Thursday, August 7

Recover Windows data with Linux

Knoppix is a Linux distribution that can run from a CD (i.e. it doesn’t require installation on your harddisk). It is also capable of understanding Windows file systems. To use it:
1. Download latest Knoppix CD .iso file (approx 700MB). Note - The DVD version is much larger.
2. Burn the .iso, for example using the free ImgBurn.
3. Boot the stricken machine from the Knoppix CD. You may need to change the first boot device to cd-rom in the BIOS if it's not already set. At start up press delete or whatever your motherboard uses to enter the BIOS.
4. Drag and drop data from the stricken machine to a USB harddisk or memory stick. Or copy to another machine using FTP from Knoppix. The Knoppix user interface is easy enough to use, even if you haven’t used Linux before.

Note: You don’t have to enter your Windows password to recover the files. This brings home how easy it is to get data off a password protected Windows machine, if you have physical access to the machine.