How to access files from Windows from an ext4 disk?

I am fairly new to Linux and have recently installed OpenSUSE 11.2 x64 KDE. It is a pretty nice OS, all things considered. I am still learning.

Currently, I am dual booting OpenSUSE and Windows 7 Pro x64. Each OS is installed on a separate 1Tb hard drive. One question that I have tried to Google for a solution with no success is, how do you access ext4 from Windows? Shortly after I installed OpenSUSE, my OpenSUSE hard drive “vanished” from Windows 7. Naturally, I can access all my hard drives from OpenSUSE, which does support the NTFS. I am quite sure that I am not the only person who has this problem as I know that dual booting Linux and Windows is quite common.

Thanks in advance.

The short answer is that there is no programme to access ext 4 from windows. Ext 3 is an extension of ext2, but ext4 is a more fundamental change and drivers have not been updated yet. Having said that I have done some research on this and as I recall there is a way to do it but, the file system has to be set up correctly at the formatting stage (basically creating a hobbled ext4) to allow rudimentary access, so probably not worth it.
So the short answer is still no.

Drowsy wrote:
> how do you access ext4 from Windows?


what?? Redmond makes an operating system that doesn’t make it easy to
work and play well with those made by others?? i can hardly believe it!

next you will be telling me that the latest Word format can’t be read
well by the Word from only ten years ago…unbelievable.

Apple, Nintendo and PlayStation (etc) would never do that!! :wink:

sorry, i don’t know how to do it…but, then i don’t have Windows so i
don’t need to know…

yes, Linux can read and write to NTFS, but it took YEARS of effort for
that to happen…as far as i recall NTFS was born back in the late
'80s (as HPFS, part of IBM working together with Redmond on a ‘Next
Technology’ effort to build Operating System/2) and the Linux hackers
got to where we could read & write to NTFS mostly reliably in the last
four or five years…

-welcome to freedom- where you get to decided what you use, and how
you use it…


You should create an NTFS data partition and place any files you wish to share with Windows on that.

Thanks anyways. There does not appear to be a direct way to access any Ext 4 system via Windows at this point.

I did some further reading. I don’t have the link, but somebody is planning on getting Ext 4 with Windows NTFS working, hopefully by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, the devs doing this note that the usefulness of their work may be short lived due to the expected replacement of ext4 by btrfs.

ext4 won’t disappear quickly. A lot of enterprise installations migrated from ext2 to ext3 to ext4 in situ. As long as ext4 is in use it will continue to be supported.

Right now, I think you can only read EXT2 and EXT3 from Windows if you install Ext2IFS. If you are running Windows7 you may have to do some tweaking to get it to run. Here is a little reading on the subject.

HOWTO: Windows 7 ext2/3 support [USB-Slave]

It might be a bit before EXT4 is readable, but I doubt it will be very long.

Access your Linux Partition (Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4) from Windows in a Duel Boot

ext2FSD usually work for ext2 and ext3
i have not tried this for ext4 because i used ext3 formay for suse also.

You can format your openSUSE partition as ext3 partition for the time being. Or, you can have one ext3 partition that is accessable from both Linux and Windoze.