Have you ever come across a situation where you can’t boot your computer? The computer starts, but Windows crashes and you get that dreaded blue screen. Or the computer just freezes after start-up. You haven’t backed up your data lately and desperately need some important documents. Don’t panic there are ways to get your data back.
One way is to physically open the computer, remove the hard disk drive and insert it into another computer. This is not always an option and many computer users are not comfortable opening up their PC. There is another way data recovery can be archived. I recommend this as a preventative method before your computer stops working.
You have to create a live rescue CD called Parted Magic.
Select the latest version available (5.9 at the time of writing). Select the ISO image (pmagic-5.9.iso
). Download the image onto your computer. The image is around 150 MB.
Once you downloaded the image, you have to burn it to a CD/DVD. You cannot just copy the image, you have to create a bootable CD. To do this you need a ISO burner utility. Download the utility from http://www.freeisoburner.com/
This is a no-frills application and is free for personal use. (Please check the EULA). There are other ISO burner utilities available.
You also need a removable media, like a USB drive or external hard disk drive for your backups. Make sure the media is in good working order, empty and big enough for your data. Plug in the media into the USB port. One finished, insert the CD/DVD into your DVD drive.
Restart your computer and press F12 at the very beginning of the start-up.
You should see a boot menu that gives you some boot options.
Select CDROM and press Enter. If you don’t see the boot menu, just restart again. (This method may differ from your computer. You may have to read your instruction manual for your particular computer). If successful, you will see the computer starts from the CD. Just let it start and don’t worry what you see on the screen. You will see some penguins, dots and letters appearing on your screen. After a while you’ll see this screen.
Look out for an icon called Mount Devices. Click the icon and you will see an Explorer type window.
On the left you see icons that are called ** GB Volume and ** GB Removable Volume. Click those icons and this will mount the internal hard disk drive and the external USB media. Select Volume and you should see your file structure in the same way you see it normally on the C: drive. You just have to copy your desired files and paste them to theRemovable Volume. One you’re done, select the bottom left icon, Logout and shut down the computer.
Insert the media into another, maybe a friend’s computer and verify the existence of all your files and folders. Also run a virus check (You may have infected files). Try to open up your files. If you have all your files, back them up again on a different media. You can go ahead now to rebuild your computer or have it fixed.
This method works if the hard disk drive is still in physical working order. There is no guarantee everything can be backed up. If you hear an intermittent ticking noise, the hard disk drive is usually on its way out, but you have a good change of backing it up. If you can hear a loud banging noise, it is often to late to do anything.