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I want to dual-boot my PC with Linux and Windows. Is it possible to save a file on my Windows partition and when I load the Linux partition, be able to see that saved file on Windows and visa versa?

Example:
While in Windows, I download a file called foo.txt in C:\foo.txt.
I switch over to Linux. Would I be able to see that text file and edit it?

I'm using Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I think it's a FAT32 hard drive.

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What version of Windows exactly are you using? Is the data partition you want to share FAT32 or NTFS? If we are talking about NTFS you run the risk of files being corrupted since most versions of Linux( Ubuntu for example ) has unofficial NTFS drivers. –  Ramhound Feb 15 '13 at 13:21
    
@Ramhound: have you ever experienced this potential problem? I've heard about it, but I did "Run Linux -> mount Windows/NTFS file system -> copy/modify files" on a dual-boot system for over a year without any issues. –  Ash Feb 15 '13 at 13:50
    
Don't forget that Linux and Windows have different line-endings for text files. While many editors can automatically detect and handle this, Notepad (the Windows default) can not! –  KevinM Feb 15 '13 at 13:50
    
@Ash Same here.. I've been mounting NTFS partitions under Linux no problem. Well, almost - I find them much slower than native linux partitions, but I've never detected any data corruption. –  KevinM Feb 15 '13 at 13:51
    
@Ramhound @Ash @KevinM I'm using windows 7 and ubuntu. And I'm pretty sure it be FAT32 drive. –  Rob Avery IV Feb 15 '13 at 13:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, this is possible. It can be done in several ways:

  1. If the windows partition is FAT or FAT32 then you can just mount it.
    The syntax for that is mount -t vfat /dev/sdax /mnt/My_windows_drive.
    Replace the sdax with the correct partition and /mnt/My_windows_drive with a folder of your choosing.
  2. If the windows partition is NTFS then you can do it the same way, but change vfat to ntfs.
    WARNING: Older versions were unreliable when writing to NTFS. I heard this got solved, but I am still not comfortable with writing to a NTFS formatted volume.
  3. Or you can just create a third partition on the drive and share that. (E.g. c: for windows boot and programs, D:(FAT32) for shared data. [E:] for Linux.
  4. Finally, you can also do the reverse and mount the linux partitions from windows. See the ext2 filesystem driver for windows.
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