I'm using HP G42 laptop with 320GB hard-drive and 4 GB memory. I'm pretty sure that, it can be used for dual OS(Windows 7 & fedora) Currently, I'm using only Windows 7, but, I need to install fedora.

This my hard-drive:

Local disk(C) = 50GB(Windows 7 installed here)
Local disk(D) = rest(249GB) (Data)

Both are formatted with NTFS file system. I need to access the data which I saved in Local Disk D from both OSs.

How can I do this?


3 Answers 3


Fedora installer must have a partitioning tool that will also allow you to resize that big partition. Here's a scheme I have in mind:

  • Resize the large partition to something like 220GB.
  • 2-4 GB swap partition (this will come in handy in case you want to suspend, or if you are going to be running memory-intensive software).
  • 20-30 GB partitioning for the installation (keeping things simple).

So that's two extra partitions on the drive, making a total of 4. Set them to primary or logical (doesn't matter at this point).

This scheme assumes that you are going to be putting most of your data in the big NTFS partition. Normally I'd advice to just have a large "/home" partition.

Once you've finished installation, make sure that ntfs-3g is installed. I've found it to be an excellent piece of software, and it allows write access to NTFS filesystems too.


Linux can mount and read the NTFS partition. But windows doesn't recognize the Linux filesystem. So formatting a portion of the hard drive to FAT32 will solve this problem.

The partition editor that comes with Fedora installer should be able to format a drive to either NTFS/FAT/ext2/ext3/ext4 and probably support some more formats as well.


If I understand correctly, both drives are formatted in their entirety as NTFS. Is that correct?

If so, then you will not be able to install Fedora, or anything else for that matter, without destroying data unless you wish to include new hardware such as a third hard disk. It is possible to run many Linux distributions "live", meaning from memory or a CD/DVD only. This option is still available to you and to access data from an NTFS partition you need only ensure that the kernel included in the distribution of your choice was built with NTFS support, most live distributions are, and execute a command similar to: mount -t ntfs /some/mount/point Please note that certain distributions of mount use -F in place of -t

Another option, depending on what you wish to accomplish with Fedora, is to use VirtualBox, VMWare, or a different virtualization platform of your choice to run one or more virtual machines. This would not necessarily require that you alter your current partitioning scheme. Be sure to select a virtualization platform that will allow you to include external devices, such as your current drives C:\ and D:\, in your virtual machine(s).

  • 1
    But the partitions can be resized. This will creat new space for more partitions.
    – tshepang
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 20:06
  • If you're thinking that NTFS partitions can't be resized, it used to be true but this time is long past, thanks to NTFS-3G. Commented May 18, 2011 at 20:56
  • @Gilles: NTFS resizing is available in Debian Installer, and I don't think it uses ntfs-3g.
    – tshepang
    Commented May 21, 2011 at 8:42

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