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Old 06-29-2004, 01:35 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Dual boot XP and FC2 - file access to both?


Just a simple question I couldn't find anything really on it - if I dual boot WinXP and Fedora Core 2, can I have my media files accessible to both OS'es?

I thought I could google the answer to this but all that came up were q's about sharing XP <-> Linux over a network, etc.

Thanks in advance,

Old 06-29-2004, 02:07 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: CLFS
Posts: 523

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Linux can access data from XP only if it's setup on a FAT file system.You can convert your NTFS into FAT using the command
'Convert volume /FS:NTFS':.Here volume is your drive letter followed by a colon.If youare trying to convert the partition in which windows is installed,the conversion will start when windows restarts.Since there is no built in utility to convert from one FS to another,be careful when you make the changes.Although I don't have to say it,do keep backup of your data.
XP doesn't read from an ext3 system(which is the file system used in linux).To get over this creat a separate FAT partition which can act as a repository of the data you want both XP and fedora to access.This will prevent a lot of headaches.
Old 06-29-2004, 02:20 AM   #3
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Nice one cheers
Old 06-29-2004, 08:52 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Distribution: NetBSD 3.0.1, Slackware 10.1
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The above post is not entirely true. Linux can read and write to a NTFS file system. The write is some what dodgy though, but reading is still fine.

Download the kernel-ntfs rpm from here [1] and follow these instructions. (Taken from [2])


In the following instructions, the following notation is used:

- Note carefully
Commands or output
Which RPM

It is important to install exactly the same version of NTFS kernel module as the kernel you have installed. Below are some simple instructions to help you find the file you need.

A quick way to find the version is to use the whichrpm script. Save the file and run it. Then go to the install section.

chmod 700 whichrpm

The script, above, just automates what we will do next. First we need to decide which release you have. Run this command:

cat /etc/redhat-release

and you should see one of the following responses:

Fedora Core release 1 (Yarrow)
Red Hat Linux release 9 (Shrike)
Red Hat Linux release 8.0 (Psyche)
Red Hat Linux release 7.3 (Valhalla)

Next find out your kernel version:

uname -r

You should see a response something like one of these:


The version might also have one of the following suffixes:


If the result ends with smp then you have a multi-processor computer (you probably already knew that).

Next find out what sort of processor you have. This command will ask which rpm RedHat installed for you.

Users with a multi-processor machine should replace kernel with kernel-smp

rpm -q --queryformat "%{ARCH}\n" kernel

Most people will have an i686 processor (a recent Pentium computer). Other options are athlon, i586 or i386.

Next download the RPM. Follow the links for RedHat 7.3 Valhalla, RedHat 8.0 Psyche, RedHat 9 Shrike, Fedora 1 Yarrow. When you have downloaded the RPM, we will continue with the installation instructions.

You must be root for the rest of the commands. The examples will continue as if you downloaded kernel-ntfs-2.4.18-14.i686.rpm. Next install the rpm:

rpm -ihv kernel-ntfs-2.4.18-14.i686.rpm

Preparing... ############################### [100%]
1:kernel-ntfs ############################### [100%]

There should be no errors, just #'s. Note: newer NTFS RPMs will also print a message telling you if install succeeded. If something goes wrong see the Help Section.

This is the only command we actually needed, but we'll go on and test what we have done.

Next load the kernel module

/sbin/modprobe ntfs

There should be no output. If there are a lot of error messages see the Help Section.

dmesg | grep NTFS

NTFS driver v1.1.22 [Flags: R/O MODULE]

We can now check that the kernel really understands NTFS. The output may vary slightly, but you are looking for the entry ntfs.

cat /proc/filesystems

nodev rootfs
nodev bdev
nodev proc
nodev sockfs
nodev tmpfs
nodev shm
nodev pipefs
nodev ramfs
nodev devpts


Mounting an NTFS Volume is covered in more detail in Section 4 of the FAQ.

First you need to know which device your NTFS Volume is on and you need to create a directory as a mount point.

/sbin/fdisk -l

The output might look like:

Disk /dev/hda: 64 heads, 63 sectors, 4465 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 4032 * 512 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 1 2125 4283968+ 07 NTFS/HPFS
/dev/hda2 2126 19851 35735616 0f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 * 2126 4209 4201312+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda6 4210 4465 516064+ 82 Linux swap

mkdir /mnt/windows
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/windows -t ntfs -r -o umask=0222
ls -l /mnt/windows

-r-xr--r-- 1 root root 9719 Aug 24 1996 ansi.sys
-r-xr--r-- 1 root root 15252 Aug 24 1996 attrib.exe
-r-xr--r-- 1 root root 28096 Aug 24 1996 chkdsk.exe
-r-xr--r-- 1 root root 5175 Aug 24 1996

Hopefully everything is working for you now.


Depends how dependant you are on reading/writing between Windows and Linux, I suggest you create a small FAT partition as stated in corbis_demon post. Will make things alot easier in the long run.


[1] -
[2] -

Last edited by Kristijan; 06-29-2004 at 08:54 AM.


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