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Is there any way I can use ext3 partitions on Windows 7?

I have tried to install, but it doesn't seems to run on Windows 7.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It is not the most elegant way, but Cooperative Linux works for me:

Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. More generally, Cooperative Linux (short-named coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7.

Here's a tutorial: Ext3, ReiserFS & XFS in Windows thanks to coLinux

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I've really interested in this, but it appears that CoLinux doesn't work on 64-bit versions of Windows. There's a roadmap on the CoLinux wiki, but it's got a ways to go yet. – stillinbeta Apr 24 '10 at 14:20
Gosh, it seems so overcomplicated just to be able to use the filesystem! – Grzenio Jun 3 '10 at 15:27

I figured this question would be solved by now, but I wanted to report my new findings as I was stuck with the same issue.

As Jhon T pointed out, Ext2 IFS is one way to go if you can cope with the idea of running it always as an administrator and with Windows Vista compatibility. It doesn't run directly on Windows 7 because of the changes they did to the handling of file systems.

However, I wanted to add this solution: ext2fsd. It works by installing a compatibility layer (in more precise words, a driver) between the hard disk access subsystem and the kernel, and it works really nicely. I tested it, and I really love it. Minor grip, it doesn't looks like they're going to support ext4 most touted feature, extents, in the near time.

Other than that, if you have any problems with the driver installation, you might have to disable Driver Signature Enforcement on Windows' startup (Press F8 before the logo appears, move to Windows 7's entry, press F8 again and select Disable driver signature enforcement.)

One way to go without doing this each single reboot of your existence is using ReadyDriver Plus. It is freeware and automates those steps for you.

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I could not get the Ext2IFS solution working in Win7, but Ext2Fsd worked practically out of the box. Thanks! – M. Tibbits Jul 10 '11 at 18:24
While I have been able to access an ext3 disk using ext2fsd, I've had blue screens on two accounts when copying large amounts of data (over 100 Gb in 1-5 Gb files). Wouldn't trust this driver with write access... – Adam Lindberg Apr 3 '12 at 17:59
@Tamh: excellent answer, too bad you were so late. For some reason Google never directly turned up ext2fsd although it seems it's the only free driver-layer solution. On my system, "Mount via DefineDosDevice, will be lost after reboot" didn't work (I tried this way for a quick test), so everyone else trying don't get discouraged. I just the "Automatic mount via MountMgr" then. – mark May 30 '12 at 7:04

Try to run in Vista compatibility mode as administrator.

There is also Linux Reader and Explore2fs which will allow you to access ext3 volumes.

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protected by BinaryMisfit Oct 2 '10 at 23:28

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