Recovering Files from a Failed Hard Drive with a Windows Vista/7 installation using Fedora

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Recovering Files from a Failed Hard Drive with a Windows Vista/7 installation using Fedora

Disclaimer: This wiki is not official Dell documentation but is compiled by Philip Yip (Dell Community Rockstar natakuc4).

Disclaimer! There is no guarantee that this will work it depends on how badly your drive has failed.

If you are in the unfortunate circumstance that your hard drive has failed and you don't have your data backed up then its worth attempting to carry out this procedure.

For this you need an external hard drive and a USB flash drive (for USB flash drive recommendations see here) or alternatively a blank CD/DVD. You will need to prepare the bootable USB/DVD on another computer.

You will need the FEDORA .iso (probably the 32 bit one will do for these purposes). For the bootable USB you will need the Universal USB installer. You can alternatively use imgburn to create a bootable CD/DVD

To create a bootable USB launch the universal USB installer. Select Fedora 17, the fedora 17 32 bit .iso and the USB drive, opt to format the USB flash drive and click create. Then select yes.

Insert the Fedora CD/DVD or USB and external hard drive to your problem system.

Power down your system if it isn't already powered down. Power up your Dell system and press F12 at the Dell BIOs screen and select boot from CD/DVD or from USB respectively. Power up your system. At the Dell BIOS screen press F12

Select try fedora

Select close at the welcome to Fedora menu.

Select files to the menu on the left (filing cabinet icon)

Locate your OS drive in the upper left menu (in this case a 27 GB volume in VirtualBox).

Go to the Users folder and select your Windows username in this case "test"

Within this folder (On Windows Vista/7) are Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favourites, Music and Videos.

Now to open a second folder. Go to the filing cabinet, as before but this time right click it and select New Window.

Next drag one window to the far left and the other window to the far right (Fedora has AeroSnap) so that you can view the two folders side by side. Navigate the other folder to your external hard drive.

Drag and drop, copy and paste files/folders as you normally would. Have a look throughout your drive to see if there is anything else you need to copy over.

You should use an external hard drive (preferably more than 1) to periodically backup your files/folders. You should also consider using an online service such as SkyDrive for really important files. For Windows Vista/7 you can install SkyDrive for Windows and for Windows XP you can visit SkyDrive Live and manually add files to the SkyDrive via your web browser.

Disclaimer: This wiki is not official Dell documentation but is compiled by Philip Yip (Dell Community Rockstar natakuc4).

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


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