Linux Distro for Data Recovery from Windows PC

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by TheKid7, Jun 10, 2011.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Based on your experience, what linux distro has the best hardware compatiblility and ease of use for recovering data from an unbootable Windows PC?

    I typically use Puppy Linux. However, the person's PC that I have in my possession (HP) halts on the boot of Pupply Linux. Two AV Rescue CD's booted (Dr.Web & Avira) although Dr.Web's boot was very abnormally slow. Avira's boot was much slower than normal.

    The owner wants to do a "zero write" to have a clean new Windows 7 64 bit installation. However, his photos (etc.) need to be recovered.

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Puppy Linux eventually booted up. I do not know how long that it took to boot but it must have been at least 10 to 20 minutes.

    I still would appreciate your comments and suggestions on recommenended linux distros for data recovery.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    I'd say your best bet is to use one of the major distros.
    Try Mint, Fedora, Ubuntu etc.

    If you check DistroWatch and use the search function for specific 'Rescue' distros' (link), there's a whole bunch I've never heard of.
    Probably all these are much more suited for data recovery but I've no idea if they will run on that HP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  4. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I tried the BitDefender Rescue CD's Thunar File Manager on one of my Windows XP Pro PC's. The Thunar File Manager seems to be easy to use for data recovery.
     
  5. raspb3rry

    raspb3rry Registered Member

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    Hmm. I normally use CAINE.
    I've also heard a lot of good things about DEFT linux and the smaller RIPlinux.

    The two first ones (DEFT and CAINE) are forensic live-cds, so they should contain everything you need.
    RIPlinux is a neat small linux-distro with the dd_rescue and photorec-packages installed.
     
  6. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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  7. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I tried Xubuntu and its file manager works great.
     
  8. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    The owner of the PC which needed data recovery was able to use Puppy Linux to safely copy all of the important files from the crippled PC's hard drive to an external USB 2.0 hard drive.

    I recommended that he run a hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics check (bootable CD) before re-installing Windows 7.
     
  9. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  10. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Effectively, most live CD Distros can be used

    I find Knoppix and Parted Magic to be the easiest

    Might need to investigate a little further as to why the system did not boot.
     
  11. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I just gave Parted Magic 6.2 a try on two of my Windows XP Pro SP3 PC's. It works great. It successfully detected the hardware and mounted all of the hard drive partitions.

    The PCMan File Manager works great and is similar enough to Windows Explorer so that the average PC user could use it.

    Thanks.
     
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