Recently I ran into a bit of a pickle regarding an old HD with an Ubuntu 9.10 (ext3) partition on it. I desperately needed to get about 100GB of data off the partition so I could format it. Unfortunately the computer that the installation was performed on had long ago been sold. I derived three options: 1) The most obvious solution was to unplug the HD and plug it into another linux box then transfer the files over the network. I didn't want to do this because the only dedicated linux box I have is my laptop and it doesn't have an extra SATA port accessible. I could use a USB adapter but transferring 100GB through USB is brutally slow... 2) I could easily use one of my many bootable linux discs to get access to the partition and send it over the network. I didn't do this because I wanted to go with option 3. 3) What I would like most is a driver or utility that would give me access to ext3 in Windows 7 x64. I assumed this option would be the best bet because it would certainly be useful in the future. I also observed that there was a great deal of file system support in OS X and linux. Therefore my assumption, that adding ext3/ext4 support to Win7 would be trivial, was fatally flawed. After googling the subject for a while and fooling around in VMs I found that there were a lot of different software solutions and none of them were remotely close to ideal. A brief outline of my discoveries is below: Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 0 Name Cost Type Details 1 DiskInternals Linux Reader FREE Standalone Attempted to test but the application would hang at startup while scanning HDDs. Other people have reported that this utility works in Windows 7 x64. This utility provides read only access. I'm not sure if it ignores permissions. 2 Explore2fs FREE (GPL) Standalone Works great for me in Windows 7 x64. Provides decent transfer speed and apparently supports both read and write ability. Ignores permissions so you can get access to every file on the partition. Does not appear to support ext4. 3 Ext2Read FREE (GPL) Standalone I didn't get to testing this one. Apparently does not support x64 and it doesn't list Win7 as compatible... 4 Paragon ExtBrowser FREE Standalone Tested and worked decently on Windows 7 x64 but it had lots of issues. Firstly it seems to have trouble navigating back to a parent directory and you have to start over from root. Secondly, and most importantly, it doesn't ignore permissions so you can't get any files out of your home directory... This utility provides read only access. 5 Ext2Fsd FREE (GPL) Driver based I didn't get to testing this one. I've read that some people did get it working in Windows 7 though apparently the drivers are not signed for Windows 7 (so it must have been done in the testing mode thingy dealie). Apparently it does not support ext4. As far as I can tell it does not preserve permissions. 6 Ext Installable File System FREE Drive based This driver does NOT support Win7 x64, ext4 or ext3 partitions with inode size greater than 128 (which is most). Since it works with Vista x64 I gave it a whirl anyway and installed it in a VM with Win7 x64. If you want to try it for yourself (advanced users only) rename the exe file with the rar extension then unzip it and install the Nt6_inst.inf and restart your computer/VM. You can then use the ifsdrives_x64.exe utility to assign drive letters to your ext3 drives with inode size of 128. As far as I can tell it does not preserve permissions. 7 Ext3 via CoLinux FREE Emulation based I haven't tried this yet but I probably will eventually give it a shot in a VM. Unfortunately this strategy is a bit like bringing a howitzer to a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots fight. As you can see it's not nearly as easy as adding NTFS support to OS X or Linux... I'm not above paying for a proper kernel mode driver that has ext3/ext4 support but I honestly couldn't find one for sale! If anyone has any suggestions, comments, criticism or clever insults please let 'em fly. Thanks!