Mac OS X and Win7 - do I need mutual partition or not?

I'm doing a clean install of Snow Leopard and I'd like to install Windows 7 with Boot Camp Assistant as well. I'd like to be able to copy my files from one partition to another in both OSs, because I'm sure there will be situations when I'll need to open a file on Win7 partition in Snow Leopard (and vice versa).

My questions are:

1.) Will Finder in Mac OS recognize Win7's partition (the same goes for Windows Explorer in Win7)? Or do I need to make third partition later (mutual one)?
2.) Will the third (mutual) partition be recognized automatically on both OSs (in Finder and WinExplorer) or do I have to configure something?

Thanks in advance!
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  1. One more question...

    If I'd have to make third partition, I'd give each OS 1/4 of my HDD and other half to the third partition. Could I create (=split) third partition from my Win7 partition (Boot Camp will probably format it as NTFS) or is creating new partition only possible from Mac OS Extended Journaled partition (where my Snow Leopard will be installed)?

    I'm asking this because I need to know how much of my HDD do I have to give to Win7 in Boot Camp. For example: if creating new partition is possible from NTFS, I'll give 3/4 to Win7 and then later create new partition from NTFS partition by splitting it 1/3 to Win7 and 2/3 to third one, so that third one gets 1/2 of my whole HDD.

    Sorry for being so confusing, but I don't know how to explain this in detail in any other way.
  2. 1) (Assuming it is an NTFS partition for W7 and HFS for OSX) The Finder will see your W7 partition, but it will be as Read-Only. You'll need something like NTFS3G (free) to get the full read-write privilege. W7 shouldn't see the HFS partition at all (XP doesn't, and I don't see why W7 would). You will need something like MacDrive (not free) to gain access.

    2) If you format the third partition as FAT32, you will have access from both OS, read and write. If it is indeed a NTFS partition, see #1 above.

    3) Good question. For me the third partition as FAT32 isn't practical, because of the 4GB per file limitation. I prefer the NTFS3G way describe above, with 2 partitions. A third partition as transit can be done as needed with an external hard drive anyway.
  3. Thanks for the answer. I'll just split my whole HDD in half with Boot Camp, no third partition, and use MacDrive and NTFS3G.

    How do I change write permissions with NTFS3G? I tried it a while back (to write on NTFS external HDD) and it didn't work for me back then. I only installed it though. Is there more to it?
  4. You should have all the settings you need in the NTFS3G preference panel in System Preferences.
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