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Old 09-09-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Dual boot system with common storage.

alright, so i've messed around with linux on some old ( and i mean old) desktops. i like it, i want to use it more but i'm not quite ready to take off the Windows training wheeles. so i figure i'll dual boot them on my laptop. only problem is my laptop is 6 years old and only has a 60 gig hard drive. on to my question. is it possible to have the 2 os's share a third partition for file storage? splitting my hard drive in two mutually exclusive 'computers' doesn't seem very feasible with my current storage capacity, which is already mostly full. thank you for any help.

Old 09-09-2009, 03:58 PM   #2
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As long as the two can safely read and write to the partition there is no problem with using a common partition.

If boots to a usb drive you can run a lot of common distro's off a $18 8G pen drive with room to spare. See liveusbcreator.

Might consider a virtual machine also.
Old 09-09-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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Hello and wellcome to LQ,

I had such a configuration running once I ran windows on my Computers. I had a partition formated with fat32. So it was easy to share files between Linux and windows. Nowadays it is relatively easy to use windows NTFS-partitions from Linux.
Problem with using fat32 is that fat32 can't deal with file-permissions, every file on a fat32-partition is executeable from the Linux-view.
Problem with NTFS-Partitions and Linux can be that one needs root-permissions in order to write to this partition.
I'd suggest that you chose a partition-type dependend of the type of files which you want to share. Sensefull for sharing between windows and Linux are music (mp3) and textfiles (pdf for example). In this case the disadvantages of fat32 don't matter.

Old 09-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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thanks jefro and markush, you thats exactly the information i was looking for. music and textfiles, were basically the things i was looking to share between the 2, so fat32 is probably the way i'm going to go. thanks again.
Old 09-09-2009, 06:00 PM   #5
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something like
/dev/sda1 = windows ntfs
/dev/sda2 = linux swap
/dev/sda3 = linux ext3
/dev/sda4 = storage ntfs


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