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David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler


    Web app developer since 1994 and former Developer Advocate with Google now residing in Colorado. Besides tech, I enjoy landscape photography and share my work at ColoradoPhoto.gallery.

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Ubuntu Saves the Day (Again)

Posted by David Chandler on December 1, 2008

Vista crashed again on a friend’s misbehaving Thinkpad, resulting in the invitation to reinstall Windows at startup. Whereas this had happened several times recently and Windows was unable to repair the installation previously, resulting in the loss of all data, and whereas my friend had stayed up till 3AM working on MBA projects that would now be lost, said friend was in despair.

Enter Ubuntu. We booted off the LiveCD and attempted to mount the windows drive, which Ubuntu had automatically detected. The disk was flagged with an unclean shutdown, so it did not mount, but Ubuntu provided a helpful error message with the complete syntax of the mount command with “force” option to recognize the drive. With a little additional Linux knowledge and trial and error, we came up with

sudo mkdir /media/SW_Preload
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda2 /media/SW_Preload -o force

Voila! There was the dead Windows drive, ready for transfer to USB flash or external hard drive.

Even if you don’t install Ubuntu, you should download a CD before you need it.

Related recommendations:

Backup 2 GB free at idrive.com. Easy and secure. Features continuous backup mode that will backup changes every 10 minutes.

Karen’s Power Tools Replicator is a free, lightweight utility for doing full or differential backups to an external hard drive. I set mine to run every hour.

/dmc

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