You can also format your HDD to ext2 and access it both from win and lin with full write access and support. ext2 full support is not default in windows, but if you install the fs driver, you will see the ext2 partition just as the others (FAT32, NTFS). It will have an own drive letter, just as the others. You will be able to read, write, modify files just as on other windows partitions. The ext2 fs driver can be found here:
Download it, install it in windows, set the options (very easy), reboot to be sure, and voila: you have full access to your ext2. No need for two partitions, can use with files bigger than 4 Gb, full access from both OS.
With this tool you can also access your ext3 partition the same way, but remember: Don't write
anything to your ext3 from windows
, because it will not write the filesystem journal!!!
You can ask: why can ext2 fs driver handle an ext3 part? The answer is simple: ext3 is a filesystem journal enhaced ext2, so they are almost the same. The driver will handle your ext3 as an ext2, and because ext2 doesn't have a journal, win won't even try to write the journal. So, again: Never write ext3 from Windows!