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?


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.

  • 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: networkedmediatank.com/showthread.php?tid=23220 you may be interested in Ext2FSD alternatively: ext2fsd.com
    – 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>:". fs-driver.org/download/mountdiag.exe Jul 3 '12 at 17:50

EXT2FSD works great for me on Windows 7 X64. http://www.ext2fsd.com/


I would recommend using Total Commander with DiskInternals Reader Plugin! Easy and powerful! (Note: Read only access)

  1. Install Total Commander

  2. Download the DiskInternals zip and unzip to a directory

  3. Install the file system plugin:

    a. Unzip the plugin to a directory of your choice.

    b. In Totalcmd, choose Configuration - Options - Operation - Plugins

    c. Click on "Configure" for .WDX enter image description here

    d. Click Add and choose the .wfx file of that plugin and click OK

  4. Enter the usb and on Total Commander navigate to Network Neighborhood enter image description here

  5. Select [DiskInternals reader] and then navigate to the directory you need to read/copy/extract enter image description here

  • Just good to know: Read-only access Apr 5 '18 at 19:41

Another option is Diskinternals Linux Reader, which is free software.

However, it provides read-only access.

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