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One of my partitions is ext3,I can't even see it in Windows,I want to convert it to ntfs or fat32 so I can use it. How can I convert this partition from ext3 to ntfs in Windows XP without destroying the data stored in other partitions?

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2 Answers 2

The best idea I can think of is to boot to a Linux LiveCD that supports ntfs read/write and mount the ext3 partition. Then hookup an external drive, format it ntfs / fat32 (as long as you don't have 2GB+ files), then copy all the files over. Then boot back to windows, hookup the drive, and you'd be able to access the files.

Another option is to use the same process, but copy to the windows partition instead. The main drawback is that if something goes wrong it could destroy your windows partition, hence why an external drive is recommended.

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There is a freeware ext2 file system driver for Windows here. I would install that and mount your ext3 partition as an ext2 partition in read-only mode. I would not mount it as a read-write partition as doing so will destroy the journaling data on the filesystem which is a part of ext3 but ext2 lacks. I do not know if this functions on all versions of Windows due to changes in the driver model, but it does work on XP. I do not believe it supports ext4 partitions unless they're not using any new features of ext4 (extents, different inode sizes, etc.).

Another alternative is ext2read, which will allow you to access ext2 through ext4 partitions essentially the same way that 7-Zip or WinZip allows you to access archives. You're limited to read-only access, I believe. A closed-source (but still free) alternative to ext2read is DiskInternals Linux Reader.

To actually convert it, you'll need to copy the data off and reformat the partition. I know of no hot or offline conversion tools for ext*.

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