Using Linux to Recover Fucked Up Windows Data

Recently, one of my relatives computer under Windows XP, refused to boot. There was no way of fixing it with Windows Install CD as partition table seemed corrupt to Windows. I tried everything in an 2003 Ultimate Boot CD, but nothing worked out.

Someone gave me an install cd of Ubuntu Linux, and it managed to read the data. Well sometimes only. The erratic behaviour was due to a bad ATA cable. This probably was the cause of the corruption in the first place. Anyway with a new cable, Windows was still not able to read its data. But Ubuntu Linux, now working well, was able to, without having anything to configure (except mounting the drive).

So I copied the data, and reformated the NTFS partition, reinstalled Windows, recopied the data.

After this experience, I’d recommend to any Windows user to have a spare Ubuntu Linux Live CD, just in case your Windows corrupts itself.

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