Linux live CD as a window recovery tool

As a computer geek one of the first things people say to me when learn that I’m a computer geek is “can you fix my computer”. Now depending on my mood or how exactly they asked, offering beer is always a good idea, I usually respond with “I don’t use windows, and haven’t used it in years”. But if your nice and its convenient for me sure Ill give it a shot.

The other day a friend of mines computer laptop had stopped booting, during the boot it would get the blue screen of death. She had all ready called IBM, she got her laptop before Lenovo bought the thinkpad name, who said the hard drive was most likely dead. Seeing as she had lost all her data I first scolded her for not creating proper backups, and then told her that if she brought her computer to me I would give it a shot at fixing it.

Popping a Ubuntu live cd into her computer and then plugging in an IPod we where able to recover most of the data on her computer. To me it seemed second nature to be able to run an operating system off a live cd in order to recover data, but to her it seemed foreign since windows would not boot she had assumed all was lost.

Is this really still the case for windows, what do you do if windows wont boot (and yes safe mode and the “IBM recovery button” would not boot)?

Disclamer: This is not a windows bash but is there no way to yank your data off the computer if it wont boot other than taking out the hard drive?

13 Responses to Linux live CD as a window recovery tool

  1. 0bit says:

    Back when I still used Windows I just took note of the error message, and then used a linux live cd to look up the problem on-line and fix it.
    You could of course also make a windows ‘livecd’ with BartPE

  2. Levi says:

    Would be nice if you could outline the process you used through ubuntu. I find myself in a similar situation armed with a ubuntu live cd, a great deal of hope, and nowhere near enough information.

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