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  1. #1

    Can't access Windows files; Potential 50+ hours of work could be lost.

    I've had Mandrake Linux on my comp for quite a while now, but with no idea it'd potentially save my computer.
    I installed it, followed by windows, when I rebooted my computer a few months ago. Today, windows gave me a Blue Screen 'o Death, which looked a lot like a boot sector virus to me. I couldn't access anything, which was rather bad since about 50 hours of un-backed up work was on that computer.
    Well, after trying the various versions of linux installed on my comp, Mandrake worked for some reason. It was odd, because it only worked the fifth time I tried it.
    I have a bunch of floppy disks ready to copy the work onto, but.....
    The files were in a windows partition in my C:/ drive; Will I be able to get them, or am I screwed?
    Thank you immensely for your help in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Quote Originally Posted by NekoOtoko
    Will I be able to get them, or am I screwed?
    Don't know for sure but if you can't get them with Mandrake, you can try booting with Knoppix or some other live-cd to try fetching them. With any luck, you'll be able to do something as simple and copy & paste.

  3. #3
    I probably can get them, though..... I just have no clue how.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    If it were me, I'd try booting a Knoppix CD, then clicking on the desktop icon for the Windows partition holding the files you wish to retrieve, then use the Konqueror file manager to copy & paste the files to your floppy drive, or to another known working partition.

    It might not work but it's worth a try.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Well, if you can read your windows partition, then you can just copy over whatever files you need to floppy, cd or even to another computer on your network.

    For accessing your Windows partition, check where it is mounted in /etc/fstab, navigate there using Konqueror and copy stuff over...
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  7. #6

    I am using Mandrake

    You did not say if you are using KDE for Window Manager or Gnome. I use KDe.

    This is easy. Click on teh little house in the tool bar, usually at the bottom. this gives you a file browser. It is possible, of course, that your Windows partition is not mounted; if so, you will need more help.

    But, normally Mandrake does this automatically.

    The file browser window should open in something like: /home/bruce assuming you use my name for log in, hee, hee. Or whatever your log in i.d. is.

    Click the up arrow until you get to /

    There will be a folder which says mnt

    Click on that, and you will see your various items. Mine says:

    floppy cdrom windows

    click on Windows, and you will usually (as I said if it mounted them automatically as it usually does, i have used Mandrake since 1998 or so) see the directories in the C: drive.

    find what you want, that is, follow the visible folder paths to the desired files.

    Now comes the really neat part!

    Click in the menu at the top of yoru file browser, usually called Konqueror, where it says Window. This refers not to your windows partition, but to the open file browser window.

    Click on where it says: Split view left/right

    and your browser will divide into two small windows.

    Click an open place in the right window, and then click the UP Arrow at the left top part of the browser window, TWICE until you return to / as stated above

    Next, still in the right half, click on HOME folder, then Bruce (using of course your own i.d. name, including Root if you are a newbie and logging in that way, but try to learn not to do that, please)

    Now, click and drag whatever file you have in the left window, your WINDOWS files, over to the right half, and let go. It will ask you if you wish to copy it (Normally if you have ntfs partition for Windows, it can't move, since that requires a delete and Mandrake normally does not write to Windows0.

    Ditto for all desired files.

    When you have them all, pop a CD in the CD burner, and when K3b comes up, burn a CD.

    Or, much easier, if you have a flash drive, skip the /home/bruce, with the flash drive in your USB port, /mnt will show something like /sda1

    Open that, it is your flash drive, click and drag all your desired files into that flash drive, and then you can move the flash drive to another computer.

    Hope this is not too complex, since you seeem to be a newbie.

    The basic concept is, Mandrake normally automatically sets up your Windows partition automatically in READ mode, and you split the file browser window, then click and drag your files to wherever you want them to be.

    Sorry if this is too messy. But, Mandrake is usually much easier for a newbie than Knoppix, since you already have it working.

  8. #7

    One condition

    Of course, this all assumes you did not write Mandrake and your other distros into the full harddisk, which of course over-writes Windows. If you set up a separate partition, then this may work. If not, you have our sympathy.

    In the future, before this happens again, which is always possible, download PUPPy 1.0.6. it is very small, and play with it. it is less than 70MB, and will install itself in Ram, and possibly a 250MB file on the HD. then, you can take out the CD, if you have only the one CD burner, and this frees up the CD burner, and puppy has a really good CD burner program. You will have to look for it in the menu, and then you select the files you want, and burn them. I say this because not every person on the planet has a flash drive, but today most folks have a CD burner, or a floppy. (Which is located in /mnt on Mandrake)

    When you installed distros to HD, there is a good chance for a noob to overwrite the HD, which means you are cooked.

    Of course, with a flash drive, Knoppix can also write to flash, but it is a little harder than puppy. Also a bit harder than pclinuxos

    And, at they are really mean if you talk about installing Knoppix, and really won't help you. pclinuxos has install instructions on the desktop with an icon, ditto for install command.

    If you killed your HD, now is the time to learn to use these live CD's, because whatver happens may happen again, and if you know ahead of time what to do, it will be much easier and safer.

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    May 2006


    I just had to jump in here. While people are naming live distros that work well for rescuing files, I'll add that Slax Linux ( is my tool of choice. It's designed to fit on a 210 MB cd, automounts most drives, and includes K3B for burning. It's fast, functional, and user-friendly, and it has a great help forum available.

    Just for future reference and all.

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