I currently have Ubuntu and windows 7 on identical but separate hard drives. I wanted to use a NTFS partition on Ubuntu drive to allow file sharing between to two OS's but when I formatted that partition, I accidentally shot my self in the foot by deleting my boot info. So I now must reformat and reinstall my windows OS because I accidentally deleted my BOOTMGR and when I do I wanted to know, should I put each OS on the same drive and have the other be a data drive in NTFS, or should I set it up as the way I had it again. Also, Its been a while since the last time I've set it up so how do I select where I want the folder with all the boot info to go, or should I put in on its own partition somewhere.

  • Ubuntu's root partition cannot be NTFS. I'll probably write an extended answer later when I have more time, but you could just create symbolic links from ubuntu to allow file sharing. – RolandiXor Nov 27 '10 at 21:46
  • I would be very great-full for an extended answer but in the mean time I will do some research on this symbolic links. – contrapsych Nov 27 '10 at 21:56

You don't necessarily have to erase the windows partition. Just boot off the Windows CD and hit "Repair your computer" You will have to restore Grub2 afterwards (see the grub2 ubuntu wiki page).

Since you can't, putting the OSs on different devices is probably the smarter decision because of HDD crashes. Put Grub2 on the first HDD, Windows on the second that way both will be able to boot independently.

You could of course also experiment with RAID for data or even for your Ubuntu partition.

  • Actually I did try the repair method, and even looked up multiple tutorials on using the command prompt and using things like bcdedit but it all came down to en error with the file system, even though I didn't do any formatting on my windows drive. I will have to reinstall which isn't really a big deal, but any tips on how to avoid this problem next time would help, thanks. – contrapsych Nov 27 '10 at 23:30

If you've decided to install two separate operating systems, I'd say installing them both on one and using another one as dedicated data is definitely a better choice. It lets you isolate your OSes from your large data like media, and you're not stuck in OS-dependent represntation like C:/Users/username/Documents/Videos [oops, backslash... right.] or /home/username/Videos. You can have a clean hierarchy that you can mount wherever you like.

Creating a separate boot partition is entirely a matter of personal preference. On a few of my machines I use multiple distributions of linux, so it's good for them to be able to share that information. In your case, though, I don't really see a benefit.


I would suggest installing both operating systems, and a dedicated NTFS "data drive" (partition), on the first hard disk, and using the second drive for backup. You can regularly create disk images of the first drive in order to be able to do complete system or individual partition restores, and use a "real-time" folder/file backup utility to keep an up-to-date copy of the data drive.

I am currently using Acronis True Image (Windows) to create disk images, but have used PartImage in the past, and may go back to a Linux-based disk imager, several of which are available.

For real-time backup, I use inosync (http://bb.xnull.de/ or http://github.com/hollow/inosync) in Linux, and Quick Shadow Backup (http://quicklytech.com/) in Windows, to back up the same data partition that is used by both operating systems.

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