If you’re, like me, one of those people who dual boots Windows XP + Linux, you might have discovered ex2fsd, which allows you to access your ext2/ext3 volumes while you’re using Windows. Recently, I suddenly found myself unable to access my /home/nate/Music directory on my ext3 volume which had previously functioned properly. Windows started telling me that it was a “location that is unavailable,” which made no sense. After a few reboots and doublechecking in Linux that the directory was there and functioning properly, I noticed that I had a /home/nate/music text file in the same directory. As Windows doesn’t cleanly differentiate between “music” and “Music” in terms of case, it was unable to open the Music folder because it was apparently getting the “music” text file.
So if you find a folder is suddenly unavailable under Windows, make sure that you didn’t create a file with the same name in the parent directory on your ext2/ext3 volume. Windows is pretty inflexible that way.