Linux is not just a nice toy or a replacement for Windows. It can help you do things in day-to-day IT work alongside Windows. So far here is what I have found
– Say you have a Windows installation that’s not bootable anymore and you need to retrieve documents, pictures and such. So you stick it into a functional PC, try to open the profile, the following ensues:
Windows: You need permission to access that folder. Continue?
Windows: Are you sure?
Windows: Are you really sure?
Windows: Ok, access granted, but some folders I will leave locked
Of course another possibility is that Windows will sit there for half an hour trying to change permissions and eventually tell you that it timed out.
You can create a Linux LIve USB stick. All you need is the iso of your favorite distribution and a free program called Linux LIve USB Creator
You boot from it, it automatically mounts the NTFS drive, automatically grabs full control of it. You connect to a share on your PC and start copying whatever you need
– A situation that happened to everyone. You reinstalled Windows and discovered it didn’t auto-detect your NIC. If you have another functional PC handy no big deal – you use it to download the NIC driver, copy it over using a flash drive and install it. What if you don’t?
Boot from your Linux Live USB stick, download the Windows NIC driver, copy it wherever you want on your NTFS drive, boot into Windows, install
– Occasionally one needs to look for software/drivers on sites that are… shall we say questionable. Of course that comes with the risk of those sites trying to slip you a virus.
Solution: Boot from Linux Live USB stick and search for your software using the Linux environment. I don’t know if Linux is 100% virus-immune as some people claim (personally suspect no), but I do know that viruses written for Windows simply will not work on it. And that’s 99.9% of them. Of course it’s still a good idea to scan for viruses what you have downloaded anyway.