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Using Linux to recover data from Windows.


  • Using Linux to recover data from an inaccessible Windows system.


    We all have faced a Windows machine with a blue screen of death, or worse, a black screen with white letters stating an error. Usually what is corrupted is the Windows operating system itself, but the user's files are still there, intact. The idea is to use Linux to access those files and copy them to another medium.

    Depending of the computer in question we have a few option: Running a Live-CD from the optical drive and copying the files in a USB Key. Booting the Linux distro from a USB drive, and saving the data burning it into a CD/DVD, another USB drive, or external hard drive.

    For this demonstration I'll be running Fedora KDE, booting both from a USB-key, and a Live-CD. To find information about booting from an USB drive, please check this thread: Resources for running Linux from a USB drive.

    After booting Fedora, and deciding in where the files will be stored. The first thing is to locate them. Clicking through this path:Computer\Home. In order to see the drives. In this example, we can see them at the right of the screen, under Places.



    In this next picture, we can see all the drives (Volumes). Clicking on each one, will show their content. In this case, I'm dealing with a computer using Vista that is infested with spyware. Before reformatting, I need to recover some pictures from an user's folder named e-pc.



    I continue clicking until I found the folder I'm looking for. Once on that folder, I right click to copy the folder.





    Afterward, I look under the 'places' menu, which in any other distro could be called 'Storage Media'. And click on the USB Volume. Once the USB content is displayed, I right click anywhere on it, and paste the folder I copied before. That's it. The files are now stored inside the USB-key.



    If a USB-key is no handy, and it is a desktop with two optical drives. The Live-CD can be run from one, while the data is burn on the other. Opening a burning application, in this case K3b.





    The way to access the files from the burning application is slightly different. BTW, when K3b opens, being run from a live CD or USB, there will be a couple of customizing screen that should just be shutdown. Once inside the program, I click looking for the Root folder, there I click over the media folder, showing up the disks (volumes) available.




    Once again, keep clicking until finding the right folder, which will be added to a data burning project. Completing our data rescue exercise.




    [edited by: ladytekki, ladytekki, ladytekki, ladytekki]
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  • You definitely seem to be our Linux guru, you should hang out in the chat room there are a lot of Linux questions most of us don't know how to help with.


    [edited by: computergeek485]
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  • Oh, noes, I'm not a Linux guru.

    Embarrassed 

    I just got into Linux about two years ago. And I still refuse  to write command lines. So the help I can give is very limited.

    The real Linux gurus around here are Sidicas and Root (/)

    However, if you guys get any Linux question, just send the person this way, we will try to help.

    Geeked 

     

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  • ladytekki:

    The real Linux gurus around here are Sidicas and Root (/) 

    I lol'ed at the /. Let's not throw the g word at root. It gives root deniability |o.O|

    And now I'm talking like mei. 

    Good post LT Yes.

    You might want to bring up Puppy OS in the situation that you only have one CD Rom and no external drives. It's one of the few (only?) live-cd's that loads everything into RAM after bootup, allowing you to use the CDrom afterwards. Not much of a linux shell though.

     

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  • root:

    You might want to bring up Puppy OS in the situation that you only have one CD Rom and no external drives. It's one of the few (only?) live-cd's that loads everything into RAM after bootup, allowing you to use the CDrom afterwards. Not much of a linux shell though.

     

    One of the very few linuxs' that i've used. 

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  • Puppy OS? Thanks, I put that one on my list, next time I'm trying distros. Yes
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  • I'm bumping this so it's available for those who might need it.

    Geeked 

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  • Hi ladytekki,

    I know another way to recover data from inaccesible Windows.Eeehaa

    You may boot up your computer with - a commercial software (mod edit)  - .It allows users to burn ISO file to CD/DVD/USB flash drive and boot up operating system from bootable CD/DVD/USB flash drive directly.It can be used to retrieve data under any boot up problem.

    Post edited by Moderator for being spam, if anybody is interested feel free to use Google and find the paid software.



    [edited by: KevinHamber, ladytekki, products]
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  • The whole point of this is to do it for free.  There are tonz of commercial data recovery softwares out there.

     

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  • ladytekki:

    Using Linux to recover data from an inaccessible Windows system.


    We all have faced a Windows machine with a blue screen of death, or worse, a black screen with white letters stating an error. Usually what is corrupted is the Windows operating system itself, but the user's files are still there, intact. The idea is to use Linux to access those files and copy them to another medium.

    Depending of the computer in question we have a few option: Running a Live-CD from the optical drive and copying the files in a USB Key. Booting the Linux distro from a USB drive, and saving the data burning it into a CD/DVD, another USB drive, or external hard drive.

    For this demonstration I'll be running Fedora KDE, booting both from a USB-key, and a Live-CD. To find information about booting from an USB drive, please check this thread: Resources for running Linux from a USB drive.

    After booting Fedora, and deciding in where the files will be stored. The first thing is to locate them. Clicking through this path:Computer\Home. In order to see the drives. In this example, we can see them at the right of the screen, under Places.



    In this next picture, we can see all the drives (Volumes). Clicking on each one, will show their content. In this case, I'm dealing with a computer using Vista that is infested with spyware. Before reformatting, I need to recover some pictures from an user's folder named e-pc.



    I continue clicking until I found the folder I'm looking for. Once on that folder, I right click to copy the folder.





    Afterward, I look under the 'places' menu, which in any other distro could be called 'Storage Media'. And click on the USB Volume. Once the USB content is displayed, I right click anywhere on it, and paste the folder I copied before. That's it. The files are now stored inside the USB-key.



    If a USB-key is no handy, and it is a desktop with two optical drives. The Live-CD can be run from one, while the data is burn on the other. Opening a burning application, in this case K3b.





    The way to access the files from the burning application is slightly different. BTW, when K3b opens, being run from a live CD or USB, there will be a couple of customizing screen that should just be shutdown. Once inside the program, I click looking for the Root folder, there I click over the media folder, showing up the disks (volumes) available.




    Once again, keep clicking until finding the right folder, which will be added to a data burning project. Completing our data rescue exercise.


     

    Thanks Lady!! Big Smile

    Imma add your post to my Fav hehe. Egyptian

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  • You're welcome. Yes, the Linux Distributions are mostly about getting things done without spending extra. 

    Geeked 

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  • ladytekki:

    You're welcome. Yes, the Linux Distributions are mostly about getting things done without spending extra. 

    Geeked 

    Eggxactly! Egyptian

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  • Yeah, right! You seem kind of expert in that field. Just bookmarked the thread. great value!

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  • Yes, the Linux Distributions are mostly about getting things done without spending extra. ???

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