How To Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows

[Windows only] We’ve all been in this situation before. A lot of times. Imagine you have a dual boot system, running Linux and Windows. You spend quite a lot of time on your Linux partition. On the occasion that you boot into Windows, you realize that the important file you have been working on is saved on your Linux partition. Now to get that file, you could boot back into your Linux partition, save it on your Windows partition and boot back into Windows but that’s a drag.

This is where Ext2Read comes in. Ext2Read is a Free & Open Source Software which allows you to browse your Linux partitions in a very Windows Explorer-esque interface. Unlike other tools that we’ve covered before, Ext2Read also supports ext4 filesystem, even if extents feature is enabled. Like the name suggests Ext2Read can only read, not write to the partitions so in case you are paranoid about the tool causing data corruption to your Linux partitions, you can drop those fears.

Using the tool is pretty easy just download the file from its SourceForge page, and run it. Windows Vista/ Windows 7 users will have to run it as an Administrator to Ext2Read to work correctly. To do this, just right click on the file and Select Run as Adminstrator’

Once you start the application, it will show all your Linux partitions on the left and the files on the respective partitions on the right.


To transfer a file just right click on it and select save.


Overall, the application is pretty good, and quite honestly, the only negative thing about it is the way the icons are arranged, especially if you have lots of files with varying filename lengths in which case it looks pretty shabby.


Techie Buzz Verdict:

Ext2Read is probably one of the best tools to read data from your Linux partition. If you dual boot your system with Windows & Linux, this is a must have tool.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

usbsafeguard-ico Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. These little thumb drivescan easily be lost or stolen. If you have personal information on them, the loss could cause you plenty of trouble. Fortunately, there are several free utilities designed to keep your personal files protected (encrypted) with a password.   USB Safeguard is a good option.

USB Safeguard is available as a single executable file named usbsafeguard.exe’. It’s only about 736k, so it will fit easily on most current USB drives. You’ll find that you actually have to move the usbsafeguard.exe file onto the flash drive before it will run. Once it’s started for the first time, you’ll see the following prompt for a password:


You can type in your password, or you can use the built in on-screen keyboard by clicking the tiny keyboard icon just above the first password field. You’ll have to enter the password twice to confirm it’s typed correctly.

Next you’ll be asked to save the password in a text file on your hard drive. This is a precaution you might want to take, just in case you forget the password later.


After that, you’ll get the main interface where you can add files from your flash drive that you want to encrypt. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into the large empty area, or you can use the Encrypt Allbutton to grab everything on the flash drive.


If you’ve added files by dragging and dropping, you’ll need to hit the Encryptbutton to move to the next step. Here’s what it looks like while it’s encrypting your files.


After it’s finished encrypting, the original files will need to be removed. The following screen gives you several options for dealing with them.


Here’s what it looks like when you are deleting files:


Now when you look at the files on the flash drive, you’ll only see the usbsafeguard.exe file and the encrypted archive named image.dsk. That single image file could contain hundreds of files if that’s what you want in it. The size of you flash drive is the only limitation.


In order to get your files back out, all you have to do is run the usbsafeguard.exe file and supply the password. You’ll see all the files listed and you can select them and decrypt(unpack) the ones you want.

Here are three other file encryption tools we’ve written about:

Keep USB Data Encrypted With SafeHouse Explorer
Encrypt and Hide Data on Flash/USB Drive with Rohos Mini Drive
TrueCrypt | A FREE file encryption utility that is useful too

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This is a good solution for protecting files. I’m not very happy with the main interface that’s used to drag and drop files into. I think it might be more useful if it was more like a Windows Explorer file browser. That said, I plan to keep a copy of it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Everything – A Super Fast Portable File Search

[Windows Only] “Everything” is a small and portable freeware program that lets you find files in Windows with blazing speed. About two years ago, one of my readers sent me a nice comment about it, and I’ve been using it every since.

Here’s what the main window of Everything looks like after a search:


As you can see in the snapshot here, Everything supports the normal Windows file context menus when you right-click on a file. This is one of my favorite features. That means that you can launch a file, open a folder, copy, move or rename a file without having to leave Everything’s search window.

There are plenty of other features in Everything, such as;

• Small installation file
• Clean and simple user interface
• Quick file indexing
• Quick searching
• Minimal resource usage
• Share files with others easily
• Real-time updating

… and much more.

One of the many features that I have rarely used, is Everything’s ability to broadcast it’s search results across a network or the internet using FTP, ETP or HTTP. That means you can set it up so that anyone on your network can search the computer that Everything is running on. Here’s what the results look like in a web browser.


You can even download the files to another PC using the web browser.

Another of my favorite features in Everything is the fact that it’s portable. When I move it from one PC to another, I only take a single file named everything.exe. Once that single file is running, it creates it’s own settings file and it’s own database file in the same folder that it’s running in.

One thing you may notice is that Everything does take a few seconds to scan your drive and while it’s doing that, the search results window is completely blank. Before you get used to this fact, you might be tempted to start typing a search query into the search field. Don’t bother, because nothing will happen until it’s done scanning your drives.

The search results are immediate and update with every character you type into the search field. It does support wild card, boolean and regex searches if you need that type of searching power.

Download Everything Search

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I use Everything quite often and it’s a must-have utility for all of my PCs. It does almost everything I need but it is missing one thing that other indexed search programs have; it can’t search inside of files for matching results. I rarely need that feature, and I have no problem recommending Everything for everyone.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Filesystem Deathmatch: Ext4 Benchmarked Against Brtfs And Reiser4

Awhile back we had mentioned about Google committing to use of Ext4 as the filesystem for their servers. Google Senior Engineer Michael Rubin had explained that after a   lot of performance testing of the available filesystems, they came to a conclusion that ext4 was best suited to their needs.

Well, Phoronix conducted few tests of their own, pitting Ext4 against Reiser4, Brtfs and the original ReiserFS. They used their inhouse Phoronix test suite with the SQLite, Compile Bench, and IOzone tests, on an Intel Core i3 530 processor operating at 3.31GHz, an ECS Elitegroup H55H-M motherboard, 2GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD.

The results made up for an interesting analysis. Reiser4 was the fastest performing file system in 5 of the 7 tests. Brtfs was pretty fast, and Ext4 couldn’t perform as well as either ReiserFS or Brtfs, with the orignal ReiserFS trailing the pack. Given that that Google would’ve done lot more tests than Phoronix might have, it is prudent to assume that Google believes that the performance benefits gained by the transition to Reiser4 or Brtfs would be negligible, especially considering that the fact that Ext4 is backward compatible with Ext2.

How to Restore Default File Types in Vista and Windows 7

registry iconA few weeks ago, I told you how to repair the default image file types in Windows XP. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any utilities that could help you restore file types in Vista or Windows 7. I should have guessed that Ramesh Srinivasan would make good on his word. I had seen an old post which said he’d be working on something to help out.

Why would you need to restore a default file type?

You probably already know that a file type is controlled by the last letters after the dot in a file name. When you install new applications, sometimes the new app takes over the opening of some file types automatically. If you installed a new music player, you might discover that all .MP3 files now open up in the new player. That’s fine if you like the new player, but what if you don’t? You can re-assign the MP3 file type to another player by using the Open Withmenu when you right click on an MP3.

If you want Windows to use the default player that Microsoft had originally chosen for MP3 files, you might have trouble figuring out how to do that. I have found that it’s also sometimes tricky to get the defaults back on image file types. Fortunately, there are a few scripts and utilities that can help.

Using .REG Scripts

Ramesh has a page on his site that helps you restore a few Windows 7 file types to their defaults. He also has a page that lets you restore Vista file types to their defaults. Read the instructions on those pages to use REG (registry) scripts to make the changes.

Here’s a list of the file types that can be changed there:


Using the Unassoc Utility

Google Implements ext4 filesystem on their servers

Google, the giant search engine who knows a thing or two about speed, has decided to implement the ext4 as the filesystem for their servers.

In a post to the ext4 developer’s mailing list, Senior Engineer Michael Rubin explains that Google had been deciding upon a filesystem upgrade to their existing filesystem, and after a lot of performance testing of the available filesystems, including   xfs, ext4 and jfs, they came to a conclusion that ext4 was best suited to their needs. Although xfs performed close to ext4, the deciding factor on ext4 was that it provided an easy upgrade path from their existing ext2 filesystem to ext4.

ext4 has become the default filesystem for several of the popular Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE and had become an official part of Linux kernel since Linux 2.6.28 kernel. ext4 features several improvements over its predecessor, amongst which include support for files upto 16 tebibytes ( 1 tebibytes equals 1,024 gibibyes , with 1gibibyte equal to 1.074 gigabytes) and a maximum volume size of upto 1 Exbibyte. Other features of the ext4 are backwards compatibility with ext2/ext3 filesystems, and a subdirectory limitation of upto 64,000 subdirectories, and an online defragmentation tool which is still under development stages, however.

Interestingly, one of ext4’s lead developer, Theodore Ts’o is also a Google employee, notes SJVN indicating that Google would most likely use his expertise in further getting even more performance out of an already fast filesystem.

 xfs, ext4, jfs