Data Drives can be created to store all your data in one place

Here is a how to set up Data Drives

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Dual Booting – Share your Windows Partition with Linux

Once you have you're Linux OS install, it's now time to share you're My Documents or other data folders on you're Windows Partition.

This will allow you to have all you're data, such as documents, pictures, spread sheets and everything else you use in one place. So if you're in Linux anything you change you will see it next time you boot into Windows.

Note: Most of my Pictures in this document are from the XFCE Desktop environment. So they may vary a bit from what you're seeing on you're screen in the following steps. Got Root, when you open a File Manager in Root you now have Administrator rights and it allows you to make modifications on the Linux File system which can not be done as a normal User.

 

Step 1: (Get the Windows Partition information)

Open gparted from the Menu button. In Cinnamon it's under Administrator and in XFCE it's under the System. If you can't find it you will have to install it.

To install it, from the Menu button find Software Manager and open it. In the search bar type in gparted and hit enter. Next install it. Also check for ntfs-3g (drivers need to see a NTFS partition) and make sure that is also installed. If not do install it.

Again, open gparted from the Menu button.

Once gparted is open find the biggest NTFS partition and this should be you're Windows C:\ drive.

Gparted view with both ext4 and NTFS partitions

Next Double click on the largest NTFS partition to see the information about the partition:

Should look like this:

Gparted show NTFS UUID InfoDon't forget ever UUID is going to be a different number so they will not be the same as listed in the picture above.

Open a text editor from the Menu button and copy and paste you're UUID number in the text editor and will come back to that latter.

However if you see any errors next to the ntfs in gparted you must boot back into window and from the command line type in chkdsk /f c: hit enter and select Y and reboot into windows and let it run till it boots back into windows. Then reboot back into you're Linux and continue where you left off.

Example of NTFS error: Shows there is a problem with the ntfs drive.

Gparted NTFS error pic

 

 

Step 2: (Add you're UUID to fstab)

What is fstab: fstab is a system configuration file on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that contains information about major file systems on the system. It takes its name from file systems table, and it is located in the /etc directory.

UUID: Stands for Universally Unique IDentifiers. Its an identification tag given to every device drives on the machine to uniquely identify the exact drive/partition. Names assigned by the machine to devices Example: (/dev/sda) are not always persistent. Sometimes attaching one more extra hard drive, will change the names previously given by the kernel. UUID's can assure you that the device you are trying to access is the exact device you intended.

Warning:  Don't change anything in this file or you're system my not boot again. We are going to be adding to it, nothing else.

Now from you're File Manager which should still be open and in root mode open the /etc folder and look for the ( fstab ) file and right mouse click on it and select Open with “Text Editor”. Should look like this:

Note: I have removed all the # comments to clean up the clutter in the file.

Fstab with just Linux

Click into the file at the very end and hit enter, this should create a new line for you start typing. If not, exit out and do not save. You don't want to mess up this file.

If you are now at the very bottom of the file you can start typing in the following: (You can copy and paste this but don't forget to change the UUID number and the /data to the name of the new folder you created, don't forget the / in front of the folders name)

UUID=3f3c68a038994e12 /data ntfs-3g defaults,uid=1000,rw 0 0  (There are different ways this can be configured but this should work just fine)

Now you're fstab file should look like this:

Fstab with just Linux and NTFS

Don't forget to change the UUID number to you're UUID number and the /data to the name of the folder you created earlier. Example: /mydocs Don't forget the / in front of the name.

Next save the fstab file and close all other open windows and reboot you're machine.

After you reboot into you Linux OS you can open a normal File Manager (does not have to be in root anymore) then click on File System and find the folder you're created and double click on it and you should see all the Windows files and folders. Leave it here.

Step 3: (Create a Folder on you're Desktop to point to you're Windows My Documents folder)

With the XFCE Desktop:

With the File Manager while you're still inside you're new folder example: /mydocs or /data and with Win 7, 8 and Vista find a folder called USERS and double click on it. Find you're user name you use when you log into windows. Double click on that and find you're My Documents folder and double click on that and copy that URL location from the URL bar at the top of the File Manager.

Right mouse click on any open space on the desktop and select Create a URL Link, then give it a name, example: MyDocs (it's OK to use caps here). Then where it says URL, fill in you're new folder location, example: /mydocs/Users/Bob/Documents and save it.

You now have a link to you're My Documents in the Windows Partition.

With the Cinnamon Desktop:

With the File Manager while you're still inside you're new folder example: /mydocs or /data and with Win 7, 8 and Vista find a folder called USERS and double click on it. Find you're user name you use when you log into windows. Double click on that and find you're My Documents folder and double click on that and copy that URL location from the URL bar at the top of the File Manager.

Right mouse click on any open space on the desktop and select Create a New Launcher Here, then give it a name, example: MyDocs (it's OK to use caps here). Then where it says URL, fill in you're new folder location, example: /mydocs/Users/Bob/Documents and save it.

You now have a link to your My Documents in the Windows Partition.


Next go into your Office suite (Like Libreoffice or Openoffice), go into Options and change the paths for where it open and saves your documents and templates. You can also create a Template folder here and have all your templates in one location if you're using like Libreoffice for both Linux and Windows.

Hope this helps you save time by having all your doc's pictures and other things you need to access everyday no matter what OS you're using....

Enjoy

 

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