View Full Version : [TUTOR] Rapid data recovery from a dead XP system

05-22-2006, 05:18 AM
Yesterday I was summoned to help fix an XP system that went belly-up - bad enough that the boot-up sequence would produce a Blue Screen of Death. After attempting to boot into recovery mode (which wouldn't let me access the Documents and Settings folder), and reinstalling XP over the current installation yielded no results.

If you should ever come to a situation like this, the solution is very simple, even though a bit unexpected: pack a live Linux distribution. I happened to carry a Debian Cluster Live disc with me, and although it's generally created for servers, it did its job very well. The point is that it was able to read files off an NTFS partition, bypassing all the security settings. Since all the partitions on the system were NTFS, I wasn't able to save them to another partition. Fortunately enough, the disc had K3B (a pretty straightforward DVD-burning program) so data was backed up in less than 20 minutes (after a bit of fiddling with the incompetent recovery console).

In short, if you're planning on doing simple, post-BSOD data recovery, remember to pack a live Linux distro (Knoppix, Debian Cluster, Damn Small Linux... anything). In this case, it's been a life-saver.

Bryce W
05-23-2006, 03:14 AM
Good Tut. My linux weapon of choice is Knoppix. My MS based one is UltimateBootCD or BartPE.. Very useful.

pc commander
11-06-2006, 04:40 AM
it happened ot me just about 3 weeks ago and i never thought of doing that... i have like 40 "6.06 dapper drake" cds i dont know what to do with too. why did i order so many... oh well, now i know. thanks 4 the post

Bryce W
11-14-2006, 02:46 PM
Just recently I brought a 4GB flash drive. On dead systems I now use Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (http://www.ubcd4win.com/) which happily detects the USB drive. I then dump their main folders (email, mydocs, favorites etc..) onto the USB drive.

In most cases the 4gb drive is sufficent for backing up that information. The only time when it hasnt been is when they have alot of MP3s.

This method is useful because you dont have to carry around and external harddrive which can be heavy and usually needs an external power source.

04-17-2007, 12:00 AM
I used Stellar Phoenix FAT & NTFS data recovery software for recovery of my data from inaccessible hard drive. Worked perfectly well recovering almost all of them.