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My current setup involves a OCZ vertex 120 GB SSD with Windows 8 (label OS) on and and an 1 TB Seagate HDD on which I hold data and the User Profile directory of Windows 8 (label data).

I created free space using Disk Management in Windows on the 1 TB device and booted using the 12.10 Ubuntu USB flash drive.

When asked for the location of the install, I selected the free space I created in the previous step on the 1 TB device and created a new logical partition (label Ubuntu) and a swap partition. The installation went fine with the exception of the GPU lockup that is still occurring on my desktop NVIDIA card. That's another bug that I had in the past with 12.04 and I'm still surprised to have found it on 12.10.

Now although I see my data partition which contains my windows user profiles in Ubuntu, when I boot into Windows it doesn't see it, thus I can't log in (says user profile service could not find profile, obviously because the drive is seen as missing). Starting the repair console in Windows and running DISKPART lists the 1 TB harddrive as "invalid" instead of online.

IS there any way I can make Windows 8 see the data partition once more or will I have to backup my data and reformat it? :/

I am a linux user at work but never had to undergo the process of setting up a dual boot or installing/maintaining ubuntu. I have to say that it is quite frustrating .

Here's an EDIT: I proceeded to reinstall ubuntu without the swap space and with a primary partition on the free space and here is what fdisk -l gives: sdb is the 1 TB hard drive and sdc is the the 120 GB SSD. sda and sdd are removable drives.

Disk /dev/sda: 4089 MB, 4089446400 bytes
61 heads, 60 sectors/track, 2182 cylinders, total 7987200 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc50e8c8e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2888     7987199     3992156    b  W95 FAT32

Disk /dev/sdb: 2000.4 GB, 2000398934016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders, total 3907029168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x5c834909

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              63        2047         992+  42  SFS
/dev/sdb2   *        2048  3497426943  1748712448   42  SFS
/dev/sdb3      3497426944  3907028991   204801024   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdc: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x78bcb4b8

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1   *        2048   234438655   117218304    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdd: 4001 MB, 4001366016 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1016 cylinders, total 7815168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xa2e6b78a

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1   *          63     7807589     3903763+   7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sdd2         7807590     7807652          31+  21  Unknown
share|improve this question
How did you shrink the data partition? Can you add the output of sudo fdisk -l (that is a small L) to the question. –  mikewhatever Jan 31 '13 at 6:04
I used the Disk Management Tool in Windows 8 and right clicked on the data volume and clicked on Shrink Volume... –  octi Jan 31 '13 at 6:31
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1 Answer

I did some Googling, and here's what I found:


Ext2Fsd is a Windows file system driver for the Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4 file systems. It allows Windows to read Linux file systems natively, providing access to the file system via a drive letter that any program can access.

You can have Ext2Fsd launch at every boot or only open it when you need it. While you can theoretically enable support for writing to Linux partitions, I haven’t tested this. I’d be worried about this option, myself – a lot can go wrong. Read-only support is fine, though, and doesn’t have a risk of messing anything up.

The Ext2 Volume Manager application allows you to define mount points for your Linux partitions and change Ext2Fsd’s settings.

If you didn’t set Ext2Fsd to autostart at boot, you’ll have to go into Tools –> Service Management and start the Ext2Fsd service before you can access your Linux files. By default, the driver automatically mounts and assigns drive letters to your Linux partitions, so you don’t have to do anything extra.

You’ll find your Linux partitions mounted at their own drive letters in Windows Explorer. You can access the files on them from any application, without the hassle of copying files to your Windows partition before accessing them.

This partition’s file system as actually EXT4, but Ext2Fsd can read it fine, anyway. If you’re looking for your personal files, you’ll find them in your /home/NAME directory.

DiskInternals Linux Reader

Linux Reader is a freeware application from DiskInternals, developers of data recovery software. In addition to the Ext file systems, Linux Reader also supports ReiserFS and Apple’s HFS and HFS+ file systems. It’s read-only, so it can’t damage your Linux file system.

Linux Reader doesn’t provide access via a drive letter – it’s a separate application you launch to browse your Linux partitions.

Linux Reader shows previews of your files, making it easy to find the right one.

If you want to work with a file in Windows, you’ll have to save the file from your Linux partition to your Windows file system with the Save option. You can also save entire directories of files.


Ext2explore is an open-source application that works similarly to DiskInternals Linux Reader — but only for Ext4, Ext3, and Ext2 partitions. It also lacks file previews, but it has one advantage: it doesn’t have to be installed; you can just download the .exe and run it.

The Ext2explore.exe program must be run as administrator or you’ll get an error – you can do this from the right-click menu.

To save some time in the future, go into the file’s properties window and enable the “Run this program as an administrator” option on the Compatibility tab.

As with Linux Reader, you’ll have to save a file or directory to your Windows system before you can open it in other programs.

All credit for unearthing these programs goes to How-To Geek.

share|improve this answer
this is not about reading the ext4 file system but reading the NTFS file system that was on the 1 TB hardrive before creating the linux partition. Windows saw it fine but after putting ubuntu on Windows can't see it anymore –  octi Jan 31 '13 at 7:05
@octi Aww crud. I misread the question. All that effort for nothing. Now I feel like a moron... :( –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Jan 31 '13 at 7:06
@JamesTheAwesomeDude Does your procedure work for Windows 8? Because if this does, I would create a new question where it will fit better and other user can find it. –  Lucio Apr 17 '13 at 23:58
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