How to recover Windows files with Linux Live CD/USB

You have your new shiny Windows 10 computer. You've been using it for a while now, and everything is fine. Then, without any sign, your hard disk drive or your semiconductor drive is exported. And the problem is that you have not backed up on OneDrive or another cloud storage service or an external device. Of course, you can take your device if it is still covered by the warranty and replace it, but the warranty will not recover your files. So what are you doing?

If the hard disk drive or SSD on your Windows computer is down, you can recover your files and data with the help of Linux Live CD / USB.

So let's start by listing the tools you will need:

  1. A Linux Live .ISO file.
  2. A free program called Rufus – Reliable USB Formatting Utility with Source
  3. An empty USB / CD to power on the Linux Live ISO (you'll get the same with a USB or CD, just change the boot priority by choosing the media of your choice)
  4. Another USB drive to put your recovered files.

Note: The USB drive of your recovered files must be formatted in FAT32.

Recover Windows files with Linux Live USB / CD

Linux is an open-source operating system (OS). A Live CD or Live USB provides a way to use an operating system on a computer without installing it on it. Once you have created the Live USB, you insert it into your computer off, start it and configure it to boot from USB. The Linux operating system and all its programs remain on the USB key. They do not install on your computer, but it will give you access to all the hard drives installed on your computer.

How to obtain the Linux Live ISO file

There are several rescue discs system – and in this article we will refer to Ultimate Boot CD. It is free to download and comes with many programs and tools for disk cloning, data recovery, memory and processor testing, as well as BIOS.

Once you have downloaded UBCD and Rufus (the easiest and fastest way to create bootable USB sticks), you can now follow the steps below to create a bootable Linux USB drive.

How to create a bootable Linux USB drive

  1. Open the Rufus already downloaded.
  2. Make sure you have selected the correct USB drive. This process will completely erase the USB drive. Rufus will already be set to the correct setting you need. Click the SELECT button to choose our UBCD .ISO (see screen capture below).
  3. When the file explorer opens, navigate to where you saved the .ISO UBCD file and double-click it to select it.
  4. Now click on the BEGINNING button.
  5. You will receive a prompt stating that all data on the selected USB drive, "… WILL BE DESTROYED".
  6. Click on D & # 39; agreement Continue.

Rufus will start creating the bootable USB drive. You will see a progress bar under the Status section of the Rufus interface.

When the status bar says READY, click on CLOSE (see screen capture below). Your UBCD bootable USB stick is now ready.

You can now follow the steps below to recover your files with the USB key.

How to start your computer with the Linux Live USB drive to recover your files

There are several ways to boot with a USB drive depending on your computer. When you turn on your computer, you must press a specific key, or a combination of keys, to boot into the BIOS and change the default boot drive on your USB flash drive.

Once you have restarted your computer with UBCD, you will see a text-based menu. Use the arrow keys to go down to Shared Magic and press the Enter key to select it.

You will be presented with a text menu to choose from;

  • Default settings (works from RAM) or
  • Live with the default settings.

If one does not work, try the other. You will now see a desktop environment (see screen capture below).

At the top left you will see File manager. This is the UBCD equivalent of Windows Explorer. Double click on it to open it.

You will see several drives to the left of the file manager. You will be looking for a folder called the Windows.

Recover Windows files with Linux Live USB / CD

Now, explore the folder to find the files. Click through users > My account where Your account is the user name of your account.

There you will see My Documents, My pictures, Officeetc. This is where you will find the files you want to recover. Select the files / folders, right-click and copy them, as you would in a Windows environment.

Then, in the left pane, identify and select your other USB key, right-click and paste it into the right pane.

You now have your files on your USB key.

Quit File Manager and click the Start Menu button in the lower-left corner of the desktop environment.

Click on Sign out. A prompt will open, click Shut down the computer.

You can now store your USB key securely with your recovered files!

Leave a Comment