How can I make Windows XP recognize secondary hard drive after installing Ubuntu 10?
Question by Kevin /

I have a Windows XP machine that has a secondary drive on it, primarily used for data. The drive was divided into four partitions, long before Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu 10 on this machine a month or so ago. Ubuntu can recognize the second drive and all its files and partitions. Now, I have a need to access via Windows XP, but can no longer access this drive from XP. Not sure what to do about this situation.

Is there a safe way to get Windows XP to recognize the drive and its data without fear of losing data?

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Answers (8)
  • Ememem206

    Hi, I’m trying to do something similar and can’t figure it out. I have a tower w/ three HDDs. The first two are 160GB and both have WinXP installed. I use no.1 for browsing/whatever and the 2nd is backup storage. I also have a 3rd HDD, 41GB. I wiped it completely and installed Ubuntu on it yesterday. Now, when I have my primary HDD booted and running WinXP, it can’t “see” the 41G with Ubuntu.

    How do I get WinXP to recognize a secondary HDD that is formatted with Linux Ubuntu???


    • Tina


      if the suggestions above are not helpful, I recommend that you post a new question. Click the Ask a Question button in the top right on MakeUseOf Answers and enter your problem description.

  • Kevin

    Thanks for all the input and suggestions. So far, none of these are working, doing what I’d like to happen, which is have XP read the 2ndry drive and its partitions, as it did prior to Ubuntu install. The only item in the suggestions I have left to try, is installing the ext2fsd, which will probly be next weekend. (10/8 or so)

    • Aibek

      Thanks for the update. We’ll feature this question in our weekly ‘hardest questions’ post, maybe someone will be able to recommend a working solution for you.

  • Anonymous

    HiSorry to hear this then try Ext2 Installable File System for Windows can make yourself a bootable “slipstreamed” XP CD, preferably a CD-R, that has the data contents of your XP CD with the SP3 updates integrated into it, and use that to boot the computer with, and use the Product Key for the original CD with it. Setup will then recognize the existing partitions on the drive fine. try SFC /scannow SFC (System File Checker) will accept the slipstreamed CD with it’s SP3 updates as a valid source to check against when XP has been upgraded with SP3 updates. SFC won’t accept the XP CD with no SP updates as a valid source to check against in the same circumstance. Alternatively1.Backup everything2.Test the backup works!3.Copy the backup somewhere4.Test the second backup works!5.Re-partition & Reformat6.Recover the backup

    Ext2Fsd is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64).
    4.Run the ext2fsd installer (admin rights). During install, I recommend you uncheck the “enable write access” feature to safeguard against losing data in your Linux partitions.
    5.Restart Windows .
    6.Run the Ext2 Volume Manager from Start Menu.

  • Kevin

    Just adding another detail: from within XP, when I try to access the 2ndry hard drive or any of the partitions I created, I get a pop up that that asks if I want to format the drives. I’m sure I don’t wanna do that, coz won’t that erase my data?

  • Kevin

    I may be doing something wrong here, but Paragon ExtBrowser does not seem to be working. The drive I’m trying to access from XP is in the machine as my 2ndry. Primary drive has both XP & Ubuntu 10.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Anonymous

    Try Paragon ExtBrowser 1.0
    With Paragon ExtBrowser, you can work with a Linux native file system using Windows. Just plug in your hard disk with ExtFS partitions to your PC via eSATA or USB-to-SATA and you can instantly modify files on Linux partition without installing special drivers.

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