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Papa Ray
April 30th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Good Morning.

I"m not a big windows fan. But run it because I'm too stupid about computers to run anything else.

But I have a situation that I need help with. I have my grandson's computer that has problems and won't boot. I don't have any windows discs nor the HP recovery disks, as I purchased this from a pawn shop for him. He has thousands of songs saved on this computer and is in a panic and I'm supposed to fix it.

This computer (HP) recovery disks are not available any more, and I can't afford to buy a MS XP operating system.

The questions I would like to have answered here are:

1. Can Ubuntu or the others mentioned here help me recover his music files from this disk drive, where we can either copy to another computer or his if we ever can afford another OS. -

2. If so, how do I copy the new OS from another computer (the one I'm on now) to his computer? I'm not educated in using CDs nor DVDs on computers.

3. If the above is possible, is it documented somewhere as how to copy or transfer these files on to CDs?

4. If I'm in the wrong place or if anyone has any other suggestions or such, please let me know. My Grandson and myself would be very grateful if someone could assist us on this. Yes, I did tell him to backup his files, No, he didn't. But I bet from now on if he ever gets another computer that works...he will back up everything, every day.

Thanks for your consideration and any possible assistance.

Papa Ray

raymondh
April 30th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Papa Ray .... have a look see at this site and see if it helps.

http://www.computerhope.com/boot.htm

This is to make a bootable medium to get in to XP and then recover the files your grandson needs.

Good luck.

Raymond

Didius Falco
April 30th, 2009, 06:02 PM
Hi Papa Ray,

It would help if you posted some more info about what is wrong with his PC.

Is it refusing to boot?

What errors are you getting when you try to boot it?

Did it just stop booting on it's own or did your grandson do something just before this happened that may have caused or contributed to the problem?

cariboo
April 30th, 2009, 06:03 PM
1. Can Ubuntu or the others mentioned here help me recover his music files from this disk drive, where we can either copy to another computer or his if we ever can afford another OS. -

You can boot from the LiveCD and run the computer like you normally would running Ubuntu. You can copy the files to another hard drive, usb thumb drive, or via a network to another computer.


2. If so, how do I copy the new OS from another computer (the one I'm on now) to his computer? I'm not educated in using CDs nor DVDs on computers.

You can't copy an operating system from one computer to another especially Windows, as it is already only validated to run on the origional computer.


4. If I'm in the wrong place or if anyone has any other suggestions or such, please let me know. My Grandson and myself would be very grateful if someone could assist us on this. Yes, I did tell him to backup his files, No, he didn't. But I bet from now on if he ever gets another computer that works...he will back up everything, every day.

If everything works correctly using the LiveCD, why not install Ubuntu and never worry about Windows malware again. you can download the LiveCD iso here (http:///releases.ubuntu.com/9.04/).

NightwishFan
April 30th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Greetings.

If the system will not boot, you can use an Ubuntu Live CD to access the Windows NTFS drive.

The live CD does not change anything on the system, unless you tell it to, so you can use this to copy all the files off of the Windows partition.

Copy all of the files you want to save to a backup USB drive/stick. Just copy, dont move we might fix windows in the end.

If you want to burn them to CD/DVD for a backup you either need:

2 CD/DVD Drivers
One of them must be the burner drive

Or you can use Puppy Linux to burn the files, as the CD does not need to remain in the drive to use puppy.

http://www.puppylinux.org/downloads/official-releases/puppy-linux-42-deep-thought

My advice is that if you cannot fix Windows, use Puppy Linux to burn all the music data to data DVDs.

We can get on to helping you with Windows though, and perhaps we can get it to boot. Good luck, and please ask for any clarification.

LowSky
April 30th, 2009, 06:11 PM
We really need to know what kind of issue the computer is having. For instance is it not turning on, does windows not start up.

One really eay way to get files off a hard drive is to actaully remove it from the computer and uses a cable to connect it to another computer and locat the files for transfer

here is the cable in question
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812156017

Mortus Pryde
April 30th, 2009, 06:30 PM
Alot of great solutions there, but first we really do need to know what the computer is doing and/or not doing. Any error messages you may recieve etc.

I mean it's Windows but if we can help you get it working again we will.

Niniel
April 30th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Papa Ray,

You claim you are "too stupid" to run anything but Windows, yet you're here in a Linux support forum... I'm curious - what made you come here?
That was a good choice, but it is a bit funny.
Regarding the live CD - do you know how to boot from CD, or do you need help with that?

Papa Ray
April 30th, 2009, 07:50 PM
Thanks to all of you for your replys, suggestions, comments.

I will be unable to work this problem, except in snatches, as I am raising a 19 month old (Sweet Hannah) and a 8 y/o. Just finished feeding the baby and have chores and then off to pick up Sweet Sarah (the eight y/o) from school. Ialso discovered that one of my other grandsons has made off with all my rw/cds and I can't do anything with that "Live" program until I go buy some more this afternoon.

I've been over the problem with the HP not booting in other forums and all agree that without recovery cds or a new Windows SP installation, the computer in question is screwed. The files are all still on the compter and can be accessed via dos but safe mode and other methods all fail.

I'll be back later. Thanks again for your assistance.
Oh...How did I wind up here. I forget where but someone on another forum had written about getting files off his computer using the OS here. And yes, I know you can't re-use OS s or copy them. I mispoke, was refering to using another OS on a CD to access his computer.

I'm tired, confused and quite old and all my expertice is out of date. I was a large systems hardware engineer for IBM for thirty years, retired in 94 and never bothered to learn much about PCs other than to use them to access the internet.

Sad, yep, I know that, but my life has been devoted to raising and educating my Grandkids- all six of them. BTW, my oldest is in the Navy and the next oldest just took the Oath for the Air Force yeserday in Amarillo, TX.

I'm a proud Papa

Papa Ray

Didius Falco
April 30th, 2009, 07:56 PM
Ubuntu is free, and you are not only allowed but encouraged to copy it and pass it around.

Since you can access the partition, you can easily copy the files off that PC using the Live CD - after you get your grandson to bring back the blank and/or rewritable cds.

Niniel
April 30th, 2009, 08:19 PM
Yes, as long as that computer can boot from CD - and if it's a Pentium III or newer it should be able to - then you're in business.
With Windows shot, you can either, uhm, re-discover Windows 2000 on the internet, or better, install a free Linux or similar OS after you've rescued all the files you need from that PC.
Since you are used to Windows, you may prefer the K-desktop environment (KDE) - which would be included in Kubuntu (http://www.kubuntu.org/)- or even something like PC-BSD (http://www.pcbsd.org/). Both can be tried out as live CDs.
Good luck, and keep asking questions if you have any.

Oh, and I forgot - you can even have free Ubuntu/Kubuntu CDs shipped to you (https://shipit.kubuntu.org/) if you'd rather! It may take some time, but it may not be a bad idea. Burning sometimes doesn't work, and you don't sound like somebody who needs to deal with that hassle as well.

Mortus Pryde
April 30th, 2009, 08:22 PM
Thanks to all of you for your replys, suggestions, comments.

I will be unable to work this problem, except in snatches, as I am raising a 19 month old (Sweet Hannah) and a 8 y/o. Just finished feeding the baby and have chores and then off to pick up Sweet Sarah (the eight y/o) from school. Ialso discovered that one of my other grandsons has made off with all my rw/cds and I can't do anything with that "Live" program until I go buy some more this afternoon.

I've been over the problem with the HP not booting in other forums and all agree that without recovery cds or a new Windows SP installation, the computer in question is screwed. The files are all still on the compter and can be accessed via dos but safe mode and other methods all fail.

I'll be back later. Thanks again for your assistance.
Oh...How did I wind up here. I forget where but someone on another forum had written about getting files off his computer using the OS here. And yes, I know you can't re-use OS s or copy them. I mispoke, was refering to using another OS on a CD to access his computer.

I'm tired, confused and quite old and all my expertice is out of date. I was a large systems hardware engineer for IBM for thirty years, retired in 94 and never bothered to learn much about PCs other than to use them to access the internet.

Sad, yep, I know that, but my life has been devoted to raising and educating my Grandkids- all six of them. BTW, my oldest is in the Navy and the next oldest just took the Oath for the Air Force yeserday in Amarillo, TX.

I'm a proud Papa

Papa Ray

Okay so from what I gather ths system powers on and th hard drive is functional. This rules out a failed mainboard and complete hard drive failure. That is not to say for certain the hard drive is not in a failing state due to bad clusters, but lets assume for now this is not the case.

What I would suggest is to run the Live CD and browse to the files your grandson wants, then copy them to a USB Flash Drive or external hard drive. Now! If you wanted to "Kill two birds with one stone" so to speak you could do it with your grandson present to "make sure you got everything" and see if he takes a liking to Ubuntu. If he does I am sure we could help you install it for him once you have backed up all the files.

Potters Son
April 30th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Basically, "that Live Program" is in and of itself an operating system that boots entirely from a CD. It doesn't install, unless you tell it to. But that's later. It will boot, from which point you will be able to "mount" the computer's hard drive and use it.

Ubuntu is a free operating system, developed by volunteers and distributed for free.

Now, it appears that no one in this thread has posted instructions for how to use a Live CD yet, so I will. Basically, you will download a disk image from ubuntu.com and burn it to a disk. It's a ~700 MB download, so if you have dial-up, you may want to consider ordering a CD or requesting a free one. When you have the disk image, you don't want to just plop the file on the CD; it won't boot like that. Instead, use a CD burning program to import the disk image or use some sort of "direct to disk" feature to burn it directly. A disk image is essentially a word-for-word description of what is supposed to be on the CD.

When you have your Live CD, you want to put it in the CD drive of the affected computer and turn it on. If your computer is not configured to try to boot from CD before the hard drive, you will want to hit F2 when the manufacturer's logo is displayed onscreen (or whatever other key the screen tells you to).

From there on, it should be pretty self-explanatory. Make sure you have some sort of external hard drive to move your grandson's files to.

Finally, another option you might want to consider is opening up the computer, removing the hard drive, and putting it either: 1) in another desktop computer as a secondary drive, or 2) in an enclosure purchased from a store. This will allow you to transfer the files directly without the hassle of a CD.

But when and if you decide to reinstall an operating system on that HP desktop, we hope that you will consider Ubuntu.

Papa Ray
May 2nd, 2009, 03:38 AM
"Basically, "that Live Program" is in and of itself an operating system that boots entirely from a CD. It doesn't install, unless you tell it to. But that's later. It will boot, from which point you will be able to "mount" the computer's hard drive and use it."

Sorry I have been so long getting back, but life gets in the way most times.

I downloaded both U and K to my PC, burned them to CDs, verifying them "on the fly"

These were "Image" burns from the downloaded files.

I looked at the CDs. got the initial screen that said "Install" and at the bottom it said "look at files. Which I did and they were a bunch of them, I tried to read the "readme file" but my Windows wouldn't do it.

Anyway, I stuck one in the grandson's machine after making sure that CD-Rom was first in the boot sequence. It would not acknowledge there was a CD in there and went to the hard drive. Same with the other CD (Kbuntu). So I stuck in my Windows CD from my system (just to see if it would try and boot from it...which it did...giving me a message that my BIOS was incorrect and that this disk could not be used on this system.

So..I downloaded Infra and used it to copy (image) U again. Same results...not recognising that there is even a CD in system.

I'm beat..got to get kids in bed (they should have already been asleep for an hour, but it's Friday and I gave them extra time.

Thanks for your help. I'll check back in the AM.

Papa Ray

NightwishFan
May 2nd, 2009, 01:53 PM
Try resetting your bios to defaults, for that error does not make any sense to me.

Sidewinder1
May 2nd, 2009, 02:23 PM
If the boot sequence is correct (CD-ROM before hard drive), and the Ubuntu Live-CD boots correctly in another machine, perhaps your grandson's CD Player is malfunctioning. It could also be dirty / dusty; there are CDs that clean the player. Isn't troubleshooting fun? The above posts are correct; if you can get your grandson's system to boot the Ubuntu Live-CD, you should have no problems copying all of his data (music, pics, etc...) files to a USB Pen-Drive, external / network hard drive. We'll certainly be more than happy to help.
Side