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Originally Posted by IsaacKuo The most elegant way to do this is to format the third drive in NTFS and set Windows to put your My Documents folder on the ...
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    The most elegant way to do this is to format the third drive in NTFS and set Windows to put your My Documents folder on the third drive. Then, in Linux, you use symlinks to point various folders within your home folder to the corresponding folders in that My Documents folder. In particular, you would symlink ~/Music to "/media/drive3/My Documents/My Music" or whatever specific location Windows decided to put your "My Music" folder.

    The reason for doing it this way is because Windows doesn't support links very well, but Linux does. Windows has folder links, but a lot of software doesn't really handle them properly. So, it's best to just let Windows decide to put stuff where it will, and then adapt Linux to point to those locations.

    There are various ways to create symlinks using the GUI, but I'm only really familiar with making them with the command line. Here's an example:

    1) open up a terminal window
    2) remove the existing empty folder with: rmdir Music
    3) create the symbolic link with: ln -s "/media/drive3/My Documents/My Music/" Music

    Linux will let you use NTFS or any other supported file system for its home folder. But if you try to do it using a graphical Linux installer, it will probably warn you that it's not a good idea.

    There are a bunch of (usually hidden) preference files stored in your home folder that depend on Linux/Unix style file permissions in order to function properly. If it's on a file system like NTFS which doesn't have the same sort of file permissions, the software will behave in weird ways and sometimes not function at all.

    That said, the visible folders within the typical home folder, such as "Music" or "Pictures" or "Downloads", are just places to store files. It's safe to mount them or link them to any old file system, or even just remove them entirely. Linux software generally isn't picky about whether these folders even exist, much less where they are, specifically.
    I think this will work quite well.

  2. #12
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    Follow up question:

    If I use RAID 1 for my data drive (2 1tb drives). My motherboard uses fakraid which I know is basically software raid. Since it is controlled by the OS, I just wanted to make sure that windows and linux wouldn't handle it differently and mess stuff up.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmobbJr View Post
    Follow up question:

    If I use RAID 1 for my data drive (2 1tb drives). My motherboard uses fakraid which I know is basically software raid. Since it is controlled by the OS, I just wanted to make sure that windows and linux wouldn't handle it differently and mess stuff up.
    I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure it will work completely independently of the OS. If you give some details about the motherboard chipset, we could probably confirm for sure.

    For my own purposes, I never had a situation where RAID1 was the best solution. RAID1 is useful for situations where 2+ copies need to always be up-to-the-second up to date. Basically, situations where you have a database full of a lot of data that's constantly being updated and processed. And yet, the RAID controller itself remains a single point of failure...usually some sort of cluster is what's really called for.

    For a personal shared data space, you typically have a lot of mostly static files that are *not* updated constantly. In these situations, I find it better to have a backup mirror which is periodically updated via rsync (a software tool which can do incremental backups--identifying only the changed/new/deleted files and only copies over the changed/new files).

    I always prefer rsync for this, because it saves me from an "oops". As in, "oops", I didn't mean to delete that file. Or "oops", I meant to rename that file before saving. With RAID1, the "oops" is mirrored instantly on all copies. With periodic rsync, I can rescue myself with one of my backups.

    Also, it's trivial to set up rsync to back up to a different computer, even a different OS, or an external drive, and such...in practical terms, this minimizes my downtime. If anything in my main file server fails, I just start using one of my other computers as a backup file server in the meantime. Your situation is different, assuming you just have the one computer, but even so I suggest you consider doing a periodic incremental backup via rsync rather than RAID1.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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