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I had to format a USB hard drive to ext3 to use it with a Linksys nas box. Now I can't read the hd when I unplug it from the nas and plug it directly into my Windows 7 computer. (The computer accesses the nas over a wireless connection, so I like to plug the hd directly into my pc when transferring large files.)

How can I leave the hd formatted with ext3 and yet be able to access it (read/write) when I plug it directly into my pc?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can try Ext2 IFS for Windows, which may require a bit of tweaking on 7. Another option is to use Cooperative Linux within Windows itself to access the volumes.

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Thanks, John. I tried but couldn't get ext-ifs to install on my W7. On first glance, it looks like Co-op Linux means basicially installing Linux on my pc. If that's true, I think I'll hold off and hope for an option with less overhead. – CChriss Feb 2 '10 at 5:44
Check out this article for getting Ext2IFS running on 7: you may be interested in Ext2FSD alternatively: – John T Feb 2 '10 at 5:54
Note that Ext2 IFS can only read an ext2/3 file system if: A. it was removed safely from the Limux machine, B. the node size is 128 bit. To check this, download "mountdiag.exe" and run: "mountdiag.exe <drive-letter>:". – Erel Segal-Halevi Jul 3 '12 at 17:50

EXT2FSD works great for me on Windows 7 X64.

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I would recommend using Total Commander with DiskInternals Reader Plugin! Easy and powerful!

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