How to recover Critical data from a non-booting Windows machine

Ever had a black screen that won’t allow you to boot into Windows?

Got a Recovery disk or Recovery Partition but NOT a Windows Repair disk?

Don’t make backups?

If the answer to those three questions is Yes, and you have critical data on your computer that you really need to save, don’t despair! Help is at hand!

You need to find a computer on which to download and burn to disk, a Linux Live CD.

A Live CD is a disk you can boot from, run programs and copy data to external media from your Hard Disk when Windows won’t boot.

The most popular of these are Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. You need to download the iso file to your computer, then burn the image to a disk (CDR) – do NOT just copy the iso – it won’t boot if you do.

Then on your broken machine, power on and set the boot sequence to boot from CD. Insert the CD and wait for it to run up.

You can then just use it like a conventional OS to retrieve all your data onto external media – whether that be a flash (pen) drive, or an external USB hard drive, or a CD/DVD.

Job done!

PS – don’t forget your Favorites, email and addressbook – many people do!

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2 thoughts on “How to recover Critical data from a non-booting Windows machine

  1. Ryan

    Would you be able to run the linux live from an external hd rather than a cd? The computer I’m working on doesn’t have an optical drive.


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