Linux supports access to NTFS drives, but this feature is mentioned as experimental. It is said that, because Linux kernel's access to NTFS drives is developed by reverse engineering NTFS structure, and not by having access to its details (which are Microsoft's property) the feature is still experimental.
Some programs which work with NTFS drives in Linux (like PartImage) also remind the end user, that they may have troubles in NTFS data access, if the data is too fragmented or if the files are compressed using NTFS' compress feature.
Now, I have installed and used PowerQuest Drive Image 2002 for years on my computer. When trying to get an image from the OS partition, it restarts the system, boots with a version of Caldera DOS, and then a DOS version of Drive Image is loaded. What is interesting is, this DOS version can read from NTFS drives, no matter they are fragmented or compressed or both! To our more attention, it is also able to right the compressed image file it creates, to another NTFS drive, as a .pqi file!
So you see, there is a program which can access NTFS from DOS with no problem, and it is not a Microsoft program. How is it that the same method is not used by Linux? Is it that Microsoft has exposed the infrastructure of NTFS to PowerQuest (and that happened sooner than 2002) perhaps? I don't know.
What do you think?