Home » Devops » HOW TO: Access Linux Partitions (ext2/ext3/ext4/LVM2) from Windows?

If you are a computer nerd, you should be having multiple Operating System starts from Windows, Linux and their flavors like Ubuntu, Mint or others on duel boot. May be, if you met a requirement of accessing windows files and it’s volume ( NTFS/FAT32 ) from Linux it permit you to do that, just by mounting the windows partition in Linux. But in case of windows it fails to explore Linux partition (ext2,ext3,ext4,LVM2) by default. It required third party applications to access them, here I am going to list few third party applications that enables you to access Linux partition in Windows.


Explore2fs is a (Graphical User Interface)GUI explorer tool for accessing ext2 and ext3 filesystems. It runs under all versions of Windows and can read almost any ext2 and ext3 Filesystem. The latest beta version supports Virtual Volume. Explore2FS has enhanced feature which are listed down.

  • Read and Write LVM2 only with linear stripes
  • Read and Write EXT2/EXT3 (e2fsprogs/libext2fs)
  • Read ReiserFS (rfstools)
  • Read and Write Win32 filesystems (Win32 API)
  • Read FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 without using Win32
  • Read and Write software RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5
  • Read and Write via SFTP
  • Read and Write VMWare disks

You can download Explore2fs here.

Ext2 IFS

    Ext2 IFS(Instalable File System) provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008 with full access to Linux Ext2 volumes with read and write access. This may be useful if you have installed both Windows and Linux as a dual boot environment on your computer.

Ext2 IFS installs a pure kernel mode Filesystem driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows operating system to include the Ext2 Filesystem. Since it is executed on the same software layer at the Windows NT operating system core like all of the native Filesystem drivers of Windows (for instance NTFS, FASTFAT, or CDFS for Joliet/ISO CD-ROMs), all applications can access directly to Ext2 volumes.

Ext2 IFS features are listed down.

  • It supports Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Windows 2008.
  • It supports both the 32 bit x86 and the 64 bit x64 platform.
  • Includes drivers with a digital signature for Windows Vista x64.
  • All operations you would expect: Reading and writing files, listing directories, creating, renaming, moving and deleting files or directories, querying and modifying the volume’s label.
  • UTF-8 encoding.
  • It supports htree directories in for Ext3.
  • It enables plug-n-play functionality, when a driver is removed the corresponding driver letter is deleted.File name start with dot “.” treated as hidden.

You can download Ext2IFS here

Ext2 FSD

Ext2 FSD(File System Drive ) is a Open Source Ext2 / Ext3 File System drive for Windows system 2k, XP, VISTA, Win 7 in X86 and AMD 64 Boards. The lates version also supports Ext3 / Ext4 versions.

You can download Ext2 FSD here.

Diskinternals Linux reader

DiskInternals Linux Reader plays the role of a bridge between your Windows and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, HFS and ReiserFS file systems. It provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in file system partitions. It uses common Windows Explorer for extracting data from file system.

Diskinternals Linux reader features are listed below

  • Easy explorer look like interface.
  • Works under Microsoft® Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 Server, Vista.
  • Supported file systems: Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, ReiserFS, HFS, HFS+, NTFS, FAT, exFAT.
  • Supported files of any size.
  • Recovered files can be saved on any (including network) disks visible to the host operating system.

You can download Diskinternals Linux reader here


Ext2Read is an explorer like utility to explore ext2/ext3/ext4 files. It now supports LVM2 and EXT4 extents. It can be used to view and copy files and folders. It can recursively copy entire folders. It can also be used to view and copy disk and file

Ext2Read features are listed below

  • Simple UI designed using QT4.
  • View/Read Ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.
  • Linux LVM2 Support.
  • Ext4 Large File support.
  • Recursively Copy the entire folder or even /
  • Support for external USB disks.
  • Support for disk and filesystem  images. For eg. Wubi users can just
  • open their root.disk file through this program.
  • LRU based Block cache for faster access.
  • Unicode support.

You can download Ext2Read here.


The LTOOLS are a set of command line tools to read and write Linux extended 2/3 and ReiserFS filesystems (Linux’s standard filesystems) from DOS or Windows (XP, 2000, NT, ME, 9.x or 3.x) running on the same machine.

If you don’t like command line tools, you may use LTOOLSgui , which is a Java based graphical user interface (“Explorer like”) for local or remote access to your Linux files. Or you may use LTOOLSnet , which is a .NET based user interface, also providing local or remote access.

LTOOLS feature are listed below

  • list Linux files and directories (command: ldir),
  • copy files from Linux to Windows and vice versa (commands: lread, lwrite),
  • delete or rename Linux files (commands: ldel, lren),
  • create symbolic links (command: lln),
  • create new Linux directories (command: lmkdir),
  • modify a Linux file’s access rights and owner (command: lchange),
  • change the Linux default directory (command: lcd),
  • set the Linux default drive (command: ldrive) and
  • show your harddisk partition setup (command: ldir -part).

You can Download LTOOLS here.

Hope you enjoyed the article feel free to leave your commands.

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