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I have a dual boot system in place, Ubuntu/Windows, each on its on physical hard drive since I also have SRT active on the Windows partition.

The setup is as follows:

Disk 1:
- Partition 1: System (Windows 7)
- Partition 2: Storage (NTFS)
Disk 2:
- Partition: Ubuntu

Now, I can easily mount the Windows partitions from Ubuntu and read their files. I can even copy the files onto the partition in question (Storage - Disk1/Partition2), and it works flawlessly. However, I cannot see ANY files added by Ubuntu when I boot Windows up. So basically, Windows only sees its own files on the partition, while Ubuntu sees everything.

Is there something I need to do to make Windows see Ubuntu-made files? Keep in mind that the partition is NTFS, not ext2/3/4, so Windows does see it - just not the files which Ubuntu makes (and Win7 doesn't even take those files into account when calculating leftover free space on said partition - they are completely nonexistant to the OS)

My goal is, essentially, to have one Storage partition through which both Operating Systems could share files - thus having music, movies, code samples and downloads all in one place, accessible and changeable by both OS - without having to resort to something like a physically separate network drive.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The reason was the SRT caching.

I had it turned on to speed up my Win partition for gaming mostly, and since my caching SSD was 64GB big (current maximum size for SRT) it basically cached everything it got its hands on since it hadn't run out of space yet to start purging. As such, all Windows could see was the cached content, pulled from the SSD, while Ubuntu (since there is no SRT support for it) saw the up-to-date state.

Once I turned SRT off and rebooted to purge the cache manually, they communicate with the partition flawlessly. Naturally, this is unacceptable because I need my SRT on the Win OS, so I'll just plug in a new drive to serve as the share disk. That way I have some redundancy as well.

Thanks for the help everyone!

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Any NTFS partition is NOT fully stable when written to, when the background 'Windows file manager' is not running. This is NOT an absolute, as just editing an existing file may not cause a problem. However, creating a new file or radically changing the size of a file will sometimes cause problems.

There is more than one method (for performance advantage?) to add extra NTFS blocks, etc. and Windows may arbitrarily 'assign' a method. There is also anecdotal evidence that NTFS has changed slightly (and repeatedly) for each Windows service pack (and major release).

When you write to an NTFS partition, and then re-start Windows, this can automatically trigger a CHKDSK run. This will also occur if you re-size the partition.

A given implementation of NTFS may not handle a partition in the exact same manner as another. This still means that an NTFS partition solely under the control of Linux should NOT cause issues.

noted elsewhere:

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showpost.php?p=527739&postcount=3

http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Using_FAQ#Q:_How_can_I_write_data_on_NTFS_partitions.3F

Conclusion: Writing to NTFS should be possible, and should cause no issues. However, until better documentation and standards are available this may still cause problems ..

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Well, curiously, the changes I do on Ubuntu to existing Windows files are not carried over. I just made a text document in Win7, and then edited it in ubuntu. Booting in Ubuntu shows the changes, while booting in Windows shows me the file's previous state. How curious. –  Swader Nov 30 '11 at 21:41
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I've never had this problem. Any files I've created in Ubuntu, and placed on an NTFS partition, have always been visible in Windows 7. Are you saving your files (docs, etc) to their normal ubuntu /home partition, and then copying them over to the NTFS partition? Or, do you have a symlink to the NTFS for your files? Either way, you should see the files while booted into Windows. Also, any files in Ubuntu /home will NOT be visible in Windows 7 (ext4 is not recognized by windows).

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The partition is a separate entity - created for the sole purpose of sharing files between the OSs. As such, I copy files to it after creating them on the Ubuntu partition. Could the reason be the fact that they are created on a ext4 partition, and then copied to this NTFS partition? I do not use /home for any windows related purposes. –  Swader Nov 30 '11 at 21:31
    
Thanks, I've seen this post already. It just assumes Win7 will just see and cooperate with the files, no questions asked, no setup needed. In fact, it focuses on setting up the Ubuntu part - which I did not need to do as it worked out-of-the-box flawlessly. –  Swader Nov 30 '11 at 21:40
    
I used this link to set my system up so I could share data between windows 7 & Ubuntu. Really hope this helps you resolve the issue. Good luck. howtogeek.com/howto/35807/… –  LinuxRocks Nov 30 '11 at 21:41
    
Yeah, sorry, I deleted that response because I realized it didn't apply to your issue...... –  LinuxRocks Nov 30 '11 at 21:43
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