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I have a HDD with a linux installation (ubuntu). I simply plugged it into my windows machine and foolishly expected it to show up in windows explorer. It didn't show up. I started the command prompt and entered diskpart. I did "list disk" and the drive shows up:

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online         1863 GB      0 B //This is the one!
  Disk 1    Online         1862 GB      0 B
  Disk 2    No Media           0 B      0 B

Great, so I did "select disk 0" and then "list partition":

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Primary           1861 GB  1024 KB
  Partition 0    Extended          1737 MB  1861 GB
  Partition 2    Logical           1737 MB  1861 GB

Ok cool, this is all like I expected it to be. But wait, why is my drive not showing up then? I went to the windows disk management thingy and there it is, but it has no drive letter assigned. So I went back to diskpart, entered "select partition 1" and then "assign letter=z".

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> assign letter=z

There is no volume specified.
Please select a volume and try again.

Ugh, fine! "list volume":

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     F                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1         System Rese  NTFS   Partition    350 MB  Healthy    System
  Volume 2     C                NTFS   Partition    214 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 3     D   Stuff        NTFS   Partition   1648 GB  Healthy
  Volume 4     E                       Removable       0 B  No Media

The volume is not there. This is where it stops for me. How can I add this drive to windows explorer? There are some files on there I would like to recover, but I forgot the linux password I configured (been years since I last used this machine), so I can't access those files through the installed linux.

How can I recover my files?

I'm using windows 8 pro.

I'm now using a program called ext2fsd. I can now see the drive in explorer, but I still can't access it. The search continues...

  • unless the partition is formatted with NTFS, windows cannot see it. Perhaps a bootable linux USB will help. Check out UNETBOOTIN – uSlackr Oct 22 '14 at 16:09
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The program "ext2fsd" did the trick. Here is a quick rundown:

I first downloaded the zip from their site, which had a setup.bat that didn't work for me ("error 1275 the driver was block from loading"). Then I went back to the site and downloaded the regular .exe, I ran it and it installed the program. After a reboot I could go start the program again and see my drive, rightclick -> service management -> start service. Now I can access my ext drive from within windows as if it is an NTFS formatted drive!

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