Ubuntu File System Format Issue


My computer has 2 hard drives, a 500GB WDC and a 2TB Seagate.

the 500GB WDC is a full partition running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit in NTFS format

The 2TB Seagate has Ubuntu 11.10 using RAW format.

My problem is, Windows7 does not "see" the 2TB Seagate in My Computer. It does show up in Computer Management. Windows7 will not let me do anything with this drive without a full re-format it seems.

Here is what I would like to do.

1. Shrink the Ubuntu partition to 500GB on the 2TB drive, and if possible, convert it to a format Windows7 can use (so I can transfer files between operating systems if I desire)

2. I would like to use the remaining space on the drive as a partition for bulk storage to be accessed by both operating systems (NTFS format?).

3. I would like to be able to do this without having to reinstall Ubuntu, or data loss on the Ubuntu partition.

Can I do this? And if so, how?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Best answer
    Sure. Install something like Paragon Hard Disk Manager (there is a free edition) in Windows and use it to shrink the Ubuntu partition and create a new one in the free space. Although Linux is pretty good at supporting NTFS the absolutely safest format to use for the shared partition would be FAT32. The big drawback with this format is that it doesn't support files bigger than 4GB (-1 byte). If you may need to store bigger files then use NTFS.

    Make sure that you keep Ubuntu as the first partition on your disk (presuming it is now the first, or only, partition). As always, back up any important data on the partition before resizing.
  2. I would download GParted and create a bootable disk to handle the resizing of your partitions. Very inutuitive and clean. Probably should backup data of course, but you shouldn't lose anything.

    As far as reading your linux partition from Windows, are you using Ext4 or Ext3? If Ext3, there is a driver for Windows that will allow it to be read as usual. , I'm not sure about Ext4. Linux will handle all just fine, but Windows is very picky.
  3. there is ext4 driver, but many features that make ext4 good (like journal,extents...) are not yet implemented.
  4. Best answer selected by nekulturny.
  5. Thanks guys, all of your suggestions were useful, I got it doing what I need it to do.
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