View Full Version : how safe ext2 is? (I mean using ext2fs and win)

20th August 2006, 09:58 AM
I've been using FC4 for more than an year and I dualboot with XP, because I have one single application, which I can not run on linux - CatiaV5...
I've 2 hdds and 8 partitions.... So the partitions are formated as follows:
- Swap - Fat32 windows swap
- Documents - NTFS - here are my docs and the windows settings aka. /Documents and Settings/User
- Windows - NTFS - here are windows and its programs installed
- Volume.1 - NTFS - my music, Matlab7 for Win and CatiaV5
- Swap - linux swap
- boot - ext2
- / - ext3 - linux main tree
- Volume.2 - ext2 - here are some movies, temp files, /opt is here too
But as all the people who dualboot know, it just sucks to use NTFS and not be able to write and save your files!
So lets begin with the questions:
I've found the GREAT ext2fs driver and now I can read and write to my linux partitions. Because of the user rights, I don't mount my / partition on windows, and I keep all my docs in the next - Volume.2,ext2 - partition.
But now I want to reformat all the NTFS partitions except for the Windows partition to ext2. I don't want to reformat to ext3, because ext2fs doesn't support journaling, so I had problems when writing to ext3 from Win and then reboot to Linux.
The main question is : how safe is to have all my data on an ext2 filesystem and access it from windows with no user permissions. It's actually not about the permissions, but when my system fails on Windows how safe my data is?
PS: I have to mention, that I am primary using linux, BUT my girlfriend is using windows, so the ext2 drives will be used very often.

Thank You for the answers!

20th August 2006, 10:58 AM
I don't know of your exact hardware configuration, but let me throw some thoughts at you..

If the two drives are seperate from each other then if windows dies and needs reinstalled then the only issue you will have is dealing with a boot loader to reconfigure it for both operating systems as Windows will over write the MBR. THey are plenty of how tos which (search my name for my posts and "grub").

I do not know what your girlfriend needs Windows for, but you could always e-mail IBM and ask them how to set up CatiaV5 under vmware in a virtual windows machine. That way you don't have to worry about it. With CatiaV5 being a 3d graphic program I do not know how well it will play. I am presently playing with VMWare after many years of not using it and I have gotten it running all my non 3d apps fine (mainly Macromedia products). Have not had time to see if I can get games running under it (which are 3d). Last time I tried to install the Nvidia drivers it failed as it can not find the graphics card. If some kind soul led the way in that then you could just install Windows in your Linux and rid yourself of dual booting altogether.

In any case if you had to reinstall Windows, your linux woudl be fine, just lost. And another thought, seperating your "Swap" on Windows may be a very bad idea as when that partition fills up you will experience bluescreens, lockups, or reboots without any errors telling you. Some of the games I used to play with a solid gig of ram would still require almost 10 gigs - 15 gigs of swap...

20th August 2006, 11:36 AM
So about the booting proccess:
as you said, I have 2 hdds, so when I install winxp, I just disconect the linux hdd, and when I conect it again, I boot from it using grub. Then the only thing I have to do is configure grub.
Many people are trying to run Catia under Linux.. Sometimes you can even succeed to RUN it, but when you have to render some simple product like a simple gerbox, the things get uglyyyyy. As a matter of fact, they get ugly even under windows if you don't have at least qudroFX , 1GB ram and a brand new fast cpu :rolleyes: ....

my primary question is, is the combination ext2fs under windows & ext2 linux filesystems safe for the data. I know that linux won't fail me on this, but I actually ask if windows will do... :D

anyway, thank you for the answer!

p.s: there is a catia release for macOS, so I'm just waiting for linux to become bootable on the new macs with intel processor and I will forget windows at all...

edit: I forgot to say: about the windows swap - I've configured it with a limited swap space ~800mb, if windows can't handle it, that's its problem, not mine ;)

21st August 2006, 10:05 AM
I see, that I haven't actually said clearly, that I speek about the ext2 IFS driver. I thought it's called ext2fs...

p.s.: I should have post the thread in 'general support'...

5th January 2007, 09:35 PM
Alternatively you could try accessing (read/write) to your NTFS partitions from Linux using ntfs-3g
You can get it through yum from the livna repository. That way your girlfriend will be happy using them.

5th January 2007, 10:55 PM
What you're trying to do is possible. On one of my machines, I have a dual drive--Linux on a 200 Gig PATA and Windows on a 160 Gig SATA. I have windows reading my Linux drives with that driver and it works fine. You could definitely do that setup. If windows goes down, you can reinstall on the windows partition and everything would be fine--just be careful during the windows installation. And remember, if windows gets something, it could infect anything that windows can read.