I am building a new computer soon and I intend on having a 120 GB SSD and a 2 TB Hard Drive. I am also planning on dual booting Arch Linux and Windows 10. I would like to have both OSes on the SSD and my programs, games and other files on the HDD.

My question is if both operating systems (located on the SSD) will be able to access the files on the HDD without conflict. I would prefer to avoid partitioning the hard drive, but would it be advantageous to partition it (the HDD) three ways - Linux programs, Windows programs and shared files?

  • 3
    120 GB is kinda small for installing 2 OSs on there. I would go for 512 GB instead. And you need at least 3 partitions. On the SSD you need a NTFS part. for Windows and an ext4 part. for Linux and on the HDD one big NTFS data partition. You can't install linux applications on that data partition though so make sure your linux partition is large enough. – SpiderPig Oct 8 '17 at 4:28
  • I didn't mention it, but I understood that I would need two partitions on the SSD. I didn't realize you can't install Linux programs on a different hard drive as the OS. Now I'm thinking that I'll split the hard drive between shared data and Linux os/program and split the SSD between Windows OS and Bcache – AndrewAF1 Oct 8 '17 at 16:35
  • You can install linux programs on a different drive, you just can't install them on an ntfs partition. Also when installing an application under linux you usually can't choose where it is installed so if you wanted to use e.g. a second ext4 partition for your programs you would need to mount it at the right location to get linux to use it for saving it's programs. So you could e.g. put /usr and /home on the hdd and everything else on the ssd. – SpiderPig Oct 8 '17 at 23:51

I have done that and in my opinion is best to create 3 partitions (Linux, Windows, and Shared)

You can go for the 2 partitions but you can find some issues, first if you are using Windows 8+ you need to disable the fast startup, also for Windows to read EXT2/3/4 you need to install a program like Ext2Fsd or Ext2explore, Linux can read NTFS with no problems

If you are using a shared document partition i recommend using NTFS by default

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.