How can I open a Linux partition in Windows without losing data?

Frankie Mwendah September 19, 2012

I am currently using WinXP after being on Ubuntu for so long.

Now, I had this partition that cannot open in Windows that had a lot of my files that I don’t want to delete. So,whenever I want to access them I have to run a Linux (e.g Mepis).

Is there a way I can access the partition on Windows without losing the data? Which file system can work for both Linux and Windows?



  1. dragonmouth
    January 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    What type of files are they? It may be possible to convert them from Linux file system to a Windows file system which will allow you to access them natively from Windows and get rid of the Linux partition. I am sorry but I cannot provide a specific conversion program name. Maybe some of the other posters can.

    If you want to keep your Linux partition then use the software suggested above by previous posters.

  2. Abba Jee
    November 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Method No.1
    In Windows, open a browser and go to Download the latest explore2fs zip file...
    ... and unpack it. In the new folder, you'll find the explore2fs executable. Double-click on it to start it:
    The Explore2fs filebrowser starts; you can now browse your Linux partitions and copy&paste files to your Windows partition:

    Method No.2
    Go to and download and install the DiskInternals Linux Reader.
    After the installation, the Linux Reader starts automatically and scans your hard drive for Linux partitions:
    Afterwards, you can find your Windows and Linux partitions in the Linux Reader (which looks like the Windows Explorer):
    Now you can browse your Linux partitions:
    To copy a file/directory from a Linux partition to your Windows partition, right-click on the file/directory and select Save:
    Then select the folder on your Windows partition where you want to store the file/directory:
    The DiskInternals Linux Reader can be started from the normal start menu:

    Method No.3
    3 Ext2 Installable File System For Windows

    The Ext2 Installable File System For Windows (which supports ext2 and ext3!) can be downloaded from During the installation you will be asked to assign a drive letter to your Linux partitions (e.g. L:); you don't need to assign a drive letter to your swap partition:
    After the installation, you can find your Linux partition(s) in the normal Windows Explorer (under the drive letter that you assigned to it during the installation):
    You can now browse and use your Linux partition(s) like a normal Windows partition.
    As mentioned in the introduction of this article, the Ext2 Installable File System For Windows supports read and write operations on the Linux partitions. In order to test if the write support really works, we can try to create an empty folder on a Linux partition. Right-click on an empty area on the Linux partition and select New > Folder:
    Enter a name for the new folder (e.g. test):
    If everything goes well, you should now have a new folder on your Linux partition.

    (the source was taken from
    where you can find more information with pics :) hope that helped you :)

  3. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

    You can use ext2fsd or ext2explore.

  4. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    there is a way to get this done. try this application.

    ext2explore. download link is provided.

  5. Abidhusain Momin
    October 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Use Third party partition software..

  6. Amit Sinha
    September 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    You can't view your Linux Files on Windows OS but you Can view your all your windows files on Linux partition.

    One more thing that you should simply remove Linux if you did not require it switching from one os to another requires reboot and wastes your time.

    Linux os is mostly used by computer professional.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

      My classmate and teacher use Linux and they're certainly not IT professionals. That aside, I agree. You should just remove Linux and reformat the partition into NTFS if you don't use it anymore, just for the sake of cleaning things up.

      • dragonmouth
        January 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        Frankie says: "Is there a way I can access the partition on Windows without losing the data?"

        Please note that Frankie DOES NOT want to lose the data on his Linux partition. Therefore removing it and reformatting to NTFS is not an option.

        I have suggested to him that he convert the data from ext3fs to NTFS but, of the top of my head, I cannot think of any program he could use.

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          January 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm

          Sorry, didn't see that bit. I'm not aware of any software that can convert without losing the data, so if you remember the name, do tell me. Currently I think softwares like ext2fsd or ext2explore would do the job. It'll allow you to access ext2 and ext3 from Windows. Ext4 might be possible, but I've never tested it personally.

  7. Deekshith Allamaneni
    September 26, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I personally use "Linux Reader"

  8. josemon maliakal
    September 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    ext2fsd is a cool app, that i have been using

  9. Justin Pot
    September 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Dug through the archives here, found this:

    [Broken Link Removed]
    I've used this software before, and it works with ext2 and ext3. Haven't tried it with ext4, to be honest.

    Let us know which solution works best, okay?

  10. susendeep dutta
    September 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    3 Ways to Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows -

  11. ahmed Fouad khalil
    September 20, 2012 at 11:46 am
  12. ha14
    September 20, 2012 at 6:54 am
  13. Bruce Epper
    September 20, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Paragon Software has ExtBrowser which allows read/write access to Ext2 and Ext3 partitions through Windows. It's a freebie.

  14. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 20, 2012 at 1:49 am

    If through Windows XP, you have installed Ubuntu through the WUBI installer, it can read each others FS and partitions seamlessly.

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