A knowledge of file systems, both Linux and Microsoft, would be an advantage here and the reader is directed to Hard Disk partitioning for some background info on file systems. Also see Mounting Windows FAT Partitions for an overview of mounting Windows drives from Linux.
Note that these instructions have been updated for the Fedora Core series. In particular, updated RPMs are required for Fedora Core 5, compared to the older ones used for Red Hat 9 .
We dual-booted Windows XP Pro (SP2) on a native NTFS primary partition, together with Fedora Core 5 Linux on the usual EXT3 partition, with GRUB taking care of the booting options.
Although NTFS is a more secure file system than FAT16/32, it is possible to access NTFS from Fedora Core 5, with an RPM plug-in.
As already mentioned, new RPM installs are needed for FC5 and the boys managed to find what they were after at http://www.linux-ntfs.org..
We grabbed the kernel-module-ntfs-2.6.16-1.2111_FC5smp-2.1.26-0.rr.10.5.i686.rpm, which is the longest frickin' RPM I've seen yet. It's actually designed for multi-processor systems, but worked well, whereas the single processor equivalent didn't work. And we're only using single CPU machines..weird.
Google and grab kernel-module-ntfs-2.6.16-1.2111_FC5smp-2.1.26-0.rr.10.5.i686.rpm [98KB] or its updated equivalent from the web.
Save the file to disk and then install the RPM by double clicking on it. Alternatively if you're a command-line freak, open a terminal and change to the downloaded directory. Then type:
rpm -ivh kernel-module-ntfs-2.6.16-1.2111_FC5smp-2.1.26-0.rr.10.5.i686.rpm
Create a local directory which will 'map' to the Windows NTFS directory, i.e.
To find the name which Linux refers to your partitions, type
Compared to the last time I ran this command, we are now using SATA hard disks. This explains the new identification of the hard disk as /dev/sda
. Mount the Windows partition to the local directory, thus:
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/ntfsdrive -t ntfs
The files should now be visible as read-only in the /mnt/ntfsdrive
Once again, many thanks to Mark and Lucas for helping me with this information.