid=floyd" option, or whatever your user name is, so you can change the umask to "umask=007" to remove write access from other non-user uids. Other users being the system users that are used by various programs. This has no affect on the access to the FAT32 other than in linux.
Old 05-13-2004, 03:16 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 73

Original Poster
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Thanks for the info guys!


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