Sharing NTFS partition on Linux HD with Windows XP

Here is the current setup I have (being a Linux newbie I am not sure if this was the best one to begin with so feel free to provide constructive criticism):

Machine 1: Windows XP - 120GB SATA (WinXP install drive) and 120GB IDE (for data)
Machine 2: Windows 2000 File Server - 200GB SATA
Machine 3: Red Hat Linux 9 - 80GB IDE

On machine 3, I partitioned the hard drive into 40/40 - half as a ext3 partition and the other half as NTFS. I can mount the NTFS into Linux but this means that I would have to use SAMBA to share that NTFS mount with the other two machines.

What I would like to ideally do is access that 40GB partition from my Windows machines without having to go through Linux at all and still be able to mount it in Linux. I don't want to not be able to use that extra 40GB via Windows just because half of it is taken by Linux.

Would this be possible or would samba be my only option?

Thanks in advance for everyone's comments/answers/suggestions :)
miragemongerAsked:
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wesly_chenCommented:
> access that 40GB partition from my Windows machines without having to go through Linux at all
Well, without OS (Linux is the only OS on machine 3), how can you access the disk from the network?
Unless you install another OS (Windows ) on machine3 (dual boot) and boot up as Windows.
This way you don't need to go through Linux.

Besides, NTFS is not well supported or unstable in the Linux world because its file permission architecture
is totally different from Linux's. You can only mount the 40GB NTFS as read-only. So Samba can only
share out as read-only, too. But you can refomat the 40GB NTFS to FAT32 which is supported well in
Linux.

Regards,

Wesly
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miragemongerAuthor Commented:
That makes sense. Hmm... maybe I'd be better off if I just got a 10GB hard disk to put the Linux on.

One more question though, would I have any problems with interoperability between 2000/XP when accessing the FAT32 partition or is that handled well by Windows?
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wesly_chenCommented:
> would I have any problems with interoperability between 2000/XP when accessing the FAT32 partition
It's handled well by Windows since FAT32 don't have complicated security stuff. I have no problem with FAT32
except for the efficiency.

Regards,

Wesly
0
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