How to migrate ext2 or ext3 file systems to ext4 on linux

I have used my Fedora old system to test where I converted from ext2 to ext3, ext2 to ext4, and ext3 to ext4 file systems successfully.

By following this guide anyone can convert their file systems smartly, but still, I like to WARN you all before doing this because the following task required skilled administrative practices, and make sure you must take the important backup of your files before doing this. If in case something goes wrong at least you can revert to back with your backup data.

In a computer, a file system is a way in which files are named and placed logically to store, retrieve, and update the data and also used to manage space on the available devices.

The file system is divided into two segments called User Data and Metadata. In this article, I am trying to explore how to create and convert various Linux file systems and high-level differences amongst Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4 file systems.

Before moving further readings, let me introduce a brief about Linux file systems.

Ext2 – Second Extended File System

  1. The ext2 file system was introduced in 1993 and Ext2 was developed by Remy Card. It was the first default file system in several Linux distros like RedHat and Debian.
  2. It was to overcome the limitation of the legacy Ext file system.
  3. Maximum file size is 16GB – 2TB.
  4. The journaling feature is not available.
  5. It’s being used for normally Flash-based storage media like USB Flash drive, SD Card, etc.

Ext3 – Third Extended File System

  1. Ext3 file system was introduced in 2001 and the same was integrated with Kernel 2.4.15 with a journaling feature, which is to improve reliability and eliminates the need to check the file system after an unclean shutdown.
  2. Max file size 16GB – 2TB.
  3. Provide facility to upgrade from Ext2 to Ext3 file systems without having to back up and restore data.

Ext4 – Fourth Extended File System

  1. Ext4, the high-anticipated Ext3 successor.
  2. In October 2008, Ext4 as stable code was merged in Kernel 2.6.28 which contains an Ext4 file system.
  3. Backward compatibility.
  4. Max file size 16GB to 16TB.
  5. The ext4 file system has the option to Turn Off the journaling feature.
  6. Other features like Sub Directory Scalability, Multiblock Allocation, Delayed Allocation, Fast FSCK etc.

How to Determine File System Type?

To determine your Linux file system type, run the following command in the terminal as a root user.

Creating an Ext2, or Ext3, or Ext4 File Systems

Once you create a file system using fdisk or parted command, use mke2fs command to create either of the file system and make sure you replace hdXX with your device name.

Creating a Ext2 File System

Creating a Ext3 File System

-j option is used for journaling.

Creating the Ext4 File System

-t option to specify the file system type.

Converting an Ext2, or Ext3, or Ext4 File Systems

It is always a better way to unmount the file systems and convert them. Conversion can be done without unmounting and mounting the filesystem. Again replace hdXX with your device name.

Converting Ext2 to Ext3

To change an ext2 file system to ext3 enabling the journal feature, use the command.

Converting Ext2 to Ext4

To convert from old ext2 to new ext4 file system with the latest journaling feature. Run the following command.

Next, do a complete file system check with the e2fsck command to fix and repair.

-p option automatically repairs the file system.
-f option forces checking file system even it seems clean.

Converting Ext3 to Ext4

To enable the ext4 features on an existing ext3 filesystem, use the command.

WARNING: You cannot revert or mount back to the ext3 filesystem once you run the above command.

After running this command we MUST run fsck to fix up some on-disk structures that tune2fs have modified.

WARNING: Please try all these above commands on your testing Linux server.

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Here you will find out:

  • the difference between Ext2 and Ext3
  • how to access Ext2 or Ext3 on Windows
  • how DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let’s read!


Ext2 and Ext3 are systems that define the way files are named, stored, presented and formatted. They are also known as file system types.

The difference between Access Ext2 or Ext3 is relatively simple; let’s discuss them both.


  • Second extended file system (Ext2); volume for file sizes from 16GB to 2TB
  • Overall system size file has a maximum capacity of 2TB to 32TB
  • Recommended for USB and Flash drives because overhead journaling is not needed


  • Third extended file system (Ext3); maximum file size same as Ext2
  • Allows journaling
  • Allows conversion of Ext2 file systems to Ext3 file systems

About Ext2 and Ext3 on Windows

You might want Access Ext2 on Windows or Ext3 on Windows, and there are many reasons to do so. For instance, you might want to access it because you want to share Ext2 Windows 10 or Ext3 Windows 10.

Reading Ext3 on Windows and opening Ext3 files on Windows allows you to transfer things like songs, MP3 files, MP4 files, text documents and more. It is an important step in data transfer from Linux to Windows systems if you have a virtual machine on your computer or a dual boot setup.

There are not that many ways to do it: there are many Ext2 managers available which mount Ext2 windows and allow the files to be transferred.

How to mount or access Ext2/3 on Windows

DiskInternals Linux Readerв„ў is a software package that can help with opening Ext2/3/4 on Windows and more. This is an industry-leading software package that comes in both free and premium versions.

You can not only read file systems on your Windows 10/7/8 computer but also mount them, transfer files and more.

This is an easy way to transfer files from different file systems such as:

  • Ext2/3/4
  • ReiserFS, Reiser4
  • HFS, HFS+
  • FAT, exFAT
  • NTFS, ReFS
  • UFS2
  • ZFS (preview only*)
  • XFS (preview only*)
  • Hikvision NAS and DVR (preview only*)

How to open Ext2/Ext3 files on Windows

1. The first step is to download and install Linux Readerв„ў.

2. Run Linux Readerв„ў and click on the drive you want to open.

3. Linux Readerв„ў is a powerful piece of software that will allow you to choose the drive that you want to retrieve, read and mount. You can access different types of files such as MP3 files. icons, images, documents, etc. With so much versatility, you can get any type of file you want.

4. You can also use the SHH protocol to export the file systems from Linux to Windows – available only in Linux Reader Proв„ў version.

5. Just by clicking and previewing Windows files, you can easily be on your way to retrieving, mounting and reading those files on your Windows 10/8/7 computer.

In conclusion, reading Ext2/3 file systems is really important for some people in order to do file transfers. Linux Readerв„ў is a powerful software tool that can make it easier.

Your Linux file systems Ext2 or Ext3 have now gone outdated. It’s the time to convert the crispy old file systems to the latest one, EXT4. The Ext4 is faster, stable and more reliable than the previous versions.

Don’t worry! You need not clean install the system; you can simply convert your existing file system to EXT4 by keeping the stored data unaffected.

How to migrate the ext2 or ext3 partition to ext4?

First backup all your data then follow the given steps.

1. First of all, check for your kernel.

Run uname . r command to know the kernel you are using.

Proceed with the next step if you have kernel 2.6.28-11-generic or higher

2. Boot from Ubuntu Live CD

3. Run the following command to convert from ext2 to ext4:

sudo bash
tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index,has_journal /dev/sda1

For converting from ext3 to ext4, run the command:

sudo bash
tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/sda1

Here, /dev/sda1 is the drive / partition name to be converted.

4. After running sudo commands, run fsck command to fix any repair issue that might have occurred during the above steps:
e2fsck -pf /dev/sda1

5. Run sudo mount command to mount the partition:

sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /mnt

You can check /mnt directory to ensure that the previous data is present there unaffected.

6. Open the /etc/fstab file.
Search for previous file system reference (ext2 or ext3) and edit it to ext4. Save the changes made to the file and exit.

7. Now run the sudo bash command to refresh grub:

If the boot partition is SEPARATE:

sudo bash
mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
grub-install /dev/sda –root-directory=/mnt –recheck

If the boot partition is NOT separate:

sudo bash
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
grub-install /dev/sda –root-directory=/mnt –recheck

8. Once all done, reboot the system

If there is some damage to the Linux file system, you can fix it using fsck utility. It works well for ext2 or ext3 or ext4 File Systems. To Repair Linux ext2 or ext3 or ext4 file system, run the following commands as root user

Steps to repair the file system using fsck:

1. First un-mount the file system:
# init 1
# umount Fs-Name

eg. umount /dev/sda3 or umount /home

2. Run fsck Fs-Name

Here, Fs-Name can be a device name, mount point, ext2 label, UUID specifier

For example: Run fsck -t ext3 /dev/sda3
fsck.ext3 /dev/sda3

3. Here, using (. -t. or . you can specify the file system type)

4. Pass the ‘y’ or . N. option along with the fsck command like this: fsck -y /dev/sda3. Or you can type it every time the system asks yes or no while fsck process.

5. After running the fsck command the system would check for errors in the file system.

6. Remount the system after fsck process has been completed.
Run # mount /dev/sda3

Note: If you are cautious about any of the commands given above, I would like to suggest you that instead of trying the above manual tools opt for some automatic file system conversion and repair tool for Linux.

If want to run the manual steps given above . don’t forget to backup all you data before proceeding.

Fsck failed to repair the Linux file systems?

No worries, you can try out the Linux recovery tools that allow you to recover the inaccessible data from any Ext4, Ext3, Ext2, exFAT, FAT32, FAT16, and FAT12 file system based LINUX volumes in an easy and safe way as compared to the manual mode.

The file systems used in Linux are its primary distinction from other operating system environments. At a glance, we have Ext2 (second extended), Ext3 (third extended), and Ext4 (fourth extended) file systems.

The implementation of the Ext2 file system overcame the limitations posed by Ext; the original Linux file system. Ext2 does not support any journaling feature, has 16GB to 2TB maximum individual file size, and 2TB to 32TB being its overall file system size.

Ext3 file system availability and support are from Linux Kernel 2.4.15 to earlier versions. It accommodates the journaling feature; absent on Ext2. It also has 16GB to 2TB maximum individual file size and 2TB to 32TB overall file system size.

Ext4 file system availability and support are from Linux Kernel 2.6.19 to earlier versions. It offers immeasurable support to overall file system size (1EB) and individual file size (16GB to 16TB). The 1EB (exabyte) is the equivalent of 1024 PB (petabyte) whereas 1PB is an equivalent of 1024 TB (terabyte).

The Ideal Linux Backup Tool

When considering the creation of backups for Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4 file systems in Linux, it is important to go with an effective and reliable tool.

The dump program is an ideal candidate for creating backups of these file systems because of the following prime features:

  • Supports remote backup.
  • If you do not want to back up the whole filesystem, you can back up a section of the file system like Home, Documents, or Downloads.
  • Removable media backups span multiple volumes.
  • Supports incremental, differential, and full backups.

Install Dump Command in Linux

You can install dump utility on your Linux distribution from either of the following commands:

Command Structure of the Dump Backup Tool

Your dump command structure needs to check the following three steps:

  • Dump Level: It is an integer value that determines whether you want to perform incremental, differential, or full backup. A zero integer value denotes full backup.
  • Destination File: It is the destination of the to-be-created backup. It can be a device file or a regular file. The dump will use /dev/tape when no backup file is specified.
  • Files to Dump: It is the Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 file systems.

Backup Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 Linux File Systems

To create a full backup of a Linux filesystem like /boot, to a dump file like /my_backups/boot.0, we would implement the dump command in the following manner:

On my end, I made sure the backup directory /my_backups exists.

Backup Linux Filesystem

Similary you can backup /root, /home, /etc file systems.

To back up Linux partitions such as /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and /dev/sda3 into backup files kept in the /backup directory, use the following commands:

Make sure to replace the backup file with a location to a file where you want to keep the backup. Replace the device with the name of the partition you want to back up.

Partial Backup of Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 Linux File Systems

Here, you can backup several subdirectories or portions of a Linux filesystem like /etc/default and /etc/network.

Backup Linux Directories

Viewing Created Backups of Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 Linux File Systems

To confirm the existence of your Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 Linux filesystem backups, use the following command. The command outputs your backup content on the terminal.

View Contents of Linux Backup

Restoring the Linux File System Backups

For full backup files restoration, you should follow the order of dump level (from the first created dump to the last one). To restore a single file or directory.

Restore Linux Filesystem Backup

The above command assumes your original filesystem is lost or corrupted. Since I still have my filesystem intact, I received the terminal output cannot create a symbolic link…File exists. Choose n under set owner/mode for ‘.’?. It ensures the current directory mode remains unchanged.

To back up a Linux file system to an external device, read our article: How to Backup Linux Filesystem Using dump Command.

More command-line options on understanding and using dump and restore commands are through the man dump and man restore terminal commands.

Free data recovery, partition manager and backup software

Updated on May 13th, 2021

This instruction tells how to access an ext4 partition on Windows 10/8/7/XP, including read and write files of ext4 partition on Windows platform. If you have no idea on accessing ext4/ext3/ext2 partition on Windows, you can finish reading this post to learn the steps.

Linux is one of the most popular operating systems in the world. Just like Windows, Ubuntu, Mint and Mac OS X, Linux also manages all hardware sources related to your computer. It is responsible for the communication between software and hardware. Linux is widely used on various NAS, routers, gateways, loT, computers, etc. Many computer professionals and programmers may dual-boot Windows and Linux.

On a Windows computer, the default file system type is NTFS, while Linux operating system adopts different file system types, i.e. ext2, ext3 and ext4. As we all know, Windows is not able to explore Linux ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partition by default. How to access Linux partition on a Windows computer?

To read / write Linux ext4 partition on Windows platform, you need a third-party application to help you. Here we present you such a program which enables you to access Linux partition in Windows 10/8/7/XP easily.

Eassos PartitionGuru is all-rounded Windows software which is able to recover lost data, manage partition, backup data, repair HDD, etc. It supports multiple file system types, including NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, FAT16, FAT12, ext2, ext3 and ext4. The major interface to browse files is similar to Windows Explorer. You can mount any ext4 partition with this software and read & write data in this partition. Main features associated with Linux partition management on Eassos PartitionGuru:

  • Full access to ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partitions under Windows, supporting reading / writing data in ext2/3/4 partition
  • Resize Linux ext4 / ext3 / ext2 partition under Windows
  • Recover lost or deleted Linux ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partitions
  • Create and format ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partition on Windows
  • Load virtual disk without running virtual machine
  • The built-in hex editor supports ext2 / ext3/ ext4 partition
  • Backup & restore ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partition on Windows
  • Support cloning ext2 / ext3 / ext4 partition
  • Support LVM (Logical Volume Management)
  • Intuitive user-friendly interface
  • Fully supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Server 2008, Server 2012 R2, both 32 bit and 64 bit

In this section you’ll see a step-by-step guide to mount Linux ext4/3/2 partition under Windows 10 with the help of Eassos PartitionGuru. Eassos PartitionGuru is compatible with all versions of Windows operating system, thus you can try following steps on any Windows machines.

  1. Download Eassos PartitionGuru Pro version from the download center.
  2. Double-click the application just downloaded and follow the on-screen instruction to get PartitionGuru installed.
  3. Run PartitionGuru from your computer and you can see its main interface showing all disks and partitions with detailed parameters.
  4. Connect the disk that contains Linux partitions. If the ext4/3/2 partition is located on a virtual disk, then you can click Disk – Open Virtual Disk File to load the virtual disk.
  5. Select the Linux partition in PartitionGuru and you can browse partition parameters, files and folders, and hex data.

It is straightforward to read files stored on Linux ext4/3/2 in PartitionGuru, as the software provides a graphical user interface and operations are the same as those in Windows Explorer.

  1. Select the Linux ext4/3/2 partition in PartitionGuru and you can see plenty of parameters such as file system type, partition size, total sectors, block count, group block count, volume GUID, innode count, data allocation, etc.
  2. Click the “Files” tab on the middle area and files and folders in this partition will be displayed directly.
  3. Click directory structure tree on the left part to view entire paths of the partition, which helps you find out desired files more easily and quickly.
  4. View file content. You can double-click any file on the right panel to open it and view actual content in it.

Write access to ext4 partition usually involves all kinds of operations such as create new folder, store new data, rename files, etc. Eassos PartitionGuru provides full access to Linux ext4, ext3 and ext2 partition and it can help you finish all these writing actions. Here are some examples you can follow.

Case 1: Copy files to ext4 partition

You can copy files and folders from other partitions to current Linux partition using PartitionGuru:

  1. Select the Linux ext4/3/2 partition in PartitionGuru and click “Files” Tab.
  2. Right-click empty area on the right panel and select “Copy Files To Current Partition” item.
  3. Select files that you want to store to this Linux partition. Brower partitions on your computer, select files and click “Open” button.
  4. Click “Complete” button when selected files are saved to the ext4 partition.

Case 2: Rename file in ext4 partition

PartitionGuru works the same as Windows when renaming files or folders:

  1. Right-click the file or folder you want to rename and select “Rename” from context menu.
  2. Enter a new file name and click OK

Case 4: Create new folder in Linux ext4 partition

  1. Right-click the empty area of the ext4 partition on the right panel and select “New Folder”, as follows:
  2. Enter a name for the new folder and click OK button. If you do not enter a name and the folder will be created with name “New Folder”.

Case 5: Delete files from ext4 partition

PartitionGuru provides two ways of deleting files: Delete Files Directly and Delete Files Permanently. The “Delete Files Directly” works the same as deletion with Shift+Delete, but it is also able to delete files that cannot be deleted by system. If you use “Delete Files Permanently”, then files will be deleted for good and they can never be recovered by any data recovery methods.

  1. Select files you want to delete from ext4 partition, and right-click them to select either “Delete File Directly” or “Delete Files Permanently” based on your requirement.
  2. Confirm the deletion by clicking correct button and selected files will be deleted from the ext4 partition.

In this post we talk about how to mount, read and write ext4 / ext3 / ext2 Linux partition under Windows with the help of partition manager – Eassos PartitionGuru. Now you can read or write data from Linux partition on Windows easily. If you feel this guide useful, we hope you can share it to more readers. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.

How to convert the file system from NTFS to EXT4 in Windows

“I want to convert one partition of on my Windows, which is NTFS (or can be FAT32) to a Linux file system partitioning? I’m looking for some tools or ways to convert NTFS to EXT4without losing my data, any suggestion?”

NTFS and EXT4 are file systems for two different computer systems, the former for Windows and the latter for Linux. However, there are many demands for converting the file system from NTFS to EXT4 or vice versa, especially when you have dual boot the PC.

If you are wondering how to convert NTFS to EXT4 on Windows, you are not alone. Here, we will show you the simplest way to convert NTFS to EXT4 without losing data with a competent partition manager program – EaseUS Partition Master.

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How to Convert NTFS to EXT4 Without Losing Data

Obviously, it is not allowed to format NTFS to EXT4 using Windows built-in disk management tool – Disk Management. In such a condition, to convert NTFS to EXT4 on Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7, a robust partition manager tool is indispensable.

EaseUS Partition Master provides full-around partition and disk management solutions for your Windows computer, for instances:

After downloading EaseUS Partition Master, refer to the following guide to format and convert your NTFS partition to EXT4.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition you intend to format and choose “Format”.

Step 2. In the new window, enter the Partition label, choose the FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file system, and set the cluster size according to your needs, then click “OK”.

Step 3. Then you will see a warning window, click “OK” in it to continue.

Step 4. Click the “Execute Operation” button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click “Apply” to start formatting the partition to FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4.

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Bonus Tips: How to Recover Data From Formatted Hard Drive

If you forget to back up your NTFS disk before formatting it, and your data is permanently lost. Don’t panic. Immediately apply EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to quickly recover formatted hard drive and get back the missing data.

This powerful file recovery tool can recover any deleted or lost data from emptied recycle bin, HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, external hard drive, and SD card in complex data loss cases, including accidental deletion, device formatting, lost partition, virus attack, OS crash, and so on.

Video tutorial about how to recover data from formatted hard drive:

Step 1. Select the drive where you lose your data and click “Scan”.

Step 2. Use “Filter” or “Search” to find the lost files when the scan completes.

Step 3. Select all the files you want and click “Recover”. Then, browse another secure location to save them.

Final Verdict

When you plan to convert NTFS to EXT4 or convert EXT4 to NTFS on Windows, ask the help of EaseUS Partition Master. With this tool, you can format the NTFS partition to EXT4 within a few clicks. What’s more, you can enjoy more functions to manage your EXT4 partitions, such as resize EXT4 partition, create, delete, wipe, merge, and clone EXT4 partitions without effort.

Give it a try to easily organize your hard drive and optimize disk partitions to improve your computer’s performance.

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FAQs on How to Convert NTFS to EXT4 on Windows

The following are the top five highly relevant questions on how to convert NTFS to EXT4 on Windows without losing data. If you also have any of these problems, you can find the methods here.

1. How can I convert NTFS to EXT4 without losing data?

You can back up your files on the NTFS partition at first, then use EaseUS partition management tool to format NTFS to EXT4 directly. Using this EXT4 formatter Windows 10, there is no need to delete the NTFS partition or shrink the NTFS partition.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click on the NTFS drive and choose “Format”.

Step 2. Set the partition file system as EXT4. Click “OK”.

Step 3. Confirm to format data. Then, execute format NTFS to EXT4 operation.

2. Is ext4 better than NTFS?

EXT4 and NTFS apply to different computer operating systems. Comparing these two file system has no practical meaning. When you select the system you select the file system.

  • NTFS is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. Starting with Windows NT 3.1, it is the default file system of the Windows NT family.
  • EXT4 or Extended Files System version 4 is the file system for Linux. It is the evolution of the most used Linux filesystem, Ext3. In many ways, Ext4 is a deeper improvement over Ext3 and Ext2.

3. Can Windows read ext4?

The Linux supports NTFS, but Windows 10 doesn’t offer any support for EXT4, so Windows can’t read EXT4. But you can use third-party software to read EX4 on Windows 10, like using EaseUS partition manager program.

4. How can I convert NTFS to Exfat without formatting?

Basically, there’s no direct way to convert NTFS to exFAT. These two file systems store information in a much different way. The way to convert NTFS to Exfat is formatting. You can back up files saved on NTFS drive somewhere, then format the partition to ext4 and move them back.

5. What is the best file system for Linux?

EXT4. Ext4 is the preferred and most widely used Linux file System. Ext4 has all the advantages you expected in the previous file system (Ext2/Ext3), also bringing some improvements. It does better in log verification, multiple block file allocation, compatibility, continuous pre-allocation of free space, and greater file support.

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About the Author

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

Product Reviews

I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren’t immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you’ve made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you’re doing with your computer’s partitions easy.

Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

It won’t hot image your drives or align them, but since it’s coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you’d expect from a cloning tool.

The Ext4 or extended filesystem is a popular filesystem in Linux. It is an upgrade over Ext3 filesystem that offers more features and overcomes many shortcomings of Ext3. Also, it offers better performance, reliability and speed. It can be used on removable disks as well as hard disks. In this article, we will look at how to create Ext4 filesystem in Linux.

How to Create Ext4 Filesystem in Linux

Here are the steps to create Ext4 filesystem in Linux. You need to be logged in as root or user with sudo privileges to be able to perform the next steps.

1. List Partitions

Open terminal and run the following command to list all the disks available on your system.

You will see the following kind of output.

2. Create partition

In the above output we have 2 disks that can be formatted. We will use parted utility tool to format /dev/xvda2.

We will use mklabel utility tool to add new disk label.

Next, we use mkpart tool to create a new partition. You will see couple of prompts asking if it is a primary/secondary partition, and which file system to use. Enter primary/secondary for the 1st prompt as per your requirement, and enter ext4 for the second prompt. Also set the start and end sector of partition to create it.

Once the partition is created, you can print its details using print command.

3. Format New Partition

Next, you need to format the newly created partition using mkfs.ext4 or mkefs command as shown.

You can then label the partition using e4label command.

4. Mount New Partition

Finally, we create mount points for new partitions and mount them.

Now using df -h command you can list all file systems on your disk.

Please note, this filesystem will be unmounted on reboot. In order to automatically mount it during reboot, you need to add it to /etc/fstab file. Open it in a terminal.

Add the following entry.

That’s it. Now we have created new Ext4 partition in Linux, formatted and mounted it. Ext4 filesystem is better than Ext3 as it offers better performance, reduced load time, and increased number of supported devices. It also supports bigger files.

If you are a geek, you might already know there are different file systems available to store files and you should choose the one for you depending upon the operating system you are using and your specific requirements. However most Windows users already know about the NTFS file system, as they often come across it, and it is Microsoft’s proprietary journaling file system which has significant improvements over the FAT32 file system, which is the generic file system supported by almost every device. Talking about the Linux-based systems, NTFS isn’t the default file system, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, XFS file systems that are generally used.

I am not discussing the advantages of the EXT file system over the NTFS file system and vice versa, but EXT file format is not supported on Windows natively. However, there are a number of ways you can access EXT files system on your Windows computer instead of going through the hassles of installing a Linux distro on your computer or find a Linux computer to see the contents of a drive in a drive based on EXT file format. There are different ways you can access an EXT file system on Windows, and I will discuss the most convenient one here.

So without any further delay, let’s get started with the different ways you can access EXT formatted drives on Windows.

The steps for using Ext2Fsd

Getting access to the files right from the Windows 10/8/7 Explorer is the most convenient thing ever. With Ext2Fsd, you can do just that. Ext2Fsd is a free program and the installation process is not difficult, as well. So let’s find out how you can use Ext2Fsd to access files on an EXT file system using the program.

Download and install Ext2Fsd on your Windows computer, just the same way you install other programs.

At the time of installing Ext2Fsd, just make sure that you configure the program to run on startup and enable writing permissions on EXT file systems.

Besides that, make sure that you are allowing Ext2Fsd to assign letters to drives formatted in the EXT file system.

Once the installation is complete, insert the drive formatted in EXT file format, if not already inserted and open ‘ Ext2 Volume Manager ’, from the start menu.

Now, you will find a list of all the drives connected to your system including those that are formatted in other natively supported file systems like NTFS, FAT32, etc.

Just right click on the appropriate this format in the next file format comma and click on the option that says ‘ Assign Drive Letter ’.

Once a drive letter is assigned, you should find it in the Window Explorer.

Just in case, it doesn’t appear in your Windows Explorer, right-click on the EXT volume in Ext2Fsd, and click on ‘ Service Management ’.

Just make sure, the service is started, else click on ‘Start’ to start the service. You can even change the settings as per your requirements to be able to write to EXT file systems and many more.

The following should work on all Windows computers no matter which version of Windows you are using. However, writing to EXT file systems from a Windows computer is not recommended unless you have no other option, as it might lead to errors and might break the stability of your Linux System if it is used to boot a computer. You can simply copy or move the files to your hard drive or flash drive, as an alternative.

Besides this, you can even use DiskInternals Linux Reader and Ext2explore. You can even use them, but I will not recommend them as they are not as convenient as Ext2Fsd. You can open the files on EXT volumes using those programs, but there is no way to write files to Linux file systems using DiskInternals Linux Reader or Ext2explore. Besides that, DiskInternals Linux Reader isn’t free as well. It comes to the limited time trial after which you will have to get a license.

So that was all about how you can access EXT based Linux file Systems on your Windows computer. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment on the same below.

Free data recovery, partition manager and backup software

Updated on May 13th, 2021

This post will show you how to clone ext4, ext3 and ext2 Linux partition under Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Partition cloning can be useful solution to back up or moving data. Cloning EXT Linux under Windows is pretty simple and it can be completed by free disk & partition cloning software. If you want to have a try to clone or backup data and you can follow this instruction to clone and backup Linux partition.

Cloning partition is the process of copying data from a partition to another one so that you get an exact copy of the original partition. It is a good way to backup data to protect data from data loss as well transfer data to a different partition. And the target partition can be on a different hard drive. What’s more, it allows you to copy everything related to the partition, including settings, file layout, partition type, etc. Therefore, it can be used to transfer data from old partition to a new one, for example operating system migration.

Some users want to move or backup data by Copy & Paste data between partitions, however, that cannot copy hidden files and folders or in-use files, also it cannot move files byte by byte. That’s why you need cloning software to do the job.

EXT file system has been the default file system format for Linux distributions. Ext4, EXT3 and EXT2 partition cannot be accessed under Windows. However, many users would like to dual boot their computer by installing Windows and Linux system on same computer. In some cases, they may need to access Linux ext4 partition under Windows 10, for example, read & write ext4 partition, resize Linux partition, clone ext4 volume, etc. The rest content of this article will explain how to clone ext4 / ext3 / ext2 partition byte by byte.

To clone ext4 partition under windows, we need to install free disk & partition cloning software under Windows. The software you choose should be compatible with ext2, ext3 and ext4 Linux file system and the Windows version your computer is running. In this task, we recommend DiskGenius (old name Eassos PartitionGuru Free) to clone Linux partition under Windows. It /Vistaes full support for Ext2, Ext3 a/d Ext4 file system, with this software you can do following operations under Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP/Server/Dos/WinPE:

  • Create and format ext4/ext3/ext2 partition
  • Clone Linux partition & disk sector by sector
  • Create an image file for Linux partition or disk byte by byte
  • Resize ext4/3/2 Linux partition without losing any data
  • Read & write files and folders stored on Linux partition
  • Recover deleted or lost ext4/ext3/ext2 partition and restore data
  • Complete wipe data from Linux disk and partition to prevent data from being recovered
  • Permanently delete files from ext4/3/2 partition
  • Check and repair bad sector for the Linux storage device

Now we’ll show you how to clone ext4 Linux partition byte by byte under Windows using DiskGenius (old name Eassos PartitionGuru). Also, this manual works on cloning ext3 and ext2 partition.

Step 1: Install and launch DiskGenius (old name Eassos PartitionGuru) from your Windows computer. Then you can view your disks and partitions on your PC.

Step 2: Right-click on the ext4 partition you want to clone and select Clone Partition from context menu.

Step 3: A window will pop up and asks to select a target partition. Select the destination partition and click OK.

Note: Make sure the destination partition is selected correctly

Step 4: Select partition cloning mode and click “Start” button.

There are three methods to clone the partition, if you want to create an exact sector-level copy for source partition, choose “Copy all sectors”. This mode will copy all sectors on original partition to destination partition, and it takes longer time. Then you’ll be able to recover lost data for source partition by scanning destination partition.

If you just want to move current files and create a backup, the third mode “Copy all files” is recommended, as it works faster and copies valid files only.

Step 5: DiskGenius (old name Eassos PartitionGuru) prompts the rest operation will erase and overwrite files on destination partition. If you have backed up files on destination partition, click “OK” to continue.

Note: These two partitions will be locked temporarily while cloning. Other programs cannot access these two partitions before the process completes. Please close all programs that are using these partitions in case of any unexpected errors.

Step 6: DiskGenius (old name Eassos PartitionGuru) starts cloning partition and may take a while if the partition has large capacity. Once the cloning process finishes, click Complete button and close the program.

This post has discussed steps to clone ext4/ext3/ext2 Linux partition using Windows disk & partition cloning software. The cloning process is very simple and you can try it to create backup for your Linux partitions. If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to contact our support team.

Linux is an ocean of different kinds of file systems. Some distributions ship Ext4 as the default file system, while distributions like RedHat stick with an XFS.

Besides Ext4 and XFS, there are around 10+ file systems in Linux with unique features and few drawbacks. To know, your Linux system is running in which type of file system use the below method.

Table of Contents

1. df Command

df (or Disk free) is UNIX based command to display the amount of free and occupied space in the system. With the help of -T flag (Display type of file system) and -h flag (Display sizes in human-readable format), you can list all the types of file systems used by different partitions in Linux.

2. lsblk Command

lsblk (lists information about all of the specified block devices) is an interesting command-line tool to display mounted, unmounted file systems and devices without any files system.

Information will be displayed in a tree-like structure. Using -f a flag will output the file system information with the rest of the result.

3. fsck Command

fsck (Filesystem check) is a system utility command to perform consistency checks and interactive repairs on the file system.

To prevent checking for a file system error, use -f a flag along with the partition name.

4. blkid Command

blkid (Block identification) is a command-line utility to list available block devices in the system. Specify partition name along with the command to display the file system.

5. file Command

The file command is used to determine the file type of any files or devices assigned along with the command.

Assign -s flag (read block and characters file) and -L flag (follow symlinks) along with partition name to list type file system.

6. fstab file

Fstab (File system table) is a static system configuration file present by default in all Linux distributions at /etc/fstab.

The available disk, disk partition, and mounting partition are written in fstab. To read, use the cat command to read all of the content along with the file system type in Linux.

Final Thought

Above all, commands can help you list the file system type used in your Linux. Another way to find this is using GUI tools like GParted.

If you have any queries feel free to ask in the comment section.

Innovative tech mind with 12 years of experience working as a computer programmer, web developer, and security researcher. Capable of working with a variety of technology and software solutions, and managing databases.

A filesystem is a data structure that helps to control how data is stored and retrieved on a computer system. A filesystem can also be considered as a physical (or extended) partition on a disk. If not well maintained and regularly monitored, it can become damaged or corrupted in the long run, in so many different ways.

There are several factors that can cause a filesystem to become unhealthy: system crashes, hardware or software malfunctions, buggy drivers and programs, tuning it incorrectly, overloading it with excessive data plus other minor glitches.

Any of these issues can cause the Linux not to mount (or unmount) a filesystem gracefully, thus bringing about system failure.

In addition, running your system with an impaired filesystem may give rise to other runtime errors in operating system components or in user applications, which could escalate to severe data loss. To avoid suffering filesystem corruption or damage, you need to keep an eye on its health.

In this article, we will cover tools to monitor and maintain a ext2, ext3 and ext4 filesystems health. All the tools described here require root user privileges, therefore use the sudo command to run them.

How to View EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 Filesystem Information

dumpe2fs is a command line tool used to dump ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystem information, mean it displays super block and blocks group information for the filesystem on device.

Before running dumpe2fs, make sure to run df -hT command to know the filesystem device names.

Sample Output

You can pass the -b flag to display any blocks reserved as bad in the filesystem (no output implies to badblocks):

Checking EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 Filesystems For Errors

e2fsck is used to examine ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystems for errors and fsck checks and can optionally repair a Linux filesystem; it is basically a front-end for a range of filesystem checkers (fsck.fstype for example fsck.ext3, fsck.sfx etc) offered under Linux.

Remember that Linux runs e2fack/fsck automatically at system boot on partitions that are labeled for checking in /etc/fstab configuration file. This is normally done after a filesystem has not been unmounted cleanly.

Attention: Do not run e2fsck or fsck on mounted filesystems, always unmount a partition first before you can run these tools on it, as shown below.

Alternatively, enable verbose output with the -V switch and use the -t to specify a filesystem type like this:

Tuning EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 Filesystems

We mentioned from the start that one of the causes of filesystem damage is incorrect tuning. You can use the tune2fs utility to change the tunable parameters of ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystems as explained below.

To see the contents of the filesystem superblock, including the current values of the parameters, use the -l option as shown.

Sample Output

Next, using the -c flag, you can set the number of mounts after which the filesystem will be checked by e2fsck. This command instructs the system to run e2fsck against /dev/sda10 after every 4 mounts.

You can as well define the time between two filesystem checks with the -i option. The following command sets an interval of 2 days between filesystem checks.

Now if you run this command below, the filesystem check interval for /dev/sda10 is now set.

Sample Output

To change the default journaling parameters, use the -J option. This option also has sub-options: size=journal-size (sets the journal’s size), device=external-journal (specifies the device on which it’s stored) and location=journal-location (defines the location of the journal).

Note that only one of the size or device options can be set for a filesystem:

Last but not least, the volume label of a filesystem can be set using the -L option as below.

Debug EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 Filesystems

debugfs is an simple, interactive command line based ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystems debugger. It allows you to modify filesystem parameters interactively. To view sub-commands or requests, type “?” .

By default, the filesystem should be opened in read-write mode, use the -w flag to open it in read-write mode. To open it in catastrophic mode, use the -c option.

Sample Output

To show free space fragmentation, use the freefrag request, like so.

Sample Output

You can explore so many other requests such as creating or removing files or directories, changing the current working directory and much more, by simply reading the brief description provided. To quit debugfs, use the q request.

That’s all for now! We have a collection of related articles under different categories below, which you will find useful.

Filesystem Usage Information:

  1. 12 Useful “df” Commands to Check Disk Space in Linux
  2. Pydf an Alternative “df” Command to Check Disk Usage in Different Colours
  3. 10 Useful du (Disk Usage) Commands to Find Disk Usage of Files and Directories

Check Disk or Partition Health:

  1. 3 Useful GUI and Terminal Based Linux Disk Scanning Tools
  2. How to Check Bad Sectors or Bad Blocks on Hard Disk in Linux
  3. How to Repair and Defragment Linux System Partitions and Directories

Maintaining a healthy filesystem always improves the overall performance of your Linux system. If you have any questions or additional thoughts to share use the comment form below.

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– Last updated on June 10, 2011 by VG

If you have a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux, you probably know that Windows and Linux both use different file systems. Windows uses FAT32 and NTFS file systems where as Linux uses ext2 and ext3 file systems.

You can access Windows partitions from Linux but on the other hand Windows doesn’t allow access to Linux partitions.

Many times we might need to access files stored in Linux partitions and we realize that we can’t access them from Windows. In this situation we have to reboot our system in Linux to access those files.

Wouldn’t it be better if we could access Linux partitions from Windows Explorer just like we browse through local drives and folders?

Today we are sharing 5 interesting FREE tools which allow access to Linux partitions from Windows:

  • Explore2fs (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 IFS (Installable File System) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • DiskInternals Linux reader (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 FSD (File System Driver) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • Ext2Read

Table of Contents


Explore2fs is a GUI explorer tool for accessing ext2 and ext3 file systems. It runs under all versions of Windows and can read almost any ext2 and ext3 file system.

Ext2 IFS (Installable File System):

Ext2 IFS provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista with full access to Linux Ext2 volumes (read access and write access). It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating system to include the Ext2 file system.

Ext2 volumes get drive letters. Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications.

DiskInternals Linux reader:

DiskInternals Linux Reader runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there. The program provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions.

Ext2 FSD (File System Driver):

Ext2 FSD is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (2K/XP/VISTA/7, X86/AMD64).


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.


The LTOOLS are a set of command line tools to read and write Linux ext2, ext3 and ReiserFS filesystems (Linux’s standard filesystems) from DOS or Windows running on the same machine.

It also comes with GUI programs “LTOOLSgui” (Java based graphical user interface) and LTOOLSnet (.NET based user interface).

Thanks to our readers “ThatGuy” and “Ashish Rohilla” for sharing “LTOOLS” and “Ext2Read”…

You are here: Home » Software » How to Access Linux Partitions (ext2, ext3, ext4) From Windows in Dual-Boot System?

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.


NOTE: Older comments have been removed to reduce database overhead.

I think Ext2Read is best because all other doesn’t support ext4 .

Hey VG “Linux Reader” is also 1 of d best ext2/3/4 reader

here is a link

i`m currently using it and from my side it is d best 1

^^ Its already mentioned. Check number 3. 🙂

hi, i need access to write from win 7 to partition of osx 10.6.x, i have dual boot and this programs do not work. thank

Ext2Read do the job, thank you very much 🙂

I think Paragon ExtFS for Window is the best, no doubt! It’s much easier to use, and gives read/write access to ext2/3/4 under windows xp/7/8. Not bad?) Everything I need.

@Noah, thanks for that. Paragon ExtFS worked fine for me also and I agree, it is very easy to use.

It is not at all essential to access linux partition under windows do that if only necessary, else all viruses and other malware shall reside in linux partition, of course linux will not execute those but it is good to keep two separate worlds separate else unexpected things might happen

Use these drivers only when you have to….

You forgot to mention an important disclaimer:

None of these utilities work with encrypted Ext* file systems.
If you’re running Linux with an encrypted file system — as you should always be doing — then you’re out of luck.

Only DiskInternals Linux reader works properly on Windows 8. thanks

Diskinternals worked like wonders and saved me from loosing my data as my linux partition wasn’t booting at all.
Thanks for the post 🙂