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How to read ext4 and btrfs partitions in Windows?

I installed Ubuntu 11.04 sometimes back within Windows 7 using wubi. Lately, I turned off my computer while ubuntu was shutting down. Since then Whenever i try booting ubuntu, I get a Segmentation fault error and busy box opens by default. Since I have crucial data on ubuntu disk, I want to access the ubuntu files from Windows 7. Is there any software which allows me to do so?

Note: For ubuntu installed within windows, all the data is stored in a file root.disk. One way to read it is by using ext2explore.

  • 1
    If I had to save data from a corrupt Linux installation, I would use a live CD
    – danjjl
    Sep 26 '11 at 15:07

Windows 7 cannot read linux drives directly, however you can try running windows softwares like Ext2Fsd as mentioned above or LinuxReader by DiskInternals.


You can use Ext2Fsd to access an Ext4 (default Ubuntu partition format) partition in Windows.

A Ext4 partition will be mounted in read-only mode by default even do you could mount it in read-and-write mode if you really need to (not recommended).

You can find more information on how to run and install it here.


Windows is not capable of using non-Windows file systems. If necessary, you should instead boot a live Ubuntu session, which is capable of using Windows file systems.

But it is likely that you'll be able to easily fix the Ubuntu installation. It will probably be as simple as renaming a file. You can easily confirm this. If you do not have a file called c:/ubuntu/disks/root.disk, then it will be easy to fix.

What you should do, is to open another question, such as "How do I fix this broken wubi install?" and add the output from ls -laR /media/WINDOWS_FS/ubuntu. Make sure to replace WINDOWS_FS with the label of your C:\ filesystem.


Another useful method to fix errors like this is to use Puppy Linux. You can install it to a flash drive from Windows with Pen Drive Linux's Universal USB Installer. Then you can boot many PC's into Linux whenever you want.

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