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Chapter 28. Multibooting Windows XP with... > Application Considerations - Pg. 860

Multibooting Windows XP with Other Operating Systems 860 A disadvantage of NTFS is that it can't be read directly by DOS, OS/2, Unix, or Windows Me/9x. You can download a free utility to read NTFS disks from, and can pur- chase a program with limited writing capability. Still, this isn't as straightforward as having support built into the operating system. Likewise, Linux has only limited support for NTFS--reading works but writing is dangerous. So, NTFS is not a generally useful format for a shared partition on multiboot systems. NOTE By the way, there now are two versions of NTFS: versions 4 and 5. Version 4 was used by Windows NT version 4.0. The updated version 5 is used by Windows 2000 and XP and supports additional capabilities, such as encrypted files and dynamic disk partitions that can be rearranged while Windows is running. These capabilities aren't directly accessible with XP Home Edition, but Home Edition still uses the newer disk format. The version difference will affect you only if you share an NTFS-formatted disk volume between Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP or 2000. The newer OSes will update your NTFS partitions to version 5, so you must update Windows NT 4.0 to service pack 4 or later so that it can read the new format. Application Considerations Along with all the file system considerations of a multiboot system, application installation problems also can arise unless you install each operating system and its applications in a separate partition. This is particularly true of the Microsoft operating systems because some of them share some of the same fixed directory names ("Program Files" is a notable example). Because of these potential problems, the following list of precautions is particularly useful: