XP LiveCD to boot into a trashed Vista machine?

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steelcaress

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Jun 29, 2007
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Hi!

I have an MSI laptop. Specs:
MSI GX630
Geforce 9600 GT video
Athlon X2 2GHz dualcore

It also, until recently, ran Windows Vista. It bluescreened during a re-install, and the bootloader went bye-bye. It also won't install now. I have no install disk, as Vista install files are on a hidden partition, and I need a way to get into my laptop hard drive so I can take my stuff off the data partition and hopefully reformat.

My question is multipronged:
1) If I burn an XP LiveCD can I boot into it, get to the data partition, and grab my files and move them off of there (the whole idea is to move 'em to my backup terabyte drive)?

2) Once I do that, can I just reformat and put Windows XP Pro on there? I have XP drivers for everything.

Or will I have some serious issues doing any of this because of the differences between XP and Vista?
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Never heard of an XP LiveCD. Try a Linux Live CD for data rescue. Puppy Linux is good for this. Also Ubuntu.

Have you tried booting into the Recovery Partition? You didn't create Recovery disks from the Recovery partition, right?
 

steelcaress

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Thanks for the advice!

There are XP LiveCDs. I've researched them, and there are several different ways of creating them. You can even boot XP from a USB thumbdrive, if you set it all up correctly. The effect is the same as if you did LiveCD with Linux, but I digress.

I didn't create any recovery disks, regrettably. I have another Vista machine here, my wife's, which is how I'm posting this. It is the exact same machine as mine, same hardware, same OS, down to the install partition and everything.

The install partition is not visible, and I wouldn't know what to look for if I was hunting for it. I used a "hot key" when Vista was still on there in a semi-usable state to do a repair install. That failed, and munged the OS. The data is on a separate partition.

So again I have a few questions:
1) Will Ubuntu and Puppy Linux LiveCDs will read a Vista partition? If they could that would be excellent!
2) And will they detect my USB terabyte drive that I will be moving data to?
3) And the data will be usable again (things like documents, pdfs, and media files) once I've moved it using Linux? It already has quite a few files on it, and it started out under XP and later Vista when I upgraded.
4) Can I just drag and drop the files, or is there some sequence of commands I'd need? I'd prefer very much just to drag and drop.

Forgive me if those questions sound dumb, but I have limited experience with Vista, *very* limited experience with Linux (have played with Knoppix and KDE a bit), and limited experience with laptops. I'm far from a newbie, but I'm used to 98/2000/XP and desktops that I built myself, not an off-the-shelf laptop with Vista.

I found a link here which seems to answer most of my questions.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/wind...backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/

But I want to make sure before I do anything to screw things up even worse.

Thanks in advance for the answers to these questions...
 

TerryNet

Terry
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1) Will Ubuntu and Puppy Linux LiveCDs will read a Vista partition? If they could that would be excellent!
Yes, assuming it's not too messed up. If you are asking about reading NTFS or FAT32 formatted partitions the answer is a definite 'yes.'

2) And will they detect my USB terabyte drive that I will be moving data to?
Yes. Plug in a USB drive and you will get a Windows-Explorer-like window or an icon on the desktop.

3) And the data will be usable again (things like documents, pdfs, and media files) once I've moved it using Linux? It already has quite a few files on it, and it started out under XP and later Vista when I upgraded.
Yes; no worries.

4) Can I just drag and drop the files, or is there some sequence of commands I'd need? I'd prefer very much just to drag and drop.
Drag and drop. Or right click copy/paste. Or CNTRL + C/P. Ubuntu, to me, very much has an XP "look and feel" The hardest thing about using Puppy for simple things like this is that it uses single click where we are used to double click.

You can probably create Recovery disks from the working Vista and use those to boot the "bad" computer and get into the Recovery partition. Since you say the machines are identical you can probably even use those disks to "Recover" if you can't get into the partition.
 

steelcaress

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I tried the Ubuntu LiveCD on my dualcore laptop and it failed.

It froze up while trying to mount *any* partition in LiveCD, sometimes a few seconds after doing it, sometimes while doing it.

  • After messing with the various boot options I got it to boot with ACPI=off. It locked up when mounting the D partition (what I'm trying to get my data from).
  • In turn, I messed with the other boot options, to see if they helped. noapic, edd=on, nodmraid, and Only Free Software. It still locked up.
  • When I plugged in my USB terabyte drive (what I'm trying to transfer my data to), I tried to drag and drop a file and it told me "Cannot create folder. Operation not supported by backend." (or something close to that)
  • When I merely experimented and mounted the terabyte drive only, it still locked up after a minute or two.
  • I'm not sure this matters, but also had my network cable plugged in, and I tried browsing with Firefox, but it would crash before opening.

Is there something I'm not doing that I should be doing?


Here's a weird idea, since my Vista install is trashed anyway, if I install Ubuntu in the C partition, would I be able to see and manipulate the files in the D partition and move them over to the terabyte drive (without issues assuming I was able to install XP)? I mean, would that take care of the mounting issues?
 
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Did you think of getting an ide/sata cable or an 2.5" external hard drive case? You can get them off ebay cheaply enough. The files should still all be there. That is what i've done when a laptop has crashed unrecoverably. Then you just need to plug it into another computer and take the files off.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Not every Linux works well with every computer. For example, Ubuntu works very well with my Dell but I gave up trying to use it with my HP. Anyhow, there's no reason for me to believe that Ubuntu will work better installed than as a Live CD.
 

steelcaress

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Since I really have no idea how to remove the hard drive from the laptop safely, making it an external drive is not an option currently :(

If I use the recovery disks burned from my wife's computer, it destroys all data on the drive. Since I have data that needs to be backed up, that would be bad.

Puppy linux is doing the same lockup thing, as a Live CD.

I'm dying here.

I'm gonna try the UBCD next. Hopefully it will let me see the partition and move stuff over to the big drive.
 
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Is there a specific reason? I just unscrew the back and slide it out gently. They are amazingly resilient. I have one I use all the time with a cable and no cover at all. I droped it from about 3ft in the air onto a hard surface, made an awful crashing sound and is still working after three years of taking it out. I really don't think you could damage it in anyway.
 

steelcaress

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Jun 29, 2007
Messages
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Ah. I guess I'm just paranoid, after the way it scewed up. I don't really have the money for a USB conversion kit, so it's kind of a moot point. :(

I tried the Ultimate Boot CD, but it gave me errors trying to write the ISO. I tried ERD Commander, as well, and it gives me the "File setupdd.sys could not be loaded. The error code is 4."

A Google search indicates that my hardware could be bad. :(

The lockups on Puppy Linux happen after a few minutes. When I move data on Puppy, it boldfaces the filename, and, when Puppy crashes, the moved data is gone.

I guess I'm going to live with the lockups on LiveCD and see if I can't get my data off of there one bit at a time, unplugging the usb drive every time something successfully transfers to hopefully "cement" the moved data on there, and prevent it from disappearing.
 
Joined
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You are looking at $5-$15 for an enclosure on ebay and saving a lot of heartache. Plus they are really useful to have. That's not too much is it. You will just need to know if it is sata or ide hdd.

Again I recently cloned my OS onto a larger drive and switched them over, no problem. Take the battery and the cord out before removing the drive and use an anti-static wristband (only costs a couple of dollars) although I have done it plenty of times without doing either.

Or do it the hard way! lol
 
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