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Hi, I'm dual-booting vista and linux on my 160 gb hardrive. I want to be able to access the same files on both my linux and vista operating systems. The ...
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  1. #1
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    How should I format my drive


    Hi, I'm dual-booting vista and linux on my 160 gb hardrive. I want to be able to access the same files on both my linux and vista operating systems. The distro I'm running is mandriva linux 2007.1 spring. From my understanding there are certain partition types that both OSes would recognize such as fat32 or ntfs-3g. I would like to know which types allow for this and what their advantages and disadvantages are. Secondly, I want to know how big I should create my root partition? (that should be ext3, right?). In windows I understand that when you install a program certain data has to be put onto the main partition. Is linux the same way? If I install more programs would the root partition have to be bigger or can all the data be stored on my /home partition? Thirdly, I wanted to know how big I should make my swap partition. I have 2 GB of ram and play a lot of games. Many people seem to say that the standard suggestion of 2 * ram doesn't apply any more and that there are no benefits past having 1gb of swap. However, when I recently installed mandriva linux 2007.1 spring I think it automatically allocated 3gb for swap (though I'm not positive). I would think the people down at mandriva would know what they are doing. Plus, if 2gb of ram is really enough, why do some people opt to get 4gb of ram. I understand the performance increase of more ram past 2gb is very minimal right now, but isn't there some performance boost? If so shouldn't there also be a boost by creating larger swap?

    I'm new to linux and appreciate your help. Without the great community I would never have switched.

  2. #2
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I'd recommend something like the following:

    Code:
    / ext3 (about 10 to 12 GB)
    swap (you don't need one with 2gb RAM)
    /home ext3 (about 10 to 12 GB)
    Regarding the swap partition thing, I have only 1 GB of RAM with a 512 MB swap file, and in the 4 years I've had it, the swap file has never been touched, so that tells me that I don't really need the swap file either. I do have plenty of HD space, so I go ahead and keep it, just in case.

    Hope you have fun with Linux.

    oz
    oz

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    Will windows be able to read my data on the ext3 partition? I thought it wouldn't be able to. Also, are there any disadvantages to having swap/larger swap besides for space. Someone on another forum said it uses up battery even when not in use. Is that true?

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aviynw View Post
    Will windows be able to read my data on the ext3 partition?
    It would be easier to create a fat32 partition to share files between Linux and Windows.
    are there any disadvantages to having swap/larger swap besides for space. Someone on another forum said it uses up battery even when not in use. Is that true?
    As suggested by ozar, If you have 1 GB of RAM, you probably don't need it, for systems with much less RAM, the swap space is just where Linux stores information while it does other things, so more swap space means more memory to do other things.

    By the way, swap does not use battery when not in use.
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    you said it would be easier to use fat32 but does that imply I would be able to do it with an ext3? I know there are programs that do that wiith xp but didn't think similar programs were available for vista yet. If I am able to do it with vista is an ext3 partition better than fat32? What other partition types can I use?

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    what are the performance differences between ext3 and fat32 if there are any? I want to create a shared partition but don't want to sacrifice performance. How well do the programs that allow vista to access ext3 work and how well do the programs that let linux access ntfs work? I think using fat32 for the shared partition is best option, but I just want to make sure. Also, I still want to know how much space I should leave for the root partition. Can I make it so that no program files are stored there so that only the os files are there?

    Also, is there a 4gb file limit in fat32? Understanding File-Size Limits on NTFS and FAT

  7. #7
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    what are the performance differences between ext3 and fat32 if there are any?
    I haven't noticed any performance increase or decrease using these filesystems.
    How well do the programs that allow vista to access ext3 work and how well do the programs that let linux access ntfs work?
    I don't use Vista, or any other MS products, but I do know NTFS is fairly easy to read/write using nt3g
    NTFS-3G: Stable Read/Write NTFS Driver
    I think using fat32 for the shared partition is best option, but I just want to make sure.
    Yes, create a fat32 partition for sharing.
    Also, I still want to know how much space I should leave for the root partition.
    10 GB minimum in my opinion.
    Also, is there a 4gb file limit in fat32?
    I don't believe so. I have a 50 GB fat32 that I use for sharing.
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  8. #8
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTbob View Post
    I don't believe so. I have a 50 GB fat32 that I use for sharing.
    I think he's talking about the 4 GB file size limit for any files you store on a fat32 partition.
    oz

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Well in that case, I haven't a clue, I have no 4GB files to check it with! heh
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  10. #10
    oz
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    lol... the answer is yes, there is a 4GB limit on individual file size for files stored on fat32, so if you are going to download any large DVD iso's to be stored on the fat32 partition, your downloads will stop at 4 GB.
    oz

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