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Is it possible to mount Ubuntu 10.10's partition on Windows 7?

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marked as duplicate by Eliah Kagan, Eric Carvalho, David Foerster, bodhi.zazen, mikewhatever Apr 10 at 12:35

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That depends on the underlying partition format. Ext2 has widespread support. Btrfs probably dooesn't have any. – apoorv020 Jan 10 '11 at 7:06

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

You have a couple that can Read And/Or Write to Ext2 And/Or Ext3 And/Or Ext4 file systems and can mount this fyle systems in windows. Some are:

Ext2Read - (Most updated)

Ext2fsd - (Second Most Updated)

Fs Driver -

Disk Internals (Linux Read) - (Popular several years ago)

Explore2FS - (Super Popular some years ago)

Now for the compatibility with Windows 7:

Ext2Read - Confirmed Windows 7
Ext2fsd - Confirmed on Windows 7
FS Driver - Confirmed on Windows 7
Disk Internals (Linux Read) - Confirmed on Windows 7
Explore2FS - Confirmed on Windows 7

Now for the "problems" you should watch out.

Even though you can read and maybe write to linux files and directories from windows there has been several problems regarding the issue of reading/writing from windows to Linux via tools like this. For example:

  • Information lost
  • Corrupted Information that was copied
  • Corrupted File System (Inodes, Complete Directories, Etc)
  • Garbage Read/Write (Like strange symbols)

Maybe others. Some small cases include loosing a lot of information. So this is a big warning if you want to use tools like this. Anyway if has been also tested by several people and to them it worked good. So it all depends on you.

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Note that since none of those are made/maintained by Microsoft, they don't have any official support, and are not particularly well integrated into windows. I would consider most of them to be experimental and would be careful when using any of them. – ImaginaryRobots Jan 10 '11 at 23:55
None of these allow mounting an Ext4 partition... and as far as I can tell, only one can even read from it. – Nathan Osman Jan 11 '11 at 3:32
Ext2Read supports or at least it says it supports Ext4. that is why (The only reason why actually) i mention Ext4. – Luis Alvarado Jan 11 '11 at 4:07

The most reliable way to access Linux filesystems from Windows is to do it via a virtual machine. There are several options. CoLinux is the lightest one, but might be difficult to install (I don't think there's an up-to-date distribution, so if you want ext4 and btrfs you have to assemble the pieces), and I think CoLinux doesn't work on 64-bit Windows. Otherwise you can use a hosted virtual machine such as VirtualBox, see for example How to import existing Linux partition into VirtualBox as guest?.

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The simple answer is "it's very tricky and not polished." assuming you're 10.10 is installed on ext4 (which I believe is the default). What you could do is mount your /home dir on a fat32 file system and that would allow you to mount it on the windows side. This should help some if you decided to go with that route. Remember to back up the data already in your /home dir before switching where the OS looks for it.

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