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Thread: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    All,

    I'm trying to work around this without my normal techie available to help, and I'm a complete noob when it comes to this sort of thing--I probably know just enough to get myself in trouble, but here goes:

    First off, I'm working on an HP Pavilion dv7 that's had some serious boot issues with Windows Vista64. I never partitioned any of the drives, I didn't back up (for shame!) and now I'm trying to recover what I can from that data set. This has happened to me before on other computers, and with one a friend of mine managed to use Ubuntu to at least allow me access to some of the files on my hard drive before he reformatted it. I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 off of the LiveCD.

    Anyways, I've got a liveCD, it's finally working (I was having some sort of error with the "Unclean File System", it eventually allowed me to boot anyways). So, I'd say that I'm about halfway there. My question is what is needed for the rest of the process? Do I need to fully install Ubuntu (currently I'm just rolling off the LiveCD)? Will I need to partition off files and such in order to gain access to what is saved on my laptop? How would I go about doing that?

    Again, sorry for the relative noob-ness, and thanks to any help in advance.

    Respectfully,
    Raptor
    Last edited by RaptorThreeSix; January 28th, 2011 at 04:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    8,254
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    Hi and welcome to the forums

    If the goal is to just save data from Windows, then no you do not have to install Ubuntu.

    Use the Nautilus file browser to find what you need and save to an external medium (HDD, USB stick etc.)

    Try first under Places to locate the Windows partition. You may also have to go to Computer > and then look from there.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2011
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    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    OK, there seems to be an issue, as I don't know what Nautilus is. Where would I find that? I looked in the Applications section, and I didn't see it there....

    When I go to "Places", and then go to "Computer" all I'm seeing is my External and "File System". Clicking "File System" gets me a pile of files (bin, boot, cdrom, dev, etc, home, lib, media, mnt, opt, proc, rofs, root, sbin, selinux, srv, sys, tmp, usr, var), none of which seem to be linked in any way to my main computer (the cd is spinning in the drive when I click on any of it). Nothing from my computer. Does this mean that it's not seeing my main hard disk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    1,125
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorThreeSix View Post
    OK, there seems to be an issue, as I don't know what Nautilus is. Where would I find that? I looked in the Applications section, and I didn't see it there....
    Nautilus is the file browser. When you open "Computer" or "Home Folder", etc, the ensuing window is Nautilus.

    When I go to "Places", and then go to "Computer" all I'm seeing is my External and "File System". Clicking "File System" gets me a pile of files (bin, boot, cdrom, dev, etc, home, lib, media, mnt, opt, proc, rofs, root, sbin, selinux, srv, sys, tmp, usr, var), none of which seem to be linked in any way to my main computer (the cd is spinning in the drive when I click on any of it). Nothing from my computer. Does this mean that it's not seeing my main hard disk?
    "File System" is the file system on the LiveCD.

    "External" should be your Windows drive.

    So, from 'Places', the drop down menu will have a bunch of items (Home Folder, Desktop, etc), then 'Computer' and any other drives connected. The other drives should look similar to this - "80 GB Filesystem".
    This is a signature. It is original.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    If your NTFS partition is unclean or needs chkdsk run Ubuntu will not normally mount it as it may damage it where chkdsk would not fix it.

    I would first try repairing with chkdsk. There are ways to force mount but it is better to try to repair first.

    Vista/7 CHKDSK
    chkdsk [drive] /f /r
    chkdsk C: /r
    /f : Fixes errors on the disk.
    /r : Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
    Note If you specify the /r option, the /p option is implied. When you specify the chkdsk command without arguments, the command checks the current drive with no options in effect.
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true

    If your PC did not come with a complete Vista or Win7 installation CD, you can download a Repair Disc at the following links:
    Windows Vista Disc - for repairs only
    http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/
    Windows 7 Disc - for repairs only
    http://neosmart.net/blog/2009/window...-repair-discs/
    Vista/7 will not auto repair XP (they create the boot sectors differently) but can run chkdsk on any NTFS partition.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
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    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    @sydbat: Ok, I'm not seeing anything in there aside from my external hd, which sends me to...

    @oldfred: thanks for the recommendation, I'm doing that now. Will it matter what sort of system I'm burning the disc from? I ask only because my current usable laptop is a Mac.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Peterborough, Uk
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    Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf

    Question Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    If you/someone did a "dirty shutdown" of windows.. ie: pulled the plug then windows wouldn't have been able to "unset" the hard drive in use flag so Linux will report it as "unclean"

    Simply reboot into windows and do a proper shutdown to cure this.

    Looking at my screengrabs should prove self explanatory



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    I don't even know what you're talking about... if it's concerning the original "Unclean Drive", that issue has been fixed. Now I'm trying to get the files on the HP's main HD, onto my external. The only HD that's showing up is the external HD, however. Right now I'm working on what Oldfred suggested... I'm hoping that it doesn't completely reformat all of my stuff off of it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Using Ubuntu to Recover Files from a Windows Laptop

    chkdsk should not cause any further corruption. If you get errors you may have to run it more than once as it does not fix everything on one pass. You have to run until there are no errors.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

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