Sharing files on a FAT32 partition is tried and true and very safe. For a long time, writing to an NTFS partition was risky, but in the past couple of years ntfs-3g has made it much safer.
Nevertheless, I prefer to use FAT32 for Windows/Linux file sharing. In fact, my three dual-boot Windows XP or Vista and VectorLinux computers all have FAT32 partitions for file sharing. I do mount NTFS partitions and write to them infrequently and haven't had problems. I do NOT automount NTFS partitions at startup. I mount them only when I need them and once I've done what I need to do, I unmount the NTFS partitions.
I've never used or even seen VL SOHO 5.9.1, so I have no idea what complications you may be encountering. Here is a line from my /etc/fstab on an XP computer that allows mounting an NTFS partition:
/dev/sda2 /mnt/win-c ntfs-3g defaults,allow_other,umask=0,users,nls=utf8,noexec,noauto 0 0
You can adapt this for your computer. /dev/sda2 is the partition for Drive C on my computer. /mnt/win-c is the mount point in the /mnt directory. ntfs-3g is the file system that allows both reading and writing files to the partition. defaults,allow_other,umask=0,nls=utf8,noexec was automatically added by VectorLinux. users means users other than root can unmount the drive. (In VL6 ntfs-3g drives have to be mounted by root.) noauto means the drive is not automounted. If you want the drive to be automounted, leave out noauto. 0 0 means Linux should not do any file checking when it mounts the drive. If the drive needs to have the file system checked, you should boot to XP and run chkdsk.
You do not need to log in as root, ever. Instead, log in as user and when you need to be root to do something, open a terminal and type su at the prompt. Then type your password. You will now be able to do root things. As root, to edit /etc/fstab, open a text editor such as Kwrite or mcedit (NOT a word processor) and load the /etc/fstab file. Copy the line above as I wrote it, paste it into /etc/fstab (putting it at the end of the file is okay), then make changes as needed. /dev/sdax (x meaning a number) is for SATA and SCSI drives; /dev/hdax is for the first IDE drive. If you're not using VASM to mount your NTFS partition, you'll have to be sure you've created the mount point directory. Save the file. You'll have to mount the partition with a
command (adapted to your proper mount point) the first time and every time IF you're not automounting it. When you finish editing /etc/fstab, type
at the terminal prompt. That will take you back to your user account and you won't be working as root.
As for whether you should bother with your NTFS partitions, I'd say "no" unless you need access to them. If you need or want access, try editing /etc/fstab as described above. Let us know if you're successful.
By the way, I think it's a lot easier to use a file manager than an ls command. I don't know what's on 5.9 SOHO besides konqueror and Midnight Commander (type mc at a terminal prompt).