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The Second Extended Filesystem

ext3 has the same on disk structure as ext2 but it has an additional transaction journal. This journal is only used while the filesystem is mounted, so as long as the filesystem is correctly dismounted, it can be safely ignored. If the filesystem is not dismounted then the it will remain marked dirty with an incompatible flag so any ext2 tools should leave it alone.

Links for ext2/ext3

Reading ext2/ext3 from Windows