ext4 driver for Windows

Hi I am new to this forum so dont if this is the right place to post anyway its over a month that i migrated to opensuse 11.2 from windowsxp.
I dual booted windowsxp and opensuse11.2 but was unable to browse ext4 partition when inside windows.
Then in opensuse I installed virtualbox with winxp in it,now i am able to browse my ext4 partition from inside xp using shared folders option in virtual box , then why not a similar thing for dual boot environment ?

Welcome to the forums !!!

To answer your question - a nice one IMHO -, in short: because M$ refuses to implement this. VirtualBox on linux lets you share any linux FS with the host. M$ simply does not want XP to read non-M$ filesystems.

With VB running, you have both XP and openSUSE running, where openSUSE is the host. Booting XP native makes XP the host, nothing more.

So your call should be at M$: I require read/write on linux filesystems. I’m curious for their reply, please let us know :wink: ;). Seriously, don’t.

adeeljaved wrote:

> then why not a similar thing for dual boot environment
> ?
Because the windows in a dual boot is not under the control of a virtual
environment and in the vm it is as if both operating systems run on
different machines so sharing is available. In a dual boot only one of the
operating systems run at the same time, so no sharing via network is
You should ask microsoft why they do not provide a feature to browse linux
file systems (this is not sarcastic). Maybe there are some third party tools
you can install in windows which can read ext4 file systems.

Yeah if they have a forum like this

adeeljaved wrote:

> Yeah if they have a forum like this

You are a microsoft customer, so in theory you should have a much better
position compared to using open source to ask for an enhancement in windows
(this is sarcastic).

I meant no technical hitch is involved . I was not concerned with what microsoft does .

Martin Helm wrote:
> (this is sarcastic).

oh…i laughed, because i thought it was pretty good joke!


I have seen this in a ubuntu forum (yes if I have problems I also look into
debian and ubuntu and other forums - shame on me)


Please do not sue me if it is bad or screws up your ext file system, but
maybe you are interested in looking at it. At least this means things like
what you are looking for exists for windows (but maybe will not work with

No it does not support ext4

I did some research on this as well, but for the life of me I cannot find the place I got this info from. There is a way to read ext4 from windows, but it involves setting up the ext 4 partition in a particular way when it is made, so it is not possible retrospectively. In essence, the ext 4 needs to be set up with many of the things that make it useful crippled, so in the end I didn’t bother. Hopefully an ext4 reader is in the pipeline somewhere.

Dwarfer99 wrote:
> Hopefully an ext4 reader is in the pipeline somewhere.

you can bet M$ is throwing a lot of expertise at making it possible to
read/write to/from EXT4 when dual booting from Windows…

they really like it when folks have an easy time using a different OS…



Give a look (google or whatnot) to “ext2explore”. I believe the latest version is “2271”. Not a driver, per se, but a program that you can run in Windows that will locate and let you browse, read, copy from, Linux partitions to Windows ones. I believe it now handles Ext4. Right-click and “run as admin”, then an explorer-like program fires up. Doesn’t write to Linux partitions, though, IIR.

Isn’t there a driver for Windows to access ext3?

Maybe Ext4 will come out when everybody moves to Btrfs (or whatever that is), seems this is the next one on the horizon.

To the OP: If your experience becomes anything like mine, you’ll find yourself booting into window less and less, to the point when, in one or two years (or if you have to replace a defective HD), you may not even have windows installed anymore. So there’s more interest in accessing NTFS from linux than ext2/3/4 from windows.

Of course you may have particular reasons to keep windows installed (games and one or two specific apps you can’t live without), but those usually won’t require access to your linux partitions.

Even professional AutoCAD-like CAD is becoming full of options in linux, with bricscad, Ares Commander an Draftsight.

Just my 2¢.

Best strategy would be to format the partition with NTFS so you be able to access them from either platform.
That is, if you are wanting to access a folder with songs etc…
So if you have a folder for pictures to put that on a partition which has NTFS and you should be good.

There are some tools, but most of them don’t support ext4 and some not even ext3.
LTOOLS Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Zimmermann
Ext2Fsd Project » Features

Not really.
Ext2IFS for Windows allows Windows users to read Ext2/3 Linux partitions.
Ext2 IFS For Windows: Download
Under Windows 7, the OP probably needs to set Ext2IFS compatibility mode to Win Vista or Win XP.

IIRC, you can rw to Ext2 partitions but ro Ext3 partitions. At least that’s the way I implement. I can run windows executables stored on Linux partitions from within Windows as long as the executable is not write files to the Linux partition, usually resolved by copying the executables from the Linux partition to the Windows partition.

Using ntfs-3g OP can mount Windows partitions rw under Linux, though writing to Windows partitions from within Linux should be limited due to NTFS that tends to fragment when many or large files are moved in Windows.

Update: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd/
EXT2fsd should also support reading Linux partitions from Windows and adds much needed support for Linux inodes larger than 128. 256bit Inode formatted Linux partitions cause Ext2IFS to show the Linux partitions as unformatted.