Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recover Files From A Windows Computer That Won't Boot

It’s been almost 3 weeks ago when my friend’s desktop computer had crash and won't boot anymore. He was so afraid that he won't be able to retrieve all the digital photos of his sons that he has saved on his computer for the past 4 years. So he had sought my help

The first option I have tried was to try to make use of the REPAIR windows option when installing windows, but unluckily the system prompted us to input the administrator's password which we don't have any idea about. So the next option was to use the BART PE cd that I have created previously in order to boot up his system and hopefully I should be able to copy his digital photos or files. But unluckily my Bart PE CD was not able to detect his computer's hard drive. As its getting late already, I told my friend that I would return next weekend to fix his PC.

One of my office colleagues had suggested making use of Ubuntu to recover his files and that Ubuntu could boot up his computer on a CD. So I have downloaded the ISO copy of Ubuntu 8.10 and burn it to a CD. The next weekend I returned to my friend's home with the following items :
a. laptop
b. USB to IDE cable - this cable will be used to connect his desktop computer hard disk to my laptop and will make use of file explorer to copy the files to be recovered.
c. Ubuntu 8.10 CD

First, I booted up his computer using the Ubuntu CD and click "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer" (see image below).

After booting up his computer, the first thing I click was to choose Places from the menu.

And voila, all the drives available in the system were shown, including the Windows drive which was shown in terms of the hard disk partition size, say in this case, it is the 52.4 GB volume. Double click on the drive volume to open it and all the folders/ files on that partition were displayed. We then attached an external USB Hard drive and just using copy and paste, we were able to recover all the photos and important files that we require.

Now that I know how useful this Ubuntu 8.10 CD is, I would make a duplicate copy of this CD will keep one CD in a safe place as it's really very useful. Click this link to download Ubuntu

Hopefully this info would be useful to other people too.


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