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Last Post by JANINE
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You can read NTFS with Linux, just do not WRITE to an NTFS drive with Linux.

I switched everything to Fat32 and have no problem sharing files and folders

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I understood that you cannot switch from ntfs to fat32...can you tell me how?

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it is not possible to have two file systems operating on the same hard disk drive and taking into account that FAT 32 is an older file allocation table why do you really want to switch it anyway.

failing that just operate a machine with two individual hard drives and install an O/S on each one. the two hard drives will format according to the O/S file allocation table. You will be given an option when the P.C boots up as to which operating system you want to use. If you want to share files the easiest thing to do is save the file as a standard text (txt) file onto a removable medium i.e a CD/RW or floppy disk and then shut down that O/S and then boot into the other one and take the file off the removable medium. save it to the hard drive as whatever file you like. sorted

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yes, I agree on not going backwards to fat32. but that is the file system on the unix/linux distros, no? I haven´t made the decision yet as to linux or unix, a techy that I trust told me that freeBSD is the best for someone that knows unix programming.

so, to recap, if I go with two HDs, which sounds reasonable, then when I´m in whatever unix I choose, I can at least read the second drive and transfer files to the other O/S?

that would be workable...

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FreeBSD is just like Linux, in the respect that support is only stable in a read-only environment. You'll want to have some kind of FAT32 partition, or a network share, if you want to move data between the two OSes.

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Hello,

It is possible to have two different file systems on the same physical hard drive -- any linux box with a swap partition has filesystem for the files, and another system for the swap data.

Or you can take a hard drive, and put a FAT32 partition on it, and an NTFS partition on it. They are two different file systems on the same physical drive.

You cannot put two file systems in the same partition however.

Christian

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so how could i put two file systems on the same hard drive without any conflicts or problems.

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speaking of which i have a something that i am not sure of myself. i have an IBM thinkpad laptop running WinXP pro. when i go to defrag the hard drive it shows that the file system is FAT 32. i though that Winxp used the other format of NTFS 5. if this is the case how on earth do i convert it. i dont have the origional disks.

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so how could i put two file systems on the same hard drive without any conflicts or problems.

As Christian said, filesystems are specific to partitions, not drives. Given that, the way to have more than one filesystem on a drive is to partition/repartition the drive into multiple partitions; you can then format each individual partition with whatever filesystem you want.

Most Windoze users only have one partition which occupies the entire drive, so they tend to think of "drive" and "partition" as the same thing, and rarely have to delve into the concept of partitions at all. On the other hand, users of Linux, UNIX, BSD, etc. are usually pretty familiar with the concept of multiple partitions ("slices", in BSD terminology), because those operating systems often consist of at least two partitions. *NIX users are also much more likely to have more than one operating system installed on a single drive, because many of them also use some version of Windows.

I agree on not going backwards to fat32. but that is the file system on the unix/linux distros, no?

FAT, FAT32, and NTFS are Microsoft filesystem formats; the most common Linux filesystems are ext3, ext2, and ReiserFS; none of which Windows operating systems can natively understand. Linux does have full native read and write support for FAT/FAT32 though, which makes FAT32 a good format for any partition that contains data that you might want to share between Linux and Windows.

For a dual-boot Win/Linux system where the Windows OS is on an NTFS partition, one common tactic is to create a separate FAT32-formatted partition dedicated to data shared between the two OSes.

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i have an IBM thinkpad laptop running WinXP pro. when i go to defrag the hard drive it shows that the file system is FAT 32. i though that Winxp used the other format of NTFS 5. if this is the case how on earth do i convert it.

XP can be installed on a FAT32 partition, but NTFS is prefered, basically due to the fact that it's more robust, efficient, and has greater networking and security related features.

It would be strange for someone to choose to do a fresh/full install of XP Pro onto a FAT partition, but it's certainly possible to do. Another way you could end up with XP on a FAT partition is if you upgraded an existing 95/98/ME installation to XP.

Even if you don't have your original setup disks, you can still convert from FAT/FAT32 to NTFS using XP's built-in "convert" utility. A bit more info on the process can be found here:
http://aumha.org/win5/a/ntfscvt.php

The convert process should leave your data intact, but it's definitely a good idea to do a backup before attempting the conversion.

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OK, DMR, I've been reading all this with great interest, since I'm going to set up a unix machine soon. Since I don´t really need it but used to be a unix programmer, I can afford to be patient and do it the best way that I can learn how. Given that hard drives are so cheap, I have more than one option, although it would be nice if I could put three of them into one computer, which I don't believe you can do, at least with windows.

So, I'm going to use Win2Kpro, I don't like XP. Here are the scenarios I am contemplating:

1. One big HD with three partitions, one unix, one ntfs and the third, a smaller one with fat32.

2. Two HD´s, one with windows and the other with unix, whichever flavor. I suppose the smaller fat32 partition should go on the windows HD.

Your take? and opinion on which would be better? What size HD would you suggest in each case. I´ve seen 250GB at reasonable prices and that is a LOT more than I have in any of my machines at present, in fact, not even close.

Thanks

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but used to be a unix programmer...

With a UNIX background, you shouldn't have much problem at all in a Linux or BSD environment. Although there are obviously some differences between all of the *NIX variants, I think you'll find most of the commands, file structures, programming tools, shells (sh, bash, csh, tcsh, etc.) available in BSD and/or Linux to be familiar.

Given that hard drives are so cheap, I have more than one option, although it would be nice if I could put three of them into one computer, which I don't believe you can do, at least with windows.

Sure you can. Windows has nothing to do with how many drives you can have in a system; that's a function of the 'puter itself. Even if you run out of available IDE/SATA drive connections on the motherboard, you can always add PCI drive controller/expansion cards to give to you more room for growth. The only limits there are essentially the physical space in the computer's chassis and the size (wattage-wise) of the power supply.

Heck- one of the computers on my network (a lowly P-III 500 even) is multi-booting 6 operating systems: Win 98, 2000, and XP Pro, as well as two versions of Red Hat and one verison of Mandrake. Three drives, 24 partitions total, all co-existing happy as clams.

What you said about the fact that drives are pretty cheap now is true though, and given that, I'd suggest adding more drives as opposed to trying to repartition your current drive. You run less of a risk of doing something bad to your current Windows installation if you put any additional operating systems on their own separate drive(s).

In terms of suggestions on drive sizes, sizes and number of partitions, etc., have a look at the (*cough!* *shameless plug!*) resources here.

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very nice, thanks...

The one thing I have noticed in all that I have read on the subject so far (just a trifle actually), is that the vast majority of *nix users don´t stick with one distro. They all seem to try, not two or three, but five, six and seven different ones. And each one has his own opinion and reason for using one.

I´m sort of amazed at this. Not asking for an explanation, this is just an observation on my part, which I´m certain is not unique.

I haven´t really paid much attention to this phenomena, since I am in the sales end of the computer business (where Win is king) and sort of let go of my programming roots but these days, I´m thinking of getting back in. unix seems like the best place to progress. I am having a hard time figuring out how these guys make money in that sector. Maybe in support. I hate to sink so low as to think about how to make a living but unfortunately, I have not as yet figured out how to survive without the dreaded...cash.

But it looks like fun and I appreciate the help on the subject, especially the reference - will be there...

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The one thing I have noticed in all that I have read on the subject so far (just a trifle actually), is that the vast majority of *nix users don´t stick with one distro. They all seem to try, not two or three, but five, six and seven different ones. And each one has his own opinion and reason for using one.

I´m sort of amazed at this...

Amazed? That's understandable; I think most people who live primarilly in the Windows World would have the same take on the situation. What usually happens with serious *NIX users though is that they will try many different distros to start with, will perhaps even use multiple distros for a long time, but will eventually decide on a single distro that fits them best. At that point, it isn't uncommon for them to become strangely religious about their choice; an almost evangelical thing which invarialbly leads to what are commomnly known as Distro Wars. These are not pretty; if you've ever run across those "evangelical" types of Mac users, you've only seen the tip of the iceberg I'm talking about. Put a die-hard Slackware user and a Mac zealot in the ring together and you'll see what I mean; just be sure to put your money on the Slacker! :mrgreen:

The basic thing is that *NIX variants, and Linux in particular, offer so many choices, and that isn't something Win users are very accustomed to.

- How do you want your desktop to look/feel/act? Hmm.... most Linux distros come with at least two GUI environments right out of the box, and many others are available as free downloads.

- Do you want to program? No problem- most distros come with a wide variety of programming/development suites (C, C++, Perl, Python, etc.) included as part of their installation package, and whatever else you might want or need is again just a download away.

- Web browsers? Linux users have had multiple choices of those long before Windows users even knew what a "Firefox" was. The same goes for email applications and other types of programs.

- Being open-source, even the operating systems themselves can be custom-tailored to your particular system. You can compile a Linux kernel such that it includes/uses only those features which apply to the system on which you're installing it. This means that, quite unlike Windows, you'll have no unnecessary processes/programs chewing up CPU, memory, and disk resources.

In terms of making money in the open-source world, keep in mind that open-source does not have to mean free. Sure- if you use a piece of someone else's code in your project, and that code is released under the GPL, you are bound by the terms of the GPL as well. However, if you write your own program from scratch, there's nothing stopping you from charging for it.

Votes + Comments
Awesome explanation-- I haven't given you rep in a while-- Alex
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I love this thread...
The choices you have ... Everything on one large drive or multiple drives...
Either works just fine. I have both situations here on different machines.

I too have two distros that I use and another dozen I experiment with some of which are task specific. Networking, Windows recovery etc..

When a Windows user gets all of the free to try options we just go friggin NUTS....
Then we find one or even two and get back to work tinkering and tweaking it.

I run 98se fat32, XP fat32 (Sorry but I dislike NTFS), Ext3 swap partition, ext3 linux partition on this machine...

My Linux can read and write to either of my Windows partitions

And I would not be a true Penguin if I didnt say... Knoppix Rules... Others Droolz

Have fun..

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Hello,

I resemble some of those comments by DMR! Mac people have a religious obligation to the platform. When you have hardware blessed by the almight God of Fruit, there are expectations to adhear to....

Seriously though...

Great discussion involving partitions, drives, and operating systems. Good to see the flexibility of the OS be explored here.

I am a Linux fan... my personal choice is RedHat, although I am migrating to Fedora Core on most platforms as time allows. If you really get deep into Linux computing, you will find that you will compile and install a bunch of handy tools (sendmail, webserver, ftp server, tape backup crontabs, dictionaries, web based email, graphical software, the list goes on...) and it is not often the case of an easy installation of an upgrade disk!

One thing I would like to mention to the readers out there... don't play with partition toys such as Partition Magic. That software works the drive over, and it would be very easy to corrupt your disk so that it turns useless. Always backup. I personally never use the utility, as I prefer to setup disks and servers from scratch.

Enjoy,

Christian

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When you have hardware blessed by the almight God of Fruit...

What? Steve Jobs is a fruit? Well I'll be... you learn something new every day.

:mrgreen:

One thing I would like to mention to the readers out there... don't play with partition toys such as Partition Magic. That software works the drive over, and it would be very easy to corrupt your disk so that it turns useless.

Indeed. They don't call it Partition Tragic without reason; many users have had problems because they've prepped a drive with PM instead of just using the partitioning tools built in to a distro's installation routine. I don't believe this is as much of an issue with newer versions of PM, but I too prefer to use the Linux-native partitioning utilities when prepping drives.

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And I would not be a true Penguin if I didnt say... Knoppix Rules... Others Droolz

lol. See- Distro War flame; what'd I tell ya'?

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Ext3 swap partition

ext3 != swap; they are different filesystems.

And I would not be a true Penguin if I didnt say... Knoppix Rules... Others Droolz

Not a true Penguin, but a true Knoppix user :cheesy:

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OK, DMR, I've been reading all this with great interest, since I'm going to set up a unix machine soon. Since I don´t really need it but used to be a unix programmer, I can afford to be patient and do it the best way that I can learn how. Given that hard drives are so cheap, I have more than one option, although it would be nice if I could put three of them into one computer, which I don't believe you can do, at least with windows.

So, I'm going to use Win2Kpro, I don't like XP. Here are the scenarios I am contemplating:

1. One big HD with three partitions, one unix, one ntfs and the third, a smaller one with fat32.

2. Two HD´s, one with windows and the other with unix, whichever flavor. I suppose the smaller fat32 partition should go on the windows HD.

Your take? and opinion on which would be better? What size HD would you suggest in each case. I´ve seen 250GB at reasonable prices and that is a LOT more than I have in any of my machines at present, in fact, not even close.

Thanks

I personally think that either of the scenarios you've mentioned here look good. My only suggestion is that you include a swap partition for Linux/Unix. If you're using an OS like Free/Net/OpenBSD, that's is included in the "slice" allocated by that BSD. (Slices are what BSD calls our partitions; BSD partitions are within these slices). If you're using Linux, you'll want to devote a dedicated partition for swap space. Be sure to make this partition at least twice the space of your physical RAM. If you've got more than 512MB, you might be able to get away with having only the same amount of swap as RAM, but I still go for twice the space even though I've got 768MB.

As far as suggesting a hard drive size, the bigger the better. Buy as much as you can afford, so you won't have ot buy again.

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ext3 != swap; they are different filesystems.

Actually, I created 5 Ext3's and went in and changed one to swap..


Not a true Penguin, but a true Knoppix user :cheesy:

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck...

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Thanks for all advice and suggestions. Right now, since I´m typing on a Win machine with ntfs on a single 17GB drive, I´m contemplating adding a second drive of maybe 250GB. Heck, I saw one in Sam´s for only about $100 or so. So, with all that space and all the different systems out there, I´m thinking I need to put up BSD and a couple of flavors of linux.

But then, I think, well, maybe I´ll just add a scsi rack with several 20 or so GB HDs, because I can get them for $50 apiece, and have a real nifty system with a drive for each O/S. I´m not confused, but just heady at all the options. You know, we Windows users are not used to this, guys...:mrgreen: ...I may OD...

But being a hardware freak, I´m really excited about having an additional cabinet and power supply with about three more drives in it. Or maybe I´m freaking out about all this??

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Okay. I've gotten a little confused as this thread went on, but there was some nuggets of info at the start.

I've got a Dell laptop with WinXP home. I want to be able to dual-boot into FreeBSD as well. Everything I have read to this point has said that the partitioner in fbsd does not support NTFS, which is what my machine is in now.

How can I turn this POS into a dual-boot fbsd/winxp machine, without having to wipe and start from scratch? It looks like using Partition Magic is not the way to go, but it was the way I've been thinking of going. Seeing as how this is a laptop, adding a new drive isn't possible.

Here's the basic specs of my machine:
30 GB drive (16 used)
NTFS partition
512 MB memory

Is it possible to repartition the hard drive, keeping my current data intact, so that I can install fbsd? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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The early Partition Magic did have some issues but I have adjusted and created partitions on hundreds of systems without a single problem with the newer version 8.

I agree using High level tools to make low level adjustments has certain dangers.

The only alternative to a high level tool is to rebuild it from scratch...

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The early Partition Magic did have some issues but I have adjusted and created partitions on hundreds of systems without a single problem with the newer version 8.

Right. As I said earlier, newer versions of Partition Magic don't seem to cause the types of problems that earlier versions did.

Also- even the earlier versions of PM worked fairly well with Windows systems; problems cropped up more often for non-Windows users. IIRC that had, at least partially, something to do with the way that PM dealt with partition and cylinder boundary alignments.

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Okay. I've gotten a little confused as this thread went on, but there was some nuggets of info at the start.

I've got a Dell laptop with WinXP home. I want to be able to dual-boot into FreeBSD as well. Everything I have read to this point has said that the partitioner in fbsd does not support NTFS, which is what my machine is in now.

How can I turn this POS into a dual-boot fbsd/winxp machine, without having to wipe and start from scratch? It looks like using Partition Magic is not the way to go, but it was the way I've been thinking of going. Seeing as how this is a laptop, adding a new drive isn't possible.

Here's the basic specs of my machine:
30 GB drive (16 used)
NTFS partition
512 MB memory

Is it possible to repartition the hard drive, keeping my current data intact, so that I can install fbsd? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

If there's some Linux-based tool to resize partitions that you can run from a LiveCD, you can use it, then install FreeBSD. Otherwise, you might just want to wipe and reinstall.

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In linux you can use the following for writing to NTFS

Captive NTFS allows write to NTFS drives (free uses wine) - Apparently slow
also
Paragon NTFS Driver does (commertial) - Exceedingly good

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