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First of all, is it safe to write to ext3 from Windows? I realize the reverse is not true.
Secondly, the only program I've found to be able to do this is Paragon's ext2fs anywhere http://www.ext2fs-anywhere.com/ which is not free. Is there a free version that I just missed? Thanks.
Windows can't write to or read any journaling linux filesystems with any tool as far as I know. ext3, reiserfs, XFS, and the like are all journaling filesystems.
I didn't know paragon made anything but ntfs for linux, but now I do. Linux can read/write to (windows)FAT16/32 and read NTFS natively. You can write to windows NTFS with pirated libraries called capture-ntfs or use paragon's solution.
Windows cannot natively read or write to any linux filesystem unless you have linux installed on FAT32(vfat) and are running DOS emulation software which would make your linux distro run as root for everything- which is bad.
So in short, windows can't see linux. Linux can see windows.
There is a link to a program called ext2fs. It says, that it is possible to write to ext2. I haven't tried it, cause I have a bad feeling about writing to a linux filesystem from windows, but perhaps it is worth to try.