How to Access Your Linux Partition from Windows

If you have a PC that dual-boots with Windows and Linux, this tutorial will show you how to easily access the files on your Linux partition/drive while Windows is running.

Preface: this program contains an experimental feature that allows you to write files back to your Linux partition. I would strongly advise against using it. This software works great at allowing you to access and copy files from your Linux Partition to your Windows partition. Do not attempt to copy/move files back to Linux.

  1. Head over to the Ext2Fsd download page and then download and install Ext2Fsd. At the end of the installation you can leave the Start Ext2 Volume Manager right now to assign drive letters for your ext2/ext3 partitions? checked, but the program may crash when it tries to auto-launch.
  2. If it does crash, just locate and launch from your Applications list.
  3. Locate and select your EXT3 (or other supported file system) Linux partition from the top column.

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  5. Click Tools from the menu, and select Service Management from the drop-down list.
  6. Make sure that both Mount all volumes in read-only mode and Assign drive letter automatically are checked, then click the Start button.
  7. Now click the Apply button.
  8. If you’re prompted with a message about current settings being overwritten, click Yes.
  9. Now navigate to your My Computer listing. From there, you’ll see that your Linux partition is now mounted as its own drive, and assigned a drive letter (in the example below, it’s the E: drive). Double-click your ‘new’ drive.

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  11. Now you can access all of your Linux files without having to reboot into Linux.

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  13. It is possible to have Ext2Fsd launch and run automatically each time your PC boots into Windows. I would advise against that and simply repeat the above steps each time you need to access your Linux files. When it’s set to start each time Windows starts, it’s more prone to crashing.

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