July 2004


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Archive for July 15th, 2004

Salvation on a CD

Posted in Geekery on July 15th, 2004

You’ve heard me talk before about the benefits of having a Linux live CD handy for doing repair work – today I’ll tell you about the best one for rescuing a Windows system: Knoppix.

From the website:

“KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it.”

So, your Windows system has crashed, you can’t get it to reboot, and you need to rescue whatever data you can before you accidentally destroy it “repairing” Windows. Drop this CD in the drive, reboot – instant operating system.

The really handy thing here is that the system is set up to automatically detect and mount all the partitions on the hard drive. You can transfer them by all the regular means – floppies, network, even CD-R (provided you have more than one CD drive – you can’t pull the Knoppix disc once launched). In the rare event that the problem is a file error, you can set the windows drives writable and replace the files in question rather than doing a re-install.

I used the Ratboy’s computer for a test run, and it found all three of his drive partitions with no fuss.

Knoppix is based on Debian, so while it’s a version number behind in things like the kernel (2.4) and KDE (3.1), it’s rock-solid, which is what you really want for a rescue disc. Get yours today from one of the download links on the site – your best bet is the BotTorrent feed.