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Hard drive crashed

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#1 mmatt


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Posted 19 October 2012 - 04:08 AM

The hard drives crashed on my familys Dell. There are files, photos ect we want off it. So I thought of using a live CD to access it and that they can also use the laptop for light use eg internet browser, looking at photos.
What Linux would be the best for this?
I had started a topic in the Vista forum http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic472254.html and it was suggested Puppy. Would this be the best for been able to get the files of and to be able to use the laptop for everyday use.

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#2 stiltskin


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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:35 PM

Any should work provided it can mount NTFS, which most or all will.

Ubuntu should do it. It should also be easy enough to use for such things. However, if you know nothing about linux you can expect it to be a little more work than you may be prepared for. It's not that difficult to use. But it's a different paradigm for people who have never used it. Once you figure out what you need to know, the rest is gravy. You can ask how. Most people who know are willing to give advice and assistance.

But the big question is, what does "crash" mean? Does it boot partway and stop? Or does it fail to do anything? If the latter, there may not be much of anything to recover as the drive mean be dead. There might be ways to partially recover some of it. But maybe not.

#3 AustrAlien



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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:04 AM

Puppy Linux is an ideal choice for your purpose. There are several versions of Puppy being developed and released concurrently, but at the moment Slacko Puppy seems to be the "flagship" version and I have found it to be excellent. Lucid Puppy is excellent also, and if you might wish to take a closer look at that troublesome hard drive with some tools you can use from Linux, I would suggest that you go with the Lucid version. However, you always have the option to download/create another LIVE CD later if you need it for trouble-shooting your hardware/Windows system.

You may find the following guide useful: Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Any questions, please go ahead and ask. I am sure you will find Puppy to be a very enjoyable (as well as useful) experience. Have fun.

Edited to add:
Puppy has the great advantage of a "Save on Exit" feature that provides persistence from one use to the next by saving all changes to a file in the location of your choosing. It will enable you to save any changes (programs, settings and files) that you might make to the system so that when you boot to Puppy the next time, it will be just as it was the last time you used it.
Note: Do NOT save this file to the problematic hard drive! :exclame:
Instead, plug in a flashdrive and save to that.
  • When you boot to Puppy, then make sure you have the flashdrive plugged in if you wish to use that saved file.

Edited by AustrAlien, 20 October 2012 - 05:23 AM.

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#4 ronald.teng


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:06 AM

I suggest you try BackTrack, it is worth youtubing it as well.

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