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Old 12-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
Ken g6
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Default External enclosure to read EXT2/3 from Windows

So, my desktop computer died, again. I think it was the mobo again, which means my drives still have all their data on them. So I'm on an old laptop now and thinking about getting a new laptop to replace the desktop until Haswell comes out.

Problem: This new laptop would likely run Windows on an internal drive, as does my old laptop, but one or both needs to access files from Linux partitions on an external drive (or drives). Solution: I'd like to use an external enclosure. But what enclosure will work with an EXT2/3 filesystem? (I don't think I used EXT4 anywhere that mattered, but I could be wrong.) Will any generic USB-connected enclosure work? Do I have to mess with eSATA and somehow get an eSATA card into my new laptop?

I'd probably use ext2read or ext2fsd to read the data, but feel free to suggest specific software that works for specific external enclosures.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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Enclosures don't matter as far as the file system is concerned. Your big holdup will be that you're going to need an EXT filesystem driver for Windows.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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I guess, worst case, I could install Linux on one laptop or the other.

So it doesn't matter that the FS has to be accessed over USB? Somehow I thought only FAT or FAT32 could be accessed over USB.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken g6 View Post
I guess, worst case, I could install Linux on one laptop or the other.

So it doesn't matter that the FS has to be accessed over USB? Somehow I thought only FAT or FAT32 could be accessed over USB.
I don't believe it matters. As long as the usb device is recognized in whatever OS you're using, then access to the FS should be ok.

You could always get a spare 2.5" drive for the new lappy, pull out the factory drive, put the new one in and install Linux on that.

Or just use a Linux Live cd and copy the data you want off of it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViRGE View Post
Enclosures don't matter as far as the file system is concerned. Your big holdup will be that you're going to need an EXT filesystem driver for Windows.
Yea, first google hit is this: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd/

I've never used it, maybe others can weigh in.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I guess, worst case, I could install Linux on one laptop or the other.
You can run a virtual machine inside windows and boot it from a USB stick ISO. No need to install on the hard drive.

Or you can just boot to that USB stick ISO and skip the windows step, since that will be able to read both formats.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:04 PM   #7
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OK, thanks everyone! Now off to find a new laptop. (This one is seven years old and only has 512MB RAM, so no way I could put a Linux VM on it.)
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