Back Up Your Files Through an Ubuntu Live Disk
Edited by Michael J., Lynn, Eng, sheryl hernandez
Did your PC suddenly go awry for some reason and locked you out of your Windows operating system? It is easy to panic, especially if the thought of losing your precious family photos or important business documents starts to sink in. But all is not lost - thanks to Ubuntu's Live Disk.
This article intends to teach you how to back up your files before reformatting a defective Windows PC. With a little patience, perseverance and a little technical chops, you can salvage your precious digital belongings in no time.
- 1Find a working PC.You need to have an extra working PC because obviously you can't use the defective one in downloading and making a bootable Ubuntu Live Disk.Advertisement
- 2Find or buy an external storage device, preferably an external hard drive with decent storage capacity.This will serve as the "drop-off" location of your backed up files.Advertisement
- 4Insert a Blank CD or DVD in your PC's optical drive.Burn the downloaded Ubuntu Live Disk ISO file using Nero or other similar software. Other software that can do the job includes ImgBurn, BurnAware Free and UltraISO. You should not burn the file with Windows default burning application as it will not make the CD bootable. Any burning software you have will do as long as it has a "Burn Image File" option or something similar to that.
- 5Turn on your defective PC.Configure your PC's BIOS to boot from CD. Entering the BIOS may differ from one computer model or brand to another. The usual way of doing this is by pressing a designated key (e.g. Del or Esc key) immediately after the computer is booted up. You may need to refer to your computer's manual to know this. After successful entry to the BIOS, you must find the option for setting the "Boot Order" of recognized bootable devices. Set it so that the optical drive is placed at the top of the boot priority list.
- 6Before exiting the BIOS screen and saving the boot order changes, insert the "burned" Ubuntu Live CD or DVD to the optical drive of your PC.
- 7Now save the BIOS changes and restart your PC.Your PC should now boot to the Ubuntu Live CD and display the Ubuntu menu.
- 8Select "Run Ubuntu from this USB" or "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer" or any other similar option.Do not choose the "Install Ubuntu" option.
- 9Mount your PC's hard disk by clicking the "Places" option located at the top of Ubuntu screen and by clicking the hard disk to mount.
- 10Plug in your external storage device and mount it.Copy the files from your PC's hard drive to the external storage device. To make sure that nothing is left off, you should copy the entire content of the hard drive. But you could certainly scan through your file system and select just the ones you want to back up.
What if I Don't Have an External Storage Device
If you can't get your hands on an external storage device for backing up your files, you may use your extra Windows PC as the storage medium. You need to connect your two PCs, the defective one and the extra, to the same Local Area Network before proceeding with this setup.
Using Extra PC for Backup Storage
- 1In your extra Windows PC, share a folder to the network.This folder will be the drop off point of your backed up files from the defective PC.Advertisement
- 2In your Ubuntu PC (the defective PC), go to:Places > Connect to server.
- 3Select "Windows share" as the type of connection.
- 4Enter the name of the other PC in the "Server name" input box.
- 5Enter the name of the workgroup (try entering "WORKGROUP") in the "Domain" input box.
- 6Press the "Enter" key.
- 7You should now see the shared folders of the other Windows PC.
- 8Copy the files from the hard drive you mounted on your Ubuntu PC to the shared folder on the Windows PC.Advertisement
Using Extra Windows Partition for Backup Storage
You could take on a much easier and faster route if your defective PC's hard drive has more than one partition (e.g. Drive C, Drive D, etc.). Using your Ubuntu Live Disk you can simply copy the files from your system partition, usually the drive C:, and paste it on the other partition. Upon reformatting and re-installing Windows on your defective PC, only the files on the system partition will be lost, leaving the files you transferred to the other partitions intact.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Linux
Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Michael J.