Dejan Levec

ext2 and ext3 on Windows

If you are using dual boot with Windows and Linux you’ve probably faced with a problem of accessing ext3 partitions from Windows OS.

Most of the Linux distributions come with NTFS-3G driver, which allow reading & writing to NTFS partiton. Sadly, Windows doesn’t offer such filesystem driver for file systems other than FAT16/32 and NTFS.

However, you can use the 3rd party driver such as Ext2 IFS, which allows OS Windows to access such partitions from any program including Windows Explorer.

Ext2 IFS
Ext2 IFS is a freeware program that provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008 with full access to ext2/ext3 partitions.


I’ve no problems with accessing partitions with inode size of 128 bytes. However, this program does not support partitions with bigger inode size, which can be a problem in some cases.

If you have a partition with inode size of 256 bytes, you can use this file system driver, which supports Windows NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64.


Just a word of caution: It is not a good idea to have multiple file system drivers (for the same file system) installed at the same time. Try one and if you have a problem with it, delete it, restart operating system and install another one.

Web sites of both drivers claim that they are not supported by Windows 7. In my case everything worked well on Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit.

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