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I'm setting up a media centre for my living room so that I'm able to watch downloaded films and TV shows on the big screen. The media centre is an old small computer which will have XBMCbuntu 12 installed on it.

Right now, the media centre has a 300 GB HDD partitioned into two:

1) Ext4 50 GB (where I'll install the OS)
2) swap 6 GB (swap area)

I'm wanting a third partition which I can store all my media on to. This partition will fill the rest of my HDD. Although, I'm stuck on which file system I should set it to. I need the file system to be fully compatible with Windows as I'm going to be removing the HDD from the media centre and plugging it into my main PC, running Windows 8, to transfer the media onto it. I can't transfer over Wi-Fi as the media centre won't be connected to the Internet.

My options are: Ext4 journaling, Ext3 journaling, Ext2 journaling, ReiserFS journaling, btrfs journaling, JFS journaling, XFS journaling, FAT16 and FAT32.

I know that FAT32 is compatible with Windows but it can only hold files that are 4 GB or less and my films are well over 4 GB. Some more than 10 GB. Is there a file system I can use which is supported by Linux and pops up under Computer in Windows?

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closed as off topic by Mateo, Eric Carvalho, Luis Alvarado May 2 '13 at 0:50

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What about NTFS? – Seth Nov 22 '12 at 16:37
@iSeth I was going to try NTFS but it isn't an option. – Skiroid Nov 22 '12 at 16:42
Right. But why not? I've accessed NTFS from Ubuntu before. – Seth Nov 22 '12 at 16:42
@iSeth I mean. In the installation wizard for installing XBMCbuntu, NTFS isn't an option in the drop down list when creating the partitions. I've used NTFS drives in Ubuntu too but unfortunately there isn't the option to create an NTFS partition. – Skiroid Nov 22 '12 at 16:48
You can't install Ubuntu to NTFS but you can create and have an additional NTFS data partition for your media. – Takkat Nov 22 '12 at 17:36
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I believe NTFS and exFAT are your only solution.

exFAT wasn't working on my Ubuntu at first, but it only needed to be installed to work.

sudo apt-get install exFAT

The linked Wikipedia article has some good information about it.

In your comment you said:

NTFS isn't an option when creating the partitions in the XBMCbuntu installation wizard.

You can always leave that partition unformated, and then format it after installing Ubuntu.

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I don't think any of the file systems you have listed as 'options' are suitable.

Why can't you use NTFS?

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NTFS isn't an option when creating the partitions in the XBMCbuntu installation wizard. – Skiroid Nov 22 '12 at 16:50
You could reformat it later with a live-cd. – MadTux Mar 8 '13 at 22:58

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