Is there a way to read
ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
Ext2Read works well. It can also open & read disk images ( eg: Wubi disk images)
Ext2Read is an explorer like utility to explore ext2/ext3/ext4 files. It now supports LVM2 and EXT4 extents. It can be used to view and copy files and folders. It can recursively copy entire folders. It can also be used to view and copy disk and file
DiskInternals Linux Reader
This program plays the role of a bridge between your Windows and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, HFS and ReiserFS file systems.
- Integrated with Windows Explorer
- Reader for Ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, Reiser4, HFS, HFS+, FAT, exFAT, NTFS, ReFS, UFS2
- Can create and open disk images
EXT2FSD works for reading ext4 filesystems, though not all of ext4's capabilities are supported.
After installing set a letter to each Linux drive (see screen-shot) and then restart the application. After that Windows Explorer will show the Linux partitions as any other partition.
There is now another solution: Paragon ExtFS for Windows, which acts as a file system driver and so you don't need to use a specialized program to access your files.
From the website:
- Fast and easy read/write access to Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4 under Windows
- The only solution with Ext4 read - write support!
- Easy-to-install and supports Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
edit 2015-04-06 you might want to stick to read files off Linux - there have been anecdotal reports of file system corruptions when writing files to ext4 partitions using Paragon
Ext4Explore is a program that allows Linux partitions to be browsed from Microsoft Windows. It has a GUI which will be familiar to users of Windows Explorer.
- Displays Windows Icons
- Symbolic Links Displayed with 'Shortcut' Overlay
- Follows Symbolic Links and Displays Correct File Information
- Copy Files and Directories
- Configurable Edit Context Menu Option
DiskGenius is available as a free, versatile partition manager, running under Windows OS, up to and including Windows 10 v. 1909, that includes the ability to read extn (i.e., ext, ext2, ext3 & ext4)partitions. It allows full access to files and folders in those partitions. (There are also commercially licensed versions, but for the use described, the free versions should be sufficient.)
It also provides access to virtual disks created by some disk imaging software, such as Macrium Reflect. Reflect enables one to mount a disk image as a virtual disk, but browsing the image can only be done for file systems for which Windows has drivers. However, the mounted image can be explored in DiskGenius.
[Sadly, Ext2Fsd does not work on my current version of Windows, and Ext2Fsd has not been updated in years. It would have been nice to add drivers directly to Windows OS.]
If you want to dual boot Ubuntu (or any Linux-based OS) with Windows and read ext3/ext4 filesystem, you can use Ext2FSD. Although you may need to take special steps as explained below.
I’ve successfully used Ext2fsd on Windows 7 to read my ext4 (!) filesystem this way.
For those interested, more detailed how-to is here: Read ext3/ext4 Partition from Windows 7:
Originally Posted by berm0o0da on August 29, 2010 :
The newest version of Ext2Read open source software can read normal Ext4 filesystems from Windows, even with ‘extents’ feature bit enabled! Please share your experience with this software in the comments.
If you use Windows 7 and want to dual-boot Ubuntu (or another Linux-based operating system), you’ll want to be able to read Ubuntu files from Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
From Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 ext4 filesystem uses by default, and previous versions use ext3 and ext2 filesystems. There are several good options to read and write ext2 filesystems from Windows systems, but ext3 or ext4 support is an entirely different scenario.
I tried three different software to read my ext4 partition: Ext2fsd, Ext2IFS, andDiskInternal Linux Reader. Ext2IFS fails to mount my ext4 partition due to unknown feature bit AND because my partition has inode size of 256 (Ext2IFS only supports inode size 128). DiskInternal Linux Reader apparently tries to scan my harddisk forever.
With Ext2fsd, I’ve successfully accessed my ext4 filesystem from Windows 7. Here I’ll show you the steps to make it happen:
- When creating/formatting the ext4 filesystem, make sure to add
-O ^extentwhich means disabling the “extent” feature bit. The following steps will not work if your ext4 filesystem still has “extent” feature enabled. ext2 and ext3 partitions should be fine.
Right-click the downloaded file and click Properties. Set the compatibility mode to “Windows Vista Service Pack 2″ and check “Run as administrator”.
- Run the ext2fsd installer. During install, I recommend you uncheck the “enable write access” feature to safeguard against losing data in your Linux partitions.
- Restart Windows 7.
- Run the Ext2 Volume Manager from Start Menu.
Now you should be able to mount your Linux ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions from Windows 7 and read the files without any trouble.
These steps should also work on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP, only that you will not need to enable compatibility mode (step 3).
note : You should run this program as an administrator. Use it and enjoy 😉
Hope this helps!