I'm dual booting Debian amd-64 Wheezy 7.5 and Windows 8.1

I have 6 drives and I am 100% positive that four of the drives are formatted Ext4 (Formatted in Linux)

How on earth is it that when I'm in Windows I can casually read the drives and write to the drives without having installed any special software whatsoever.

I've now switched back and forth between the two operating systems many, many times to make sure I'm not going crazy.

No, they are not FAT32.
No, they are NTFS.

This is a pretty fresh 8.1 installation and again, I have not installed any third-party software.


Added images



  • What's displayed in the drive's properties dialog? Did you share it though any network drive? – phuclv Jun 7 '14 at 5:59
  • Drive properities reveal the ext4 as ext3 (three). no big deal. After I had copied over 2TB to two (2) drives (ext4) I switched over to Debian and made one of the available as a samba share. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 0:23
  • I am not 'installing' programs on any of the ext4 drives. simply copying over 3TB of data files onto each. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 0:30
  • Please post a screenshot of diskmgmt.msc as well as a screenshot of an ext4 drive if possible – phuclv Jun 8 '14 at 0:31
  • screenshots coming right up. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 5:24

You can't write to/read from an EXT4-formatted partition in windows without special software, because Windows can only read NTFS, FAT32 and a few others.

  • No, it can, but needs something to be downloaded to it. – peterh Jun 7 '14 at 7:09
  • But I am. I literally am copy a ton of data from other drive to my ext4 drives without any problems, without having installed anything to make that happen, and I'm losing sleep not understanding how this is possible. It's a clean Windows 8.1 installation and if you saw the programs and features list you'd realize nothing 3rd party has been added. At present I have 6 drives; 4 of which are ext4. Ext4 born in Debian amd-64 7.5. 1 is ReFS, 1 is NTFS. I keep rebooting and booting in from linux to make sure I'm not going crazy but everything is working smooth as silk. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 0:21
  • I now shared all ext4 volumes and can read/write to the drives from the general windows share on another Windows 8.1 based laptop. This is killing me because I had formatted other drives with the MISERABLE ReFS [fs] which neither debian nor centOS/fedora could even mount. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 0:27
  • TimoS, Windows can read/write to ext2/ext3 with the most simple, free standalone software you can imagine. that isn't any issue. but in this case, there's no software, it's ext4 and it's working as if I've no fs compatibility issue had ever existed in the first place. – Charles Jun 8 '14 at 0:32

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.