Windows Tools for reading NTFS and Linux partitions

I’ve had to do my share of hard-drive recoveries over the years and have found the tools provided by DiskInternals to be invaluable in several occurances.

I’d previously used their NTFS Reader software to recover files from bad partitions after multi-booting to an older Windows operating system drive on the same machine.

Now I’ve found that they offer an EXT2/EXT3 Reader to allow Windows to access Linux partitions.

This is great for less-technical users that experience fatal errors in their operating systems as there’s now a relatively simple way to access the ‘familiar’ Windows tooling to recover files on the ‘bad’ partition. For the power-user, this affords a means for people making the switch to Linux a means in which to access their files in Windows in the off chance that they have to use software not usable under WINE.

Product Pages:

NOTE: Similar tooling exists to read Mac HPFS partitions, that topic saved for a later post!


WINE Is Not an Emulator

I post a lot about open source applications, WINE is another notable contender as it gives users an option to run many mainstream Window applications on a Linux (even Apple’s OS/X variant) platform by providing access to the Windows API’s to those host operating systems. – List of applications supported

Ah, for those of you still running IBM’s OS/2 platform, you too can run Win32 applications with Odin:


Open Source Operating Systems

I’ve posted a lot of information about the common ‘free’ open-source software that I routinely use, however… I just realized that I missed one of the most important applications you use, the Operating System itself.

While my “day job” relegates me to use Windows products for much of my work, I do a lot of additional work at home and for friends.

Currently I use and highly recommend Ubuntu Linux for most users, it’s got most of the usability features of Microsofr Windows and Apple OS/X, but without all of the additional baggage. It’s updated regularly, with new releases every 6 months and software patches made available almost daily. Updates are as non-intrusive as the Windows Update process, and only a very few ever require a reboot.

To quiet the other Linux users out there, I’ve used a lot of Linux ‘flavors’ in the past… each has had it’s place and may do so again…. this is my opinion for the moment and will likely change again in a few years. 🙂

Here’s the list:


Open Source Text Editors

As an old UNIX developer, I spent a significant portion of my work experience using VI, as my development environment became more focused on Windows, I used Homesite for developing text formatted documents. I’ve found that the current offerings from Eclipse and other IDE’s are notoriously bad at displaying the source of many document types, particularly JSP, HTML, XML, JAVA, JS and CSS files; where you often want to see exactly how a document is structured. Additional spaces, tabs and carriage returns can cause display formatting issues and wasted bandwidth in many cases.

Many of my peers are fans of TextPad, but I’ve found Notepad++ to be quite up to the task:

  • it is available for Windows and LINUX
  • supports auto-formatting of many text file types
  • can ‘replace’ the default Source-HTML viewer in MSIE.

Happy coding!