Saving documents, etc from laptop on corrupt HDD before fresh install?

Hi guys!

So, here’s the problem. Friend asked me to sort out laptop. Tried recovery console and FIXBOOT & FIXMBR, no joy. I was going to do Repair installation but Windows says ‘P].artition1 [Unknown’].

So he needs a fresh install. Problem is that I can’t get to the HDD to rescue the files onto a USB flash drive or anything because the drive isn’t reading as NTFS anymore (I suspect this is my fault with FIXMBR).

I do believe that all of the data is stil there though; if it tries to boot from HDD, it gets as far as the F8 boot options screen.

Any help?:bow:

Can you try to recover the HDD with TestDisk?

Alternatively, you can try to boot from a Linux live CD (there are many distributions available, like knoppix or Ubuntu, or a purposely suited distribution, System Rescue CD) and then recover all files before to do a fresh install :slight_smile:

Thanks, will Linux detect the HDD though?

Ubuntu on my desktop PC doesn’t like the Windows HDD.

Oh, and anything usable on a USB stick is preferred.

All recent main distributions are able to identify NTFS disks (I used a lot of times an external disc formatted in NTFS with Fedora 8), with both reading and writing capabilities. I suppose that also Ubuntu is able to do this :slight_smile:

Thanks. I don’t know why Ubuntu is so funny on my PC then.

Any suggestions about the best one to use?

I could just use a USB pen drive with a Linux OS on it - I’ve looked into it but don’t know what’s best. Spoiled for choice really!

I can easily backup all his docs onto that.

You can try with the system rescue CD distribution. It is a live CD that can run in the “damaged” computer directly. In this way you can try to recover all files directly from the disk and copy all files on an external drive connected via USB to the laptop.

#1 Boot up your PC using the Ubuntu Live CD. On the boot up screen , select Start or install Ubuntu. Don’t worry; this will not install anything on your PC.
#2 After booting into the Ubuntu, plug in a USB drive. It will be auto detected, appearing as an icon to your desktop.
#3 Double click on the icon. An explorer window will open up.
#4 On the menu bar at the top of the desktop. Click on ‘Places‘ and you can see a list of other drives in the PC. Select the drive that contains the Windows OS. Another explorer window will show up.
#5 Navigate to the folder that contains the data you want to rescue. Copy and paste the files (or drag and drop) to the USB disk explorer window.
#6 To shut down the Ubuntu OS, click on the power button on the top right of the desktop. A window will appear and ask you if you want to Suspend, Hibernate, Restart or Shut Down. Click on Shut Down.

What bloody good thinking!

I’ve got 2 Linux CDs sitting here already.

I’ve spent 2 days looking for the answer and finally came upon Slax. So thanks for the great idea but too late now. Hopefuly help someone in the future if they stumble on this thread.