mounting ext3 in windows

As I said a few days ago, my home CD drives were busted, so I needed to recover my backups by loading them onto my work computer, then bring a hard drive in from home and copy them over.

All my home hard drives are formatted as ext3, which Windows does not support natively.

In order to see the drive, I’m using Ext2IFS, a driver which extends the XP kernel to understand the ext3 file system.

As a side-point – it is interesting that people keep saying that Linux’s hardware support is somehow lacking in comparison to Windows. As far as I know, Windows supports only FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ISO9660, and UDF file systems. Linux, on the other hand, supports probably about a hundred different file systems. Windows also runs only on the i386 platform, whereas Linux runs on everything from watches to mainframes. Limited, my arse.

26 Comments.

  1. I am linux/windows user but. when people say linux hardware support is limited, they are not talking about different processors.
    they are talking about going down to compusa and buying some wierd usb device and getting it work with linux.

  2. and btw windows does have for more processors but windows did support dec alphas as well as i386 for awhile. and I know of an 8 processor hp machine that ran windows, but it had a special hal.
    just some history.

  3. messed up first sentance, linux does have far more processors is what I meant. to type.

  4. Wow, it actually works. This is the third program I’ve tried to read an ext3 drive with, and the first that actually works. Thanks.

  5. yeah certainly linux supports something which are really unconventional (rare processors for embedded systems) but dosent supports many common things(soft modems etc) and linux is far more resorce consuming than windows and not so automagical as windows and it does nothing except making life a common user more complicted. software on linux are quite unreliable feature lacking crashes easily, has no garuntee. installing a simple software is a big deal in linux . where as in windows we have everything that too in a easy to use interface. and we have direct x and wmp.
    in linux i havent seen a player that playes all the songs without a hitch
    a player playing song since hours may all of a sudden pop out an error such as error initalizing sudio device for no apperent reasons

  6. amol. a little bit off topic, I think… but I’ll offer a short reply.

    “dosent supports many common things(soft modems etc)”. otherwise known as “winmodems”, these are not really modems, but rather, the bare minimum hardware required to make the connection. the “modem” part of the system is then handled by the operating system. the reason they’re called “win” modems is that usually, the hardware supplier only provides drivers for windows. Is this Linux’s fault, or the hardware manufacturer’s?

    “linux is far more resorce consuming than windows”. really? please provide a link proving this.

    “not so automagical as windows”. in what way? on my system, if you plug in a camera, it immediately recognises it as a storage device and provides a mounted partition for it. in windows, the same camera pops up a “hardware detected” wizard, which then walks me through a five minute driver installation followed by a “please restart your computer”. which one was automagical, again?

    “software on linux are”:

    “quite unreliable”, “crashes easily”. these are symptoms of either unstable releases, or a bad installation. Use something more reliable. Try one of the more well-supported distros, like Fedora, SuSE or Mandriva.
    “feature lacking”. for example? what does Windows do that Linux doesn’t? (apart from blue screen of death)
    “has no garuntee”. If you buy your distribution from a reseller such as SuSE, RedHat, Mandriva, etc, then you will receive a warantee along with it. If you downloaded it, then you have exactly the same guarantee as any other free thing, ie; none.
    “installing a simple software is a big deal in linux”. really. To install, let’s say, Firefox in Fedora, I type “yum install firefox” at the console, and five minutes later, it is installed. To do this in windows, you must first go to mozilla.org, download the installation binary, uninstall the current version you have installed, then follow the installation wizard. Personally, I prefer the simple “yum” method. And if you try to come back with “that’s a console app”, try yumex, a graphical installation program.
    “where as in windows we have everything that too in a easy to use interface. and we have direct x and wmp. in linux i havent seen a player that playes all the songs without a hitch”. direct x? what’s so great about that? we have DRI and other methods. as for a media player. For music, try Amarok or XMMS. For video, try GMplayer, Xine or Ogle. Personally, I use the console-based MPlayer (http://mplayerhq.hu/“) for everything. I have zero problems playing anything. Especially if it is written in an open-standards-based format (.ogg, for example).
    “a player playing song since hours may all of a sudden pop out an error such as error initalizing sudio device for no apperent reasons”. You may have single-threaded arts installed, instead of something multi-taskable such as alsa. arts is currently being replaced by the KDE team.

  7. Ext2IFS is a pretty gem amongst windows… It something that actually works with minimal toying. Not everything works with Windows sometimes, because not everyone has the same lay-out configuration. Same goes for Linux too, but at least it’s a hell of a lot easier to get help with the problem.

    Noting another thing, and before you finish reading this statement, and go “oh what an assuming ignorant ass”, it proves true alot. People who don’t understand linux usually have extremely poor grammatical skills, and type like a two-year old with a ‘Speak and Spell’. Constantly I hear/read “o lunix r 2 frastratin fer me, i cant get it 2 do n e thing”. It’s commonly a typographical error on their part, or the inability to read correctly. Great job on the educational system.

    Yes, Ext2IFS is pretty great, but I feel it needs an update. Mount Anything worked pretty well too.

  8. Linux from my experence has alot more support. But because linux isn’t an out-of-package deal like windows when you buy your computer. So most people don’t get to really experence linux as much as windows. Because of this more hardware makers support windows over linux. A plus side of linux would have to be it’s great support, no matter how old the hardware you can always find an open source driver for it if you look hard enough.

    About early about linux is resorce consuming, I would like to see a link of this myself. If you have used linux, you would had known that linux can run on a bare computer of just 16 mb ram, 100mhz and 500mb hard drive. That was all that was needed because no gui was needed for a dns server with router capabilities.

  9. Just today I managed to run two copies of UT2004 on my machine; both connected to the server one of them was running, with two more people connected via the net.

    I have 512MB of memory and 1GB of swap. Accomplishing the same feat on Windows is 1) HIGHLY unlikely, especially as Windows doesn’t have nearly the same level of multitasking support 2) would require two to three times the resources it requires on Linux.

    Also, Linux hardware support is very, very good when you consider that most hardware vendors don’t actually provide ANY information to the community. No API information, no hardware information, nothing. Meaning the open source community has to (most of the time, at least) work out how to talk to devices, what works, what doesn’t, etc etc. All this “Linux isn’t supported” nonsense is bull. What *is* true is that hardware vendors don’t normally write drivers. Well, that’s not Linux’s fault; if vendors didn’t write Windows drivers, you’d be saying “Windows isn’t supported” instead.

    Want to change that? Write to the vendors. Complain about lack of Linux support. Get enough people asking for Linux drivers and they’ll probably cave (even if they don’t write them themselves, getting API information or even driver source code would be highly beneficial).

    And to the previous poster: it’s possible to run Linux with 4MB of RAM on a 386 with *NO* hard drive. But Linux on my 650MHz PIII laptop with 128MB of RAM does better than Windows on the same machine when it has twice the RAM.

  10. he he linux rules, now if we could creat a universal hardware standerd http://diehard67.ca/freetheuser
    linux would have no problems running the new stuff anyway.

  11. If anything, Linux uses half the RAM on my system (AMD Sempron 2400 , 512MB RAM, GeForce 6200) than WIndows, UT2004 outpreforms the same machine running windows, etc. Only problem I’ve seen with LInux is wireless support. That’s becauyse nobody writes drivers for it except users. As for buggy software, when a Linux application crashes, you re-open it. In Windows, you control-alt-delete, end task, then find the process and kill THAT. And you better hope you didn’t misclick or the whole system freezes!

    And don’t get me started on user security. Granted, XP is more secure than Linux 2.6.x, but Linux doesn’t allow random access to system files to screw with things, or random program installs.

  12. the wireless situation seems to be fixing itself. On my previous laptop (which is no working as a headless server at home), I had to use ndiswrapper to run the Windows driver for the wireless card.

    On the one on which I’m typing, I installed madwifi, and that worked even better (the previous machine had a problem with reconnecting to the same network if the network was temporarily lost). Admittedly, madwifi is still not a standard package, and has to be installed from non-distro sources.

    I’m certain that the next laptop I buy will have wifi enabled straight out of the box.

    As said recently on Slashdot, “the war between Linux and Windows has already been won; by Linux”.

  13. tekkie dot org - trackback on December 5, 2006 at 4:22 am
  14. filesystems aren’t hardware

  15. When I say that Linux hardware support is limited, I mean that when I got a new Nvidia graphics card for xmas, which is supposedly supported via an official Nvidia driver for Linux, the game I wanted the card for did not experience improved graphics…. It quit working altogether. I spent days tweaking configs and settings and whatnot, and in the end I wound up with an unstable game that was barely any better (graphically) than it was before the new card. In a fit of frustration, I reinstalled Windows, and the graphics are absolutely amazing now. I’m just so very happy that Ext2IFS exists, so that I don’t have to lose all my data files, or go through the hassle of dual-booting constantly.

  16. filesystems != hardware

  17. Wow Wolfger, you surprise me. Any game that I’ve played that could run on both Windows & Linux got an average of 10-20 fps more on Linux. Too bad the gaming industry doesn’t make more games for Linux, because it seems that Windows isn’t quite ready for gaming yet.

  18. It seems people over here are trying to match linux facilities with windows. I mean to say everyone of you here that both of them are a OS. The only difference in the Linux Src code comes for free. and its more of source code matters. This is actually maintained by hackers.

    If you find some thing missing in Linux that is Windows. I tell u every thing is available for Linux and something is missing in Windows.

  19. amen.

    I’m a Linux/windows xp user and man, linux just has it so far above windows.

    As for OpenGL support: the manufacturers are the ones withholding technical info which would allow a decent opensource driver to be written. The onus is on the manufacturers for that, not Linux.

  20. File system support is not hardware support, its software support.

  21. I totally agree with Kae Verens, but would like to add a few things.
    “To install, let’s say, Firefox in Fedora, I type “yum install firefox” at the console, and five minutes later, it is installed.” – apt-get does it in half a minute 😉

    “Granted, XP is more secure than Linux 2.6.x, but Linux doesn’t allow random access to system files to screw with things, or random program installs.” – XP is more secure? My ass. Windows doesn’t allow random access to system files, Linux *allows* it when you are the superuser, but it doesn’t do it by itself.
    On Linux, a random standard user can’t mess up the whole system if it does not have superuser access. I have a few user accounts on my PC owned by other people, and I have about twenty user accounts on my server, I’m perfectly sure they cannot do *anything* to my system. I completely trust Linux and the permissions system.

    “Too bad the gaming industry doesn’t make more games for Linux, because it seems that Windows isn’t quite ready for gaming yet.” – That’s karma for you. 😉

    “I mean to say everyone of you here that both of them are a OS. The only difference in the Linux Src code comes for free. and its more of source code matters. This is actually maintained by hackers.” – Just that both of them are an OS don’t mean they are the same. You and I are both people, are we the same? There are huge differences about the two, that’s what all the discussions are about.

    Sjors

  22. As was said a few times already.

    But who cares?
    Example:

    I have ubuntu 7.04 and windows XP. The access for ubuntu is limited to a measly 40GB, while windows has access to a 250GB HDD.
    Meaning: I can save more text files.
    Really, if I installed all the things I have on Linux while running windows, my 40GB HDD would be full three times already.

    As for hardware support: I had to newly install windows due to (duh) windows screwing up (seriously. Windows is the _only_ OS that 1: does NOT recognise its own system partition, 2: randomly switched device mount points, but keeps searching for the system in one mount point, 3: crashes RIGHT after a new, clean install on a newly formatted drive, and 4: flat out refuses to run without _exactly_ the right drive letter assigned to the system partition, even if the correct drive letter (C:) is already in use due to (duh again) windows screwing up.

    How many times did I have to run the setup to get the system installed?
    ubuntu: once.
    windows: 4 freakin times!!!

    How long does one install take?
    ubuntu: about 40 minutes, max.
    windows: 50 minuted formatting my drive. Then 20 minutes preparing for installation. Then another 40 minutes installing. You get the picture.

    How much do you have after the install?

    windows: a slow system, which has problems scrolling through a page of text smootly, and a not-that-good-looking GUI. Oh, and don’t forget that feeling of impending doom and the error report RIGHT AFTER THE FIRST BOOT!!! saying the system recovered from a serious error. No sound, no graphics drivers, no additional software (except for notepad, wordpad, and Windows messenger… wow)

    ubuntu: A working, smoothly running system, with a good-looking, fully customizable GUI, no wizard programs and error messages making you nuts right after the first boot, support for my sound card and graphics card (no 3d acc though, but that’s easily fixed by installing the drivers, again without any wizards), tons of stuff you’re gonna use, pre-installed, such as OpenOffice, GAIM (a universal IM program), system settings and administration, etc., a filesystem that doesn’t break down every year, and most importantly: a ROOT PASSWORD so not just any random script can mess up your system.

    What’s better now, eh?

  23. YamiTenshi: You forgot to mention that all comes out of the box, and even more can be installed using apt-get – or even Synaptic, for the GUI freaks. 🙂
    Hundreds, probably even thousands of packages, which you can install freely, easily, almost all of high quality. That’s a piece of community and programmers support, which Windows *wishes* it had.
    Oh, and has anybody followed the news lately? Microsoft is making deals with Novell and other companies. It looks like Microsoft is accepting the grow of Linux. For more info, see this article on Slashdot: http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/06/11/10/2336218.shtml

  24. Of course, don’t forget the fact that you can legally download and install programs in half a minute, of which the equivalents for windows:

    1: cost quite a lot (referring to GIMP Photoshop, among others)
    2: take a lot of time to purchase, ship, and install (WIZARDS!!!)
    3: are a lot slower

    really…
    oh, and for all you people scared by terminals: typing an essay in notepad isn’t scary, and if you do that wrong you may not be able to fix it. Anything you do wrong in a terminal _can_ be fixed one way or another 😉
    And if you say “a terminal isn’t as nice-looking and doesn’t have the functionality”, try yakuake. It has more functions than notepad, and on top of that it comes sliding out of the top of your screen when you press F12 😉

  25. just a revisit to this article. one of my own comments had this line: “I’m certain that the next laptop I buy will have wifi enabled straight out of the box.” I bought a laptop for my wife only a few weeks ago. As predicted, wifi worked straight out of the box once I installed Linux (which I did in order to replace the Windows Vista it came with, which even my wife said sucked).

  26. Wow. This really works. All this time I tried to write to NTFS from Linux, but duh, of course it’s easier for me this way.

    Ext2IFS helped me save my precious data after borking the Linux system. Again. Haha. Funny though, “mounting ext3 in windows” was the exact phrase I used to search the Web for help… :>

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