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I want to install a dual boot, Ubuntu and Windows 7 but I want to be able to access my stored files, documents, music, pictures etc from either OS.

I already have Ubuntu installed so if there's away without re-installing

I am, as you might have guessed new to Ubuntu so its all a bit new and strange.
If there is a nice step by step tutorial.

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3 Answers 3

In Ubuntu, you can access your Windows partition by opening Home Folder and clicking you Windows partition (usually named Windows 7 or OS) from the sidebar.

In Windows, accessing you Ubuntu partition is a bit more complicated because Ubuntu uses the ext4 filesystem.

Steps to access a Ubuntu partition in Windows(source):

  1. First, download ext2Fsd.

  2. You need to set the compatibility options in order to install it in Windows 7. Right-Click the ext2Fsd file you downloaded and select Properties. Choose Windows 7 from the dropdown list and select Apply.

  3. Install the Program.

  4. Download the patch for ext4 filesystems here.

  5. Unzip the file and Open the 32-bit or 64-bit folder(Depends on your system processor).

  6. Copy ext2fsd.sys from the folder to C:\Windows\System32\drivers.

  7. Restart your computer.

  8. Run Ext2Mgr, select your Ubuntu Drive (this should be easy) and choose a mount point. You are done!

Warning: If you have a 64-bit processor, then you will have to patch the driver. Download Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider, run it, then select Sign a System File. Next select ext2fsd.sys in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers directory and then select Enable Test mode. Complete the operation by clicking "Next" and reboot.

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The easiest way is to have a separate partition using a file system understand by both, Windows and Linux, where you store all those files you want to access from both. Usually one choses to use FAT32 for this. As you did not yet setup that system (at least your question suggests so), I'd recommend creating this partition early. You could do so during the Ubuntu installation process, using the manual partitioning -- or from fdisk in Windows, prior to installing Ubuntu -- or from the Ubuntu Live CD.

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i am pretty new to this community as well and had just successfully installed ubuntu 12.10LTS on my winXP as dual boot. on my research, i might have come across something similar to what you are looking for and. based on the little info you provided (partition scheme, ubuntu version, etc), i shall try my best to present the resource that might be useful to your situation.

firstly, i recommend that you find out your partition scheme and type while go through some great resources online or my favourite - on youtube. in a case of information overload, article or manuals can be scanned through to familiarize yourself with the terms that you will encounter as a linux noob like i am.

second, i recommend that you backup all your stuff like what many seasoned computer user always say - backup, backup and backup. there are many backup options that are available theses days and for a laymen like me there is not much security and encryption need especially while figuring out my machine a little better. free services such as CX offer free 10GB storage option while CrashPlan offers (conditional) unlimited backup which i use as i climb up the learning curve

lastly, this particular article may demonstrate the exciting challenges that awaits and when all your data are backed up, you have not much to worry about. its unfortunate that i am not allowed to post more then 2 links due to my lack of reputation - which i found out after completed this entry which had 5 links attached :(

anyhoo, keep on keeping on and although it is not as simple as windows, i believe that it will make me (as well as other noobs) understand computer system a little bit better and what better way (for me) to learn then to try it out in practice. it can be frustrating but you (as well as i am) are in good hand of experts here in this forum which i am very grateful for.

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