The Interoperability Power of Linux-NTFS Tools
The NTFS tools may not be a requirement for everyone wanting a secure Windows workstation, but they do make life a lot easier.
In the context of a single dual-boot computer, complete backups can be performed to a safe, non-NTFS partition, either on the same hard drive, or even onto a removable hard drive of sufficient capacity. This may not make the effort worthwhile for everyone. However, for the user already equipped with a dual-boot system, the tools for greatly enhanced security may already be installed.
For a network administrator in charge of many Windows workstations, the potential is even greater. Dual-boot computers can be equipped with a shared disk partition (see Kevin Farnham's article “The Ultimate Linux/Windows System” in the June 2006 issue of Linux Journal). If GRUB is installed in this shared partition, along with alternate menu files, scripts can be written that reboot the computer into runlevels that automatically restore the Windows image, update it and so on.
Windows and Linux may be competitors in many areas. However, one of the great strengths of Linux is its open nature and the versatility of its command-line tools. The Linux-NTFS tools open up a conversation with the NT filesystem that, because of its one-way nature, makes for ideal security.
Steven Mathes installed Linux on his computer for the first time in 1995, when it was possible to back up Windows with tar. He can be reached at email@example.com.