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Install Tinycore on a USB Drive with a Partition for Sharing Files with Windows

This method may be used to install Tinycore on a USB drive with a partition for sharing files with Windows.

When installing on a hard drive, a partition may also be made for sharing files with Windows.

Be aware: Older computers may not be able to start an operating system on a USB drive.

Partition the USB Drive

An easy way for new users to partition a drive is using GParted. People connected to the internet may install GParted in Tinycore, and use it for partitioning. Others may download the latest version of Parted Magic, and use it for partitioning.

For more information, see Partition a Drive to Install more than one Operating System.

Before partitioning the drive, save a copy of all files you want to keep. All files on the drive will be lost.

  • Start the GParted Partition Editor.
  • Be sure to select the correct drive. Warning: If you select the wrong drive, everything on that drive will be lost.
  • Delete the existing partition.
  • Make the first partition a FAT32 partition. You may not be able to access it from Windows if it is not the first partition.
  • Make the rest of the drive an Ext2 partition.

Install Tinycore

Install Tinycore as explained in Install Tinycore on a USB Drive.

During installation, select Existing Partition. Then select the Ext2 partition. It may be something like sda2, sdb2 or sdc2. Click on the square preceeding “Mark Partition Active (bootable)” so it becomes ticked.

Edit extlinux.conf

Even though Windows is not installed, during installation the installer will detect the fat32 partition, and set up boot menu to start Windows in that partition.

You can edit /mnt/sda1/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf to remove this. If not sda1, use the correct partition.

You may remove

UI vesamenu.c32
MENU TITLE Tiny Core Bootloader


LABEL windows
KERNEL chain.c32
APPEND hd0 1

Accessing the Partition

You may now save all files you want to share with Windows, in the FAT32 partition.

To access the partition from Tinycore, you need to mount it. To mount the drive, start the mount tool. When the drive is unmounted, it is red. Click on it, so it becomes green.

When running Windows, the partition will show up as an additional drive, such as D: or E:

Save Files in Appropriate Format

To access files from both Linux and Windows applications, save in appropriate formats. For example, if you have a document created in Open Office, and want to access it with Microsoft Word, save it in a format which can be read by Microsoft Word.

Alternate Method: Use NTFS

You may use NTFS instead of FAT32.

FAT32 is limited to 4 gb files, so is not appropriate if you want to copy DVDs.

However, some Linux distributions may not be set up to access NTFS. FAT32 is readily accessible.

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