Tips & How-To's

How To: Access ext2/ext3 Formatted Linux Partitions in Windows

This is another one of those tips I always wanted to post, but kept forgetting :| So here goes.
Unlike Linux which can mount and access Windows’ FAT, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS filesystems, Windows is incapable of even acknowledging and detecting a Linux filesystem. Fear not, here are 3 softwares which can help in detecting your Linux partition under Windows

  • Ext2fsd– The most capable software of the lot. Has read/write support to your Linux partition. The 0.45 version supports replay of journal of a ext3 filesystem in case of a unclean shutdown of your Linux partition.
  • Ext2 IFS – Another very good software. Supports read/write, but doesnt replay the journal of a ext3 filesystem. It actually installs a pure kernel mode file system driver, which means all applications can access your Linux partitions, and it appears in file dialogs of all applications.
  • Linux Reader – Like the name says, this is just a reader. Effectively you can’t write to it, neither is your partition available as a separate drive. You’ll have to open the application, then “extract” the file to your Windows. Personally I use this, since the lack of write access means that I can have a little peace of mind about my partition not getting corrupted due to writes(I’m not saying this WILL happen, but better be safe)

If you guys know of any other software then do drop a comment.



  1. Hello Sathya…
    Im new to linux and i recently tried OpenSuse 11.1 and Ubuntu 8.1. They are pretty cool but i haven’t got what im looking for.I have a Amd Athlon X2,3 gb ram, a Nvidia 9500 Gt Graphic card. I downloaded the drivers from nvidia and successfully installed them. I came to know that Compiz is integrated with these distros and will be enabled after the installation of graphic drivers but it did not. The “Enable Desktop Graphics” check box kept reverting back and all other options grayed out no matter what i do. Its saying that the current Configuration is not supported for 3d effects. But my card is in the supported Card list.
    I tried many guides and one suggested to type something like grep/…./…/…/ (i forgot the actual command) to check if composite is enabled. I tried this and got msg that composite extensions are Disabled. “The cube graphics is checked in the Compiz Manager” but no use. I dont get anything. Can u guide me thru this process of enabling Compiz? I have a net connection in Xp but dont know how to connect it in linux. I tried to connect to use the “ONE CLICK INSTALLS” but failed. Awaiting ur reply.

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