2009-01-02

Accessing files (read and write) with dual boot (Windows & Linux)

If you have a computer with a dual boot system (you have installed Windows and Linux on the same computer and you decide which one to use at computer startup) you can easily access files in read and write mode using EXT2 IFS on the Windows side and Linux-NTFS on the Linux side. I have used both of them for quite some time without any problems.

Update: I experienced a problem with EXT2 IFS with accessing the disk partitions on a freshly installed Ubuntu 8.10. Using the mountidag tool (as recommended here) I get this message:
C:\ggorjan\Desktop>mountdiag d:
The volume has an Ext2/Ext3 file system, but the Ext2 IFS 1.11 software did not
mount it because the file system has an inode size unequal to 128 bytes (inode
size: 256 bytes).
The only way to solve it is to back up the volume's files and format the file
system: give the mkfs.ext3 utility the -I 128 switch. Finally, restore all
backed-up files.
After that, the Ext2 IFS software should be able to access the volume.
I did not see this error in the past. I did some googling and found out that new linuxes use larger inode size (whatever this means). I could reformat the linux partitions, but I found out that there are also other solutions beside EXT2 IFS - see this article for more info. Since I want the write support it comes down to use either EXT2 IFS or Ext2fsd. I was a bit afraid to use Ext2fsd, because I do not know it, but I also did no know EXT2 IFS in the past, so I guess that posts at Ubuntu forums gave me confidence. What I did:
  • installed Ext2fsd
  • assigned the drive letters
  • reboot
  • after that I was not able to create a new file on a Linux (Ext3) partition (using the MS Windows OS) --> went to Ext2fsd folder and started the Ext2 Volume Manager --> right click on a partition --> Ext2 Management --> Check out the readonly option
  • reboot
  • voila!

3 comments:

John said...

That's very useful to know.

Do you ever use VMWare? I sometimes run a Linux virtual machine on a Windows host. I don't know how to share files between operating systems in that set up. Do you?

Gregor Gorjanc said...

I do not have any experience with VMWare or any other virtual "approaches". Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks loads. I just came up against the same problem and now I know what to do.

The latest version of PCLinuxOS also uses the larger 'inode' size and I came up against the identical error message in mountdiag.exe.

I was just about to go to the PCLinuxOS forums to ask if changing to the older, smaller 128 byte size would have disadvantages.

Much easier to follow your advice, go to Ext2FSD, and not mess with the partitions. By the way, Ext2FSD was updated, within the past two weeks.