I have Linux Mint 14 and Windows 8 installed (dual-booting) on my computer. I mostly use Linux but still need Windows sometimes.

Here's a screenshot of the output of sudo fdisk -l command:

SU528171 example https://dl.dropbox.com/u/37485576/fdisk%20output.png

  • sda1: The 350 MB partition Windows 8 allocates (I still don't know why.)
  • sda2: Windows installation
  • sda3: My shared NTFS drive
  • sda5: Linux Mint 14 installation
  • sda6: Swap area for Linux Mint

Most of my files are in sda3 which I share between the two OSs (kind of like my backup partition). I can access it from both operating systems. However, sometimes my files get corrupted.

Example: I recently downloaded Eclipse and extracted it to a folder in sda3 drive in Linux Mint. It was working fine. Then when I switched to Windows, it asked me to repair my drives because there were some errors. I accepted, Windows did some scanning and restarted. When I switched back to Linux Mint, I noticed that Eclipse wasn't working. When I checked, most of the files in Eclipse folder were corrupted. Similar things happen the other way around as well. Sometimes I'm not able to see and/or open files in Windows that I created/downloaded in Linux Mint. I'm tired of losing files like this.

I know this can be a hardware issue too (my computer is kind of old) but if it is not, is there a better way to share a drive than I currently do (a separate NTFS partition for both)?

Edit after request

df -Th output:
Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda5      ext4       14G   11G  2.5G  81% /
udev           devtmpfs  2.0G  4.0K  2.0G   1% /dev
tmpfs          tmpfs     785M  1.1M  784M   1% /run
none           tmpfs     5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none           tmpfs     2.0G  2.3M  2.0G   1% /run/shm
none           tmpfs     100M   16K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sda3      fuseblk   201G  186G   16G  93% /media/mAt

uname -a output:
Linux mAt-VAIO 3.5.0-21-generic #32-Ubuntu SMP Tue Dec 11 18:51:59 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linu


  • Could you retry that command and paste the text output for us? df -Th. Can you include your kernel version uname -a too. – invert Jan 15 '13 at 10:06
  • I edited my question. – mAt Jan 16 '13 at 10:27


NTFS support in Linux has always been shoddy. On July 14th, 2006, the ntfs-3g package was considered stable, but there's still the potential for problems, such as check disk returning issues and the partition being flagged as unclean.

Is NTFS absolutely necessary? Could you get away with the partition being formatted as FAT32 or something more common between the two?

  • I'm not a fan of NTFS either. I only use it because it's the one I know that I can use in both OSs. What exactly do you mean by "something more common between the two"? There have been suggestions to me to use exFAT for example from someone else. – mAt Jan 4 '13 at 18:14
  • @mAt AFAIK, NTFS is proprietary to Windows, but they have released enough code to make it accessible by non-Windows systems. The tools for this have issues when dealing with writing to NTFS, but FAT16/32 is accessible by most (if not all) operating systems. exFAT is also proprietary, but there is better support for it via fuse-exfat. – Kruug Jan 4 '13 at 18:21
  • 1
    Personally I had minimal issues with corrupt files on ntfs, albeit I agree it is not a format to choose if you can avoid it. FAT32 will work fine, barring the obvious file system limitations of 4GB per file, and 32GB per volume. Those are serious limitations on today's hardware. – invert Jan 15 '13 at 10:10
  • exFAT doesn't have the limitations right? – pratnala Mar 6 '13 at 14:54
  • @invert FAT32 can have volumes up to 2TB. – Bob Mar 6 '13 at 14:55

I used to use FAT16 or FAT32 for an external hard drive, on which I kept my photo collection. This worked fine for years. But one day, I accidentally moved the usb cable during a file write operation and the momentary disconnection corrupted the index, making all the files invisible.

With a lot of work, I recovered the files, but not the original folder structure or file names, so this was a major disaster. From what I read afterward, more modern file systems would have coped better with such an incident. So recently, after purchasing a new external disk drive, I formatted it as NTFS under Linux, in order to be able to share with Windows computers if necessary. Unfortunately, as I've now discovered, Windows computers aren't able to recognize the drive. So I guess I'll have to re-format it again as NTFS from a Windows computer, and hope that Linux is okay with that.

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