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Saving files off crashed Vista laptop

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I made a post about a week ago, maybe two, about my Vista laptop crashing and none of my attempts at repairing working. The vista repair did not work with the vista disk, or with just trying to have it repair itself without the disk. I get some weird .dll error.

But that's not what I'm here for....

I only care about saving all the pictures/school work off of the laptop. I don't care if I have to reformat and reinstall things, that's a minor inconvenience, but losing those pictures and work is a pretty big deal.

I was told my best bet to save the information was to make a Ubuntu install disk and install it on the laptop then use the Ubuntu desktop to access the files within the vista section of the harddrive.

I tried to make a Ubuntu install disk but failed for some reason. I downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 and InfraRecorder and tried to burn a startup DVD (I have no CD-R's at the moment but figured a DVD would work fine). InfraRecorder would say "5 seconds until process begins" and once the countdown was finished the progress bar would instantly jump to 100% and it would say the burning process was done. The thing is there was no image or any data burned onto the DVD...and I could not figure out why it was doing that.

My question is, how do I properly create a Ubuntu install DVD. And once I have successfully created that install DVD what is the process I should go through in order to install Ubuntu onto my laptop without deleting the other files and get into the Ubuntu desktop to save the pictures and school work.

P.S. If you have any other ideas that are a little simpler/less risky to save my pictures/files then I am all ears.

Thanks guys.
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Maximus
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post #2 of 13
I would just take out the hard drive, then go get a cheap enclosure from newegg or fry's and plug her in and suck what I need off! OR even easier, get the conversion cable and put it in your tower!

You can buy the conversion cable for like 4-10bucks. A quick google search found this on the first try.
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.as...=906&sku=17705
Depending on how old it is, you may need a sata notebook conversion cable.

Something possibly like this

http://store.mo-co-so.com/index.php?...fcct4etmft8sl0

or this

http://tekgems.com/Products/kl-usb-sata-ide-25-35.htm


Now you did put in the vista install disk already and tried to repair the install? If it cannot find certain files, and the files ALWAYS change, then it very likely could be that your ram has failed. Have you put in the Vista Disk, booted and then hit the control or f8 when booting from cd and tabbed down to the diagnostic?
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post #3 of 13
An Ubuntu CD is a great idea. It isn't risky as you won't actually do anything to your hard disk. Go to the Ubuntu download page here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
And get the regular CD, should be the 8.10 default. Burn it and boot from it.

Chose Try Ubuntu or whatever it says and let it do its thing. It will take you to a desktop environment. Go to Places and File System and look for your partition. Just look around until you find it. Then send the files over to a external hard drive, flash drive, etc. If you don't feel comfortable doing something, don't. Just ask.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEATFISH View Post
An Ubuntu CD is a great idea. It isn't risky as you won't actually do anything to your hard disk. Go to the Ubuntu download page here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
And get the regular CD, should be the 8.10 default. Burn it and boot from it.

Chose Try Ubuntu or whatever it says and let it do its thing. It will take you to a desktop environment. Go to Places and File System and look for your partition. Just look around until you find it. Then send the files over to a external hard drive, flash drive, etc. If you don't feel comfortable doing something, don't. Just ask.
I downloaded the Ubuntu 8.10 and tried to burn it on the disk. That's where I hit my problem. For some reason the image would not burn to the DVD using InfraRecorder. The burn process would begin and end in literally one second. And InfraRecorder would say the burning procedure was done when in reality no data/image had actually been put on the dvd.
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post #5 of 13
Download Alcohol 120 and try to burn.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraganUS View Post
Download Alcohol 120 and try to burn.
Alcohol 120 worked in terms of creating the image DVD...thank you. +Rep

But I'm not sure where to go from there. I loaded into the Ubuntu desktop and found the 'computer' folder. There's an icon called '153.3 GB Media' but when I click it a message pops up that says 'UNABLE TO MOUNT DRIVE.' Is this Ubuntu's way of saying I'm SOL?

Any further input/help is appreciated.
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Alcohol 120 worked in terms of creating the image DVD...thank you. +Rep

But I'm not sure where to go from there. I loaded into the Ubuntu desktop and found the 'computer' folder. There's an icon called '153.3 GB Media' but when I click it a message pops up that says 'UNABLE TO MOUNT DRIVE.' Is this Ubuntu's way of saying I'm SOL?

Any further input/help is appreciated.
That sounds like a not good thing.

Try this:
Type 'fdisk -l' to see your partitions
Then type this:

sudo mkdir /mnt/harddisk
sudo mount /dev/hda6 /mnt/harddisk

replacing hda6 with whatever partition is your hard drive. Then see if it is mounted. If not, I'm not sure what else you could do.

Also, what is the exact error message or is it just Unable to Mount Volume?

edit: Here is a guide I found as well:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...dows-computer/
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post #8 of 13
Ubuntu won't automatically mount a crashed NTFS volume. It has to be done manually. It prints the instructions on screen when you try to mount the volume (following IEATFISH's instructions).
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post #9 of 13
If its a newer laptop and has a sata drive you can just pull it out of the laptop and put it into a windows desktop, the desktop sata and laptop sata drives use identical connectors. That would be the easiest option.
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEATFISH View Post
That sounds like a not good thing.

Try this:
Type 'fdisk -l' to see your partitions
Then type this:

sudo mkdir /mnt/harddisk
sudo mount /dev/hda6 /mnt/harddisk

replacing hda6 with whatever partition is your hard drive. Then see if it is mounted. If not, I'm not sure what else you could do.

Also, what is the exact error message or is it just Unable to Mount Volume?

edit: Here is a guide I found as well:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...dows-computer/
I'm trying to go about manually mounting the volume but for some reason when I go to applications->accessories->terminal and it just says "loading terminal" and the "hourglass" thing runs a little and then nothing ends up loading. I'm not sure what the deal is. Trying to just restart Ubuntu now...
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Maximus
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