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Okay, I've somehow convinced myself to install Mint Linux (15: Olivia) beside my lovely Windows 8 operating system. Now, the only problem I have is sharing files between the two Operating Systems. What I used to have with my Windows 7 and Windows 8 install was a triple partition with the Win8 and Win7 Operating Systems in separate partitions, then another with all my files and what not. I want to have the same setup, though swapping the Win7 partition with Mint Linux, though I'm told that there are compatibility issues? Any light that can be shed on this would be absolutely wonderful, and thanks in advance!

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closed as not a real question by Karan, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Breakthrough, Mokubai, Journeyman Geek Jun 24 '13 at 2:30

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What compatibility issues were you told about? – Renan Jun 20 '13 at 0:53
I'm not quite sure, just that Mint would be unable to see the partition or something like that. I haven't tried it yet, I'm still trying to locate the Gparted website so I can. – Deka Swap Jun 20 '13 at 0:56
Use NTFS for your data partition, as has been discussed many times already here (for example). NTFS-3g is stable. If you face an actual issue during usage (not doubts based on hearsay) you can post a new question about it. – Karan Jun 20 '13 at 1:06
The gparted website (1st google result for GParted surprisingly enough): – terdon Jun 20 '13 at 1:30

Just to set the record straight, Linux NEVER had problems reading any Windows partitions. It is Windows that cannot read Linux partitions. The compatibility problems you heard about were about NTFS. A few years ago (about 10 or so) it was slightly complicated to set up your Linux Desktop and have it write to NTFS partitions. It was always possible, it is just that the software that enables that was new and buggy and sometimes had trouble writing. As far as I know reading was never a problem.

Now, Windows, probably through a conscious marketing strategical choice, has never supported reading or writing from anything other than the native Windows file systems such as VFAT and NTFS. It is possible, but you need third party software and it is not transparent. Both Macs and Linux and Unix etc can deal with various file systems, as far as I know it is only Windows that has decided to hobble itself in such a way.

Anyway, NTFS-3G, the *nix software that enables reading and writing on NTFS partitions is now very mature and stable. So much so that it is included in the Linux kernel. What this means in practical terms is that your Linux OS can read and write to an NTFS partition out of the box, you shouldn't need to install or do anything else.

Bottom line, create a shared data partition using the NTFS file system and both Linux and Windows will happily be able to read and write from/to it.

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Terdon I beg to differ (still love you). I tried to get my desktop (linux) to read my laptops (Windows) harddrive. It laughed in my face and wouldn't let me copy anything over. It can see it (unlike windows to linux) but I can't get it to read off. – Griffin Jun 21 '13 at 0:25
@Griffin if you dont have any NTFS disks on your desktop, you might not have ntfs3g loaded. It may also be something completely different. Can't know unless you give more info. Is it a very old Linux? Did you try to manually mount it? Why don't you post a question about it? Anyways, good to know you still love me :). – terdon Jun 21 '13 at 0:30
Didn't post a question because I fixed the problem using the intertubes. What I had however was Linux Mint (13 ?) and it showed up so I mounted it and such but I couldn't pull files. I don't remember if I played around with ntfs3g but since then the roles have switched my laptop is now linux and desktop windows. So yea it's good now. – Griffin Jun 21 '13 at 0:33

Besides NTFS, you can share an ext3 home partition to hold your personal documents between Windows and Linux. ext2fsd is a driver that can mount your ext3 partitions within Windows, like mapping a disk to a drive letter. This way you gain the benefits of the ext3 file system, like journaling, and you can still access your files in Windows. I have used it myself, it works well.

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To access Linux partitions from windows :

You can use

  1. Ext2Fsd
  2. DiskInternals Linux Reader (search google for link)
  3. Ext2explore (search google for link)

(Sorry I don't have much reputation to add more than 2 links)

Among the above softwares I have only used DiskInternals and it was awesome. I don't know about the other two. But if any of the above gives an option to file system write, in my opinion it would be wise to not use that feature as that can mess up the things.

To access Windows partition from Linux:

It is natively supported by Linux, it is just the matter of mounting the correct partition and using it. A useful link is here. Here also it is better to avoid file system writing to avoid inconsistencies.


I don't know sharing a partition between windows and Linux is how much effective. I have done this once and I pretty much messed it up :) . But if you can use it properly the idea is not that bad.

Happy hacking :)

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