Ext2 Installable File System For Windows


I have installed the Ext2 IFS software and was able to create a drive letter for a desired volume of Linux. But when I try to access that volume I get an error message "The disk in drive X: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" (Of course I don't want to!) Or the content of the volume appears, but when I attempt to write something I get an error message "Access denied".

The ext2fs.sys driver did not mount that volume for some reason, or it mounted it read-only.

Please run the mountdiag diagnosis tool, which you can download here: mountdiag.exe (updated, 12-31-2015).

Please run it at the command prompt and give it the letter of the drive you want to examine, for example:
mountdiag G:
The tool will give you a hint on how to resolve the problem. (Note: The mountdiag tool reads data only; it does not attempt to modify anything.)

If I use hibernate (suspend to disk) on Windows or Linux, I experience that on the next boot of Linux, the e2fsck utility runs and reports file system errors. Is there a bug fix or a workaround for it?

When you hibernate (suspend to disk) an operating system, the whole memory of running programs is stored on disk including opened file handles. It is restored on resuming the computer from hibernation. Thus the *Windows boot manager* usually does not offer the boot menu if you have hibernated Windows before, because you are not allowed to boot another OS.

One way of looking at this is that file systems remain mounted and files remain opened when the computer is switched off following a hibernate command.

It is not possible to implement a file system driver which can deal with a file system that is being changed by other operating systems at the same time that it is mounted by the file system driver itself.

It means that you should shutdown Windows before booting Linux and vice-versa. You can use hibernate (suspend to disk) in Windows only if you resume Windows subsequently. Furthermore, you can use hibernate (suspend to disk) in Linux only if you attempt to resume Linux subsequently. But you cannot mix the two operating systems.

I renamed some Ext2/Ext3 volumes with the Explorer. After that the Linux kernel no longer boots, it stops with a kernel panic or there are some messages about failed volume mounts upon booting.

Some Linux distributions identify volumes by means of their volume labels when they process the /etc/fstab file and mount each volume on startup. If a volume's label is modified, mounting of the volume fails, because Linux could not find a volume with a label as it is given in the /etc/fstab file. If it is the root volume of the Linux installation, the kernel will panic.

Other Linux distributions are not affected by the problem, because they identify volumes by their device specifier, for example /dev/hda9.

There are two workarounds: You can boot Windows and simply give the volume its former name. Or you can edit the /etc/fstab file according to the renamed volume label: The /etc/fstab is a text file. Each line corresponds to a mounted volume. Please take a look at the first column. If you find a device specifier in it, for example,
mounting the volume does not depend on the volume label upon startup; it is not affected by the effect described here.

But if you find a volume label there, for example
you have to edit it appropriately so that it matches the new volume label. After that Linux will startup successfully.

I have a device with a removable media, for example a USB memory stick, a Compact Flash Card, a magneto-optical drive etc., which has a partitioned format and has more than one partition. When I insert that media, a drive letter appears for the first partition, but not for all the remaining partitions of the media. When I open "IFS Drives" of the control panel, the considered device appears as a hard disk drive, but there is no partitioning scheme shown for it. How can I create drive letters for the remaining partitions of that removable media? (USB hard disk drives are not affected.)

There is an unsatisfactory answer only: it is not possible.

Windows creates (and deletes) all the drive letters for pure removable devices or removable medias itself. Because the Ext2 IFS software need not to create them, it intentionally does not show any partition scheme for that drive.

Windows creates a drive letter for the first partition of the considered media, but not for the remaining ones. (Windows NT4, 2000 and even XP behave the same way in that regard).

You will run into the same problem if you have a removable media partitioned with two partitions of the FAT type on a computer, which has not installed the Ext2 IFS software! So there is one straight advice only: do not use removable media with more than one partition with Windows.

I have some files whose file names differ only in capitalization, e.g., "FileName", "filename", and "Filename". I can access only one of them, even though I specify one of the others.

The effect which you have seen is caused by differences between Linux and Windows: Searching for a file name is case-sensitive on Linux, but Windows requests from a file system that searching for a file name is case-insensitive.

The only solution is renaming some of the files or directories in question - with Linux.

When I try to install the Ext2 IFS software, I get an error message "The service database is locked." (after the files have been copied), and the setup wizard does not continue. When I click on the Next button, the mentioned error message appears again.

Please click on the Abort button first to exit the setup application of Ext2 IFS.

The error message "The service database is locked" is probably caused by a service that is still starting. There may be a service which has problems to finish starting, so the service database remains locked. Maybe it has invalid parameters due to a failing or an aborted setup procedure.

You must identify that service, so please start the Winmsd.exe of Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003.

Now you must fix these hanging services. If you have any idea how to uninstall or reinstall them (if you know what software product they belong to), please try that. (You may also consult the vendor of that software.)

Another way is to simply deactivate these services, but you have to do it manually at the registry.

That procedure is also described at the Microsoft Knowledge Base, KB264559.

I experience strange effects on trying to use an ATAPI (IDE) hard disk on Windows 2000 or Windows XP. On Linux everything works fine: I can create partitions, make Ext2/Ext3 file systems and can store some file on that hard disk. But when I boot Windows I cannot access the files on that hard disk. If I open the "IFS Drives" item on the computer's control panel, it does not show the correct partitioning scheme for the hard disk.

This can occur if you have a hard disk larger than 128 GBytes. Since hard disk vendors consider a GByte as 1000^3 bytes instead of 1024^3 bytes, such a hard disk is labeled with more than "137 GBytes".

Please open the "IFS Drives" item on the computer's control panel if you have not done it yet. To the left in the "IFS Drives" window, the sizes of the hard disks are indicated. If you find at least one drive for which a size of "128 GB" is given (below the small gray drive icon), although you know that it is actually larger than 128 GBytes ("137 GBytes"), you are affected by the problem described in the following:

If you used a Windows installation CD prior to Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or prior to Windows XP Service Pack 1 while installing Windows, you do have not any support for 48-Bit LBA, which is needed to access hard disks larger than 128 GBytes ("137 GBytes"). If you have updated your Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 (or higher) or Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (or higher), you have support for 48-Bit LBA, but it is disabled.

If you install Windows using an installation CD with Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (or higher) or Windows XP Service Pack 1 (or higher), but you have no hard disk in your computer larger than 128 GBytes ("137 GBytes"), support for 48-Bit LBA is also disabled. It remains disabled, even if you expand your computer with additional hard disks.

You should do the procedure, which is described in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, KB305098 (for Windows 2000) and KB303013 (for Windows XP). Please pay attention to the warnings that you find in these articles.

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