If you dual boot your computer with both Windows and Linux, you will discover that while you can access the Windows NTFS partition from Linux, you won’t be able to access Linux partition from Windows. If you have urgent needs to access Linux Ext4 partition from Windows (without wanting to boot into Linux), here is one tool that can help you.
DiskInternals Linux Reader is a nifty piece of freeware that allows you to access all partitions of alternative filesystems in your computer from Windows. It comes with support for Ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, Reiser4, HFS, HFS+, FAT, exFAT, NTFS, ReFS and UFS2. That means, in addition to accessing Linux partition from Windows, you can also use it to access Mac’s HFS filesystem too. This could be useful if you are running Windows (with bootcamp) on your Mac.
Note: As mentioned in the title, this app only allows you to access and read files from other file systems. It doesn’t allow you to write to them.
All you have to do is download and install the DiskInternals app. After the installation, you can open the application and see that all the partitions are automatically detected and loaded up into the interface. The user interface is just like any other file manager. You can click on any of the partition and view the files and folders within. By default, you are shown a Tiles view of your files, but you can easily change it to Thumbnails, Icons, List, or Details.
Once you have found the file that you are looking for, you can highlight it and a preview pane will appear at the bottom of the window with the content of the file. If the preview is not what you were expecting, you might want to try specifying the Encoding by using the dropdown that is present under the preview section.
Users have the ability to view contents of the file in a HEX preview too. And if you want to import the file to your Windows folders, all you have to do is right-click and select “Save”.
For those who are dual-booting Windows and Linux (or Windows and Mac OSX), this application is almost a god-send. It doesn’t allows you to write to the other filesystem, but that is not a big issue since you can easily access NTFS partition from the other OS. Being able to access Linux ext4 partition from Windows is good enough for me. What do you think? Will this be useful to you?