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Windows XP/Follow up re Linux OS for data recovery


Sorry, there was no option to post follow-up on that last thread...

Regarding your suggestion:
"If you find that Linux will be your only option (at least for now), let me know and I will give you a simple guide (either me typing it or linking you to a better more detailed one of I can find one for a particular OS I would recommend in the Linux platform."

Yes, I would very much appreciate your help installing Linux, so that I can just get in there to rescue my data. Just let me know when you get a chance to forward that info.

I can't tell you what a huge help you've been!

Ok, we will be doing this with a blank DVD and a computer that is functioning with a DVD drive or with at least an external DVD drive. To rescue your data, we will NOT be INSTALLING Linux to your computer right away, as that would defeat the whole purpose of this process. We will for now create what is called a LIVE CD OS that has the option to run as an operating system without touching the hard drive and has the option to later be installed to the computer as a regular operating system.

NOTE: Your computer that needs the data recovery on must have a functioning DVD drive of the same level of features or better to work with the DVD you are putting Linux on. Example: A DVD-R or DVD-RW will not work in a DVD drive that is only DVD-ROM. If your computer your are trying to recover data from only has a DVD-ROM drive and nothing better, just make sure whatever DVD disk you acquire is a basic DVD disk and it will work fine. If the computer that needs data recover only has a CD drive and no DVD functionality, you can hook up an external DVD drive and boot from that.

Ok, first, you will want to download two/three things, depending if you already have a torrent application on your computer: uTorrent, IMGBurn and the Linux OS file. I will link you to all.

If you don't have a bittorrent application, go here: and download the free version of the program. Install it. You are done with step one.

Now download IMGBurn here: . Make sure to click Mirror 7 for the direct download. Install the downloaded file. This program will now allow you to install ISO/IMG files to CD/DVD media as well as extract the media in reverse order if you need to make copies of your disks back into files. You are done with step two.

Now that you are setup with a bittorrent program, you can download the torrent download of Linux Mint that is probably the best option out of all Linux distributions at super fast speeds compared to the mirror download speeds. The mirror downloads can also break during download quite often and since it's a rather large file to be downloading, you'd have to start all over. With the torrent program, you won't have to worry about that. The page for Linux Mint is here: . Just click the torrent link right above the "Primary download mirrors" and then open the torrent file to open it in the torrent program and click OK to accept the default settings for the download. IT should finish downloading in 5-10 minutes if your Internet access speed is moderately fast.

Now that all prerequisites have been downloaded and installed,

-insert your blank DVD into the DVD drive and open up IMGBurn.
-Click the top-left button that says "Write image file to disc".
-Now near the top where is says "Please select a file...", click the small folder icon to its right.
-Browse to where you downloaded the file. Default location may be your "Downloads" folder or your documents.
-Select the file you downloaded and click OK.
-Now near the bottom of the main window of the program, the large button should have lit up. -
-Click that and your DVD should be ready in roughly 10 minutes.

Once the burn is complete, the program will want to cycle the DVD drive and then verify the disk to make sure the burn went successfully. If you are using a laptop, you will have to manually close the disk drive as it will automatically pop open. If doing this on a desktop, it will automatically close after popping open. Once the burn is successfully done, a small tune should play. The disk is then ready!

Bring the disk to your computer that needs data recovery and boot to the CD/DVD drive option just like you have been for your Windows XP CD. Let it load completely. You will come to a desktop like environment. You will see "Install Linux Mint" on the desktop. DO NOT click that until you've backed up your data. Now you can connect your external media (external hard drive or flash drive) and navigate to where your files are. If the internal hard drive is working like normal, you may see the size of the hard drive as itself on the desktop where you can just open and start navigating. Same thing with your external drives...they should just pop up on the desktop as accessible drives.

If you do not know the file system of Windows XP, to get to your stuff from the root location, you go to the drive, then Documents and settings/"yourusernamehere"/Documents(and/or Desktop) and there goes all your stuff, for each account. You can then drag and drop or copy/paste your stuff onto your external media and VUWALA!

Once you have backed up all your stuff, you can then click "Install Linux Mint" and follow the on screen prompts to installing it. Do not worry about the computer feeling slow while running off the DVD, the OS is a lot faster than that, once installed to the hard drive.

Default programs that come with Linux mint from the start is Firefox, OpenOffice (just like Microsoft Office, but free forever), music players and a movie player, a lot of utilities, a multi-protocol chat program (For AIM, Yahoo, Live, etc) and quite a bit more.

Once Linux Mint is installed, I would suggest opening up the update Manager (accessible from the menu button where the "Start" button usually is. Let the computer update before doing anything major. You can then choose to open up the Software Manager (same area on the menu) and from there is where you can install a huge variety of programs, already categorized, making it a little easier.

If you find you don't really like Linux after getting used to it, you can always reinstall Windows XP once you get a disk with compatible drivers for your hard drive/hard drive controller.

This took forever to type up, so I hope this all helps you out greatly. Have a great day!  

Windows XP

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I can answer most questions regarding installation of Windows XP, speed optimization, recommended minimal installation specifications, any hardware issues you may encounter, dual booting, best anti-virus software to go with without spending a dime, and much more. If you'd like to dual boot any Linux OS with your Windows XP, I can guide you through that as well. If it is not related to Windows XP, please choose another expert who can help you.


Experience includes repairing hundreds of desktops and laptops, upgrading some computers from Windows 7 or Vista to Windows XP (yes, this is actually an upgrade), using Linux operating systems for data recovery, diagnosis and more! I've also done capacitor repairs on motherboards with a high success rate. I regularly speed up customers computers to like new speeds or faster

Associates of Science in Computer Information Technology

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