There are two utilities I’ve found that let Windows users manage files on EXT-2 (and so EXT-3) filesystems.

The first is a filesystem driver that let’s you mount EXT-2 drives just like any other VFAT, NTFS drive. Appears to work like a champ.

The other is a less invasive tool that allows you explore EXT-2 filesystems without mounting them.

I have a network filer running linux with RAID-1, which is great. I have a SATA drive in a USB enclosure for backups. Now, I can directly access the backup drive from Windows, should the filer fail.

EXT-2/3 is nice because it handles large files and large capacities. VFAT just can’t handle the new drive capacities without magic (even though the linux vfat drive can handle 300GB drives without complaint).