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How to save files without accessing desktop?


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#1 ohevshalomel

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 02:57 AM

Hello. I'm new here. While I'm probably more computer-savvy than the average person, I'm nowhere near an expert.

 

I'll try to describe my problem with as much detail as possible (sorry in advance if I include things that are irrelevant). My machine is an HP (Mini, I believe) netbook with Windows 7 Starter.

 

About a week ago, I downloaded a program called Andy OS (bush-league mistake) that brought along with it another program called VMWare player. Immediately, my computer started screwing up; I had the speaker icon disappear, and when I tried to reinstall it on the toolbar, the option was greyed out. I had an "unidentified network" appear in my list of available networks. I just decided to rid myself of the hassle. When I tried to uninstall Andy OS, it didn't uninstall like a normal program--it kept flashing a message on the screen, and even after it disappeared from the program list, the icon kept popping up on my desktop, and if I clicked on it, a suspicious message from VMWare Player popped up. Having encountered similar problems before, I went into the registry to delete folders associated with Andy OS, but even when the registry stated that there were no more results to be found, the keys seemed to almost reinstall themselves. So I went Rambo on the thing, and, letting my emotions get the better of me, started to delete folders and keys related to Andy OS (not a problem) and VMWare Player (here's where it gets bad). Against my better judgment, I started deleting just about any key with the word VMWare in it, which led to me deleting vital keys to operate my keyboard and mouse. (I hadn't known that VMWare could just relate to something normal and not the company name of that stupid program--duh.)

 

I did this in safe mode, so now anytime I try to boot either normally or into safe mode, I get to the login screen, but I can't type or move the mouse--nothing but shutting down using the physical button. The only things I can get into are the boot menu and the command prompt. I did a system file check, and it gave me the message that it could do a repair but that I needed to reboot the computer. I did this a few times, only to keep receiving the same message. (The keyboard and mouse work on the DOS screens and in the HP Recovery manager--just not in Windows itself.) I tried to do a system restore, but it says there are no restore points (????), and I also tried to reset it using an image of the hard drive, but again, it says there are no images. The only option I can see would be to do a factory reset. In HP recovery manager, when I choose the option of saving files before resetting the PC, it tells me that there isn't enough room on the partition for temporary storage during compression (the files add up to about 47 odd GB). I have a 64G flash drive that apparently can't be used because of this.

 

I tried to download a copy of Knoppix from a torrent that was recommended to me by my stepbrother, who's much more knowledgeable than me, to help with the file recovery. I only had my boyfriend's computer to do it with, though. I thought since we'd both used Linux before, he'd be okay with it. Nope. He had a fit--which didn't matter in the end anyway, since BitTorrent couldn't open either Knoppix file I obtained (I used the University of Kent's mirror service).

 

 

Umm...so...since I can't get to my files, and there's supposedly no room at the inn on the recovery partition, how can I save my files before resetting Windows? I have work that's taken me countless hours on my system, and (yes, I'm an idiot, if that wasn't already apparent) only some of it's backed up externally (on a separate 32G flash drive)...so obviously just resetting willy-nilly is a figurative pain I can't bear. Any ideas? I'd really appreciate any insight and assistance I could get. Thanks so much for reading this.


Edited by ohevshalomel, 14 February 2016 - 11:36 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:44 AM

See if you can start System Restore from a command prompt then use a date before you installed the OS and VM ware. Hopefully you have a restore point. Type

 

rstrui.exe   <enter>   at the command prompt.

 

I would have used an easier distro or USB besides Knoppix. No torrent is needed. This computer does not have an optical drive, correct?



#3 Agouti

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:48 AM

You can download Puppy Linux and create a bootable Live USB.  You don't have to download Puppy via torrents.  Boot into Puppy and copy your files to your 64GB flash drive.  If you don't have enough storage you may consider temporarily storing some of your files in the cloud.



#4 ohevshalomel

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 02:20 AM

JohnC_21: I did what you told me with the command prompt. I still got the same window that popped up saying I had no restore points. I just hit upon Knoppix when I was searching answers using Google. This is the first time I've posted in a computer forum specifically asking real humans for answers. Sadly, I have no optical drive. I don't even have the Windows flash drive from when my first hard drive on the thing went bad.

 

Agouti: I'll download Puppy Linux and see how that works. I think this computer owner is resigned to the fact that I need his machine to fix mine. I'm sure it helps that I try to help him out when he has computer issues. :)

 

Thanks to you both. I'll report back here with what worked or didn't.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 10:36 AM

Copying files is somewhat different in Puppy. See this guide. You need to open two file managers, one for the hard drive and the other for the USB recovery drive. Then drag files from one Window to the other. If you need any additional help, post back.



#6 ohevshalomel

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 03:11 AM

I couldn't access the link you provided, but I did find an excellent guide here: https://www.winhelp.us/recover-files-using-puppy-linux.html .

 

I just about finished with backing the files up to my larger flash drive, but I've encountered a problem. In the "copy" window of Puppy Linux, it states that it finished copying the files, but that it encountered 17 errors. What does that mean (or how do I find out)?



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 10:22 PM

Unfortunately, I don't know how to determine what those errors were. Look for an error log file if you have not removed the puppy disk or USB. It's possible it tried to copy the file but failed because it was unreadable on the hard drive. 

 

I am not sure how I provided that link, sorry. The link you found is the correct one.



#8 ohevshalomel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:49 PM

It copied most of the files, it seems, but there were some glaring omissions. I'm just going to copy one folder at a time to see where it's messing up. I don't know how to access the error log file. The "copy" window doesn't give me much choice for that. Any tips?

 

Also, should I go to a Puppy Linux forum to see what the problems with copying might be? I can't imagine why on earth my hard drive would be unreadable. It was the registry I screwed up, and that only to the point of disabling the keyboard and mouse in regular and safe modes. The hard drive wasn't broken or corrupted in any way as far as I know.

 

Thanks so much for your help so far! :)



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 10:05 AM

You may have better luck using Hirens CD. You can download the iso here. When it first boots select MiniXP from the menu. You will boot into a mini XP OS environment where you can copy your files.

 

In regards to the error log, I was hoping the error log would be in one of the home folders of Puppy. You can go to the Puppy Forums or the Linux forum here would also help. Reference this thread.  I would try Hirens first. If that also gives you a problem copying files then I would say you are dealing with a hardware issue.



#10 Agouti

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:14 PM

OP has opened a thread in the Linux forums.



#11 ohevshalomel

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 03:49 AM

Okay, thanks so much. I'm open to trying any suggestions at this point. Nothing's ever simple, is it? LOL. :)



#12 ohevshalomel

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 03:30 AM

Would either of you be able to take a look at the above-mentioned thread in the Linux forums to see if you might be able to tell me what's going wrong (or what I'm doing wrong)? Thank you both so much for the help you've already given me.






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