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Newbie looking to use Linux CD to access files on sick laptop runng win7


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#1 tamba1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 07:37 AM

I was trying to help a friend with their PC probs ( Acer Aspire 5738 running win7)

I received an odd email from them ( rcmding www.okisell.com) email was suspicious googled www.okisell.com and found following links saying her acct cld be hijacked /pc cld be infected etc ..and actions to take ..

http://windowslivehelp.com/solutions/safet...nt-hijacks.aspx
http://windowslivehelp.com/community/t/170171.aspx
http://windowslivehelp.com/community/t/190416.aspx

I called to see if they were having probelms and inform re email & turned out they were havng reconnect disconnect issues and other annoying problems, inlcuding occasional boot issues  which I thought could have been indication of malware infection so I suggested they backup their files and then download and install Malwarebytes and Superantispyware and do a scan in Safe mode and send me the results ..

The next day I called and discovered they were unable to do that as by this point they cld not even get online .. They were going to scan with Norton 360 .. So I sugg they do this in Safe mode ..What I did not say is HOW to get into safe mode aargh I feel so stupid I cld kick myself ( and that has made their problem worse) .. Safe mode was entered via msconfig not rebooting and tapping F8 and now they got stuck in a Safemode Reboot cycle ..

After a number of reboots they managed to get into advanced boot options and tried "last known good configuration" but this failed ..

Yesterday the laptop would not boot at all – I sugg they follow advice from acer website for laptops that woudl not boot ..
1. Shutdown and Unplug your laptop.
2. Remove the battery from the laptop.
3. Wait 2-3 minutes
4. Now press ON (power button on laptop) for 1 minute
5. Then release the finger and wait one more minute.
6. Now plug in the power cable (dont insert battery yet) and press ON button.

This at least enabled laptop to power on /start but not get past black screen
I tried the Acer Aspire website for advice not much help BUT I found a number of posts elsewhere of people referring to booting their Acers to black screens and being advised by Acer support to update their Bios with latest ones..

I know this is not something you should not do unless needed but I was wondering if this could also be causing black screen problems.. The Acer website was showing a BIOS upgrade for the 5738 dated ..jan 2010 heres a link to it http://preview.tinyurl.com/dbdbds

On googling for info on failed syst restore causes I found Norton 360 cld be the reason for the Restore failure apparantly the "Tamper Protection" blocks the restore..
http://www.iammai-online.com/SM/SM.Disable...rProtection.htm

There is more info about this at symantec and the advice was uncheck/disable Tamper Protection before using restore.. So maybe if I can disable that we can restore to an good config but HOW can I do this if I cant get the PC to boot properly?

Re win7 Rescue /Recovery Disks
Their laptop came preinstalled with win7 and they don't have a rescue disk made AND backups were not made !Hence not wanting to do factorey reset 

So I am not sure what to try next.. LAST resort will be reset to factory settings but am hoping other things to try .. Please can someone give me some suggestions /advice on what to do..

I have been reading about using Linux Cds using them to either rescue a Windows PC/laptop or also to get access to personal files on an unbootable PC/laptop and copy/backup to an external HD..I am not looking to install linux just run off a cd .. The Laptop is hundreds of miles away from me so I wondered about purchasing a disc and getting it sent to her so she could boot from it.. would this work ...?

Which LINUX CD?

Can someone poss guide me through how to choose a suitable solution is there a paticularly user friendly one?
As stated she is running Win7 on Acer Aspire 5738 and I am running Win Vista Home Premium SP2 on Toshiba Satelite Pro A300-1O9 ( so ideally a CD that would work on both pcs wld be great for future problems..

I haven't a clue where to start Knoppix, Linux Live ,Ubuntu, Damn Small Linux or others.. I have been to a number of their sites to read up on them although am not fully confortable with downloading them to burn an ISO cd .. In fact I have been considering purchasing a linux CD and posting it to my friend ( assuming its not too complex ..

I live in the UK and have found whilst on KNoppix site that you can buy ready made cds and they gave a few International resellers - I have been to some of the retailers BUT my question is where to start.?

Thanks in advance for your help I look forward to your reply

Tam1

Edited by tamba1, 10 February 2010 - 07:40 AM.


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#2 Brewster Down Under

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:42 AM

Hi tamba1, i have tried many distro's but found Linux Mint by far the best for a newbie. Here is a link http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Have a look at the pdf user guide for easy instructions how to download, burn and use the OS (forgot to mention it is Ubuntu 9.10 with the bugs fixed)

When you have a live CD boot into it and navigate to your Wiindows folder you want to save and drag it to the desktop

Insert a usb thumb drive and drag that folder to it (you won't be able to burn to CD because obviosly it is in use)

There is probably a better way to do but this method worked for me on a friends sick desktop and save his photos

Hope this helps Cheers Brewster :thumbsup:

Edited by Brewster Down Under, 10 February 2010 - 11:14 AM.

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#3 tamba1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

Brewster Thanks so much for the advice have been to the site and printed off the very informative Linux Mint 8 Userguide PDF to read carefully ..

Forgive me if I am being really stupid, having not used this before I do have some more questions re Linux Mint ..Am I right in saying to use this for my needs stated above & NOT to install as operating system but to boot off live CD I shld be looking at the "Boot the Live CD" section of the PDF pg 10 .. I have done this, but am not sure what I do once its booted from the CD.. ?

What will I see ? I am guessing it wont be the windows env but the Linux Mint environment .. will I see the Mint Menu or the Gnome Desktop ?

After “how to boot from CD “ in the PDF it goes into great detail about installing Linux on your HD etc ..I am guessing I wld goto Computer place ( assuming that;s wht I see ) and from there wld be able to see the Storage volumes of the sick PC.. Is this correct?

If not am I supposed to be looking elsewhere for info on using Linux Mint to rescue/recover sick PCs , the tools to do this on the disk and how to use them ?

Or should I be referring to the Gnome Desktop information and the Gnome Userguide even though I wont be installing the software..

Once again many thanks for your time & assistance
tamba1




Hi tamba1, i have tried many distro's but found Linux Mint by far the best for a newbie. Here is a link http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Have a look at the pdf user guide for easy instructions how to download, burn and use the OS (forgot to mention it is Ubuntu 9.10 with the bugs fixed)When you have a live CD boot into it and navigate to your Wiindows folder you want to save and drag it to the desktop..Insert a usb thumb drive and drag that folder to it (you won't be able to burn to CD because obviosly it is in use)..There is probably a better way to do but this method worked for me on a friends sick desktop and save his photos

Hope this helps Cheers Brewster :thumbsup:



#4 Andrew

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

Just skimming the topic here so forgive me if I'm answering something that was already answered.

Linux Live CD's will not install anything unless/until you specifically direct them to do so. A Live CD boots up into a fully functional Linux environment running entirely from the CD/DVD and RAM; the hard drive is not touched, though it is accessible and all modern Linux distros can read and write to Windows disks.

Starting with Windows Vista, the boot options are no longer stored in an easily edited text file but rather in a proprietary binary file which is edited by a special program called bcedit.exe. Unfortunately, this means that it becomes rather difficult (if not impossible) to change the Windows boot options from outside of Windows.

I'm not familiar enough with the newer Microsoft operating systems to be of much help here, aside from perhaps pointing out which avenues to skip exploring.

#5 tamba1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:07 PM

Amazing Andrew

Thanks for the reply Yes I do undernderstand The Linux Live Cd boots into a fully functional Linux Env, what I am completely unaware of is how to create & use a Linux Live Cd to help recover a sick /unbootable windows pc which is why I posted here for some help/guidance..

There are many articles on the web like the ones posted below saying how Linux Cds can be used to rescue a pc, how PC users should have a Linux CD in their "toolkit" but I am looking for tutorial on how to do this ..

Rescue your PC with Linux Live CD http://maketecheasier.com/rescue-your-pc-w...e-cd/2007/12/22

Emergency Booting Windows PCs: Another Use for Linux http://www.reallylinux.com/docs/knoppix.shtml

Linux Rescue Disks That Can be Used to Repair Windows to - http://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/36767.aspx

Brewster has rcmd Linux Mint (one I had not heard of before today) which looks promising and has a grt PDF tutorial including downloading & burning a CD and then booting off CD or installing Linux etc.

Having read the PDF a couple of times and hopefully getting answers to other qs I THINK assuming everything went smoothly I cld download the files, burn to cd, boot from cd and access the personal files following PDF instructions .. and then "navigate to your Windows folder you want to save and drag it to the desktop..Insert a usb thumb drive and drag that folder to it" as sugg by Brewster or even better copy them to an external USB drive etc .. However I don't think I could try to fix the pc using the Linux Cd based on info I have read so far, nor would I even know where to start hence coming back for more info.

Also not being a windows 7 user myself I am not even sure if the laptop in question would even boot from a Linux CD without making changes to boot order in the BIOS.. I guess well have to try it and see..

I also wonder assuming I can boot from Linux Live CD whether I can access programs within windows as I wld like to disable norton 360 which as you will see from initial post is preventing being able to restore back to an earlier restore point .. woudl you know about this ?

Once again thanks for taking the time to post and having patience with a Linux Newbie who obviously has a steep Linux learning curve ahead.

tamba1

#6 Brewster Down Under

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:13 AM

Hello again tamba1,

Sorry for the delay, I posted last night before going to bed.

What I posted last night was only a way to recover photos vids docs etc.

A live CD won't let you boot to the Windows Desktop to change settings there.

Perhaps you should post again In the Windows7 forum as your friends problem is not Linux related
and you would get more exposure there (or maybe a moderator will move your original post)

Sorry I couldn't help and good luck :thumbsup:

Cheers Brewster

Edited by Brewster Down Under, 11 February 2010 - 04:25 AM.

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#7 brapster

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:51 AM

Why not try using Hiren's BootCD to recover your Windows files as well as accessing the windows partition.

When using a Live Linux CD, I'd recommend Knoppix. (in a hurry here, so cant get into details, but google it and you'll know what i mean)

#8 tuxmike

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:21 PM

Hi, Newbie,

I have just been able to help a friend with Windows XP on her computer with the help of Linux. Being a Linux disciple I installed Linux (Suse 11.0) into a separate partition on her computer back when she had just bought it. I thought I might win her over to Linux and recommended she boot into Linux at least whenever she wanted to onto the internet. She didn't and left Linux alone. Now she has these problems and asked for help. I booted Linux, ran Linux AntiVir over her entire windows partition and we discovered and quarantined a plethora of malware! I believe that remnants are still on her computer but at least she can use it again, and I will try to clean it up for good with help from BleepingComputer.

In short: It is not at all a problem to install Linux alongside Windows. A boot manager will then let you select the operating system you want to use each time you start the computer. This gives you the tremendous convenience of accessing all Windows files without interference from malware. If you need to delete a file, just do so. The malware will know nothing about it and not be able to do anything against it. And if you need to back up your windows files: no problem. Just copy them to the Linux partition (or any external medium). And best of all: for safe internet access you can use Firefox or Opera (or other browsers) under Linux with nearly no risk at all.

Mint is indeed an excellent distribution. I strongly recommend it. And I recommend to try it from the live CD and then install it to the hard drive - provided it still has enough room left on it.

Cheers
tuxmike




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