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Using Ubuntu Linux to Rescue Windows - page 2

Getting Ubuntu, Finding Your Windows Files

  • March 22, 2010
  • By Eric Geier

If you're rescuing files from a drive that crashed from viruses, you should scan and remove them before copying your files. That way you don't start infecting your new drive. You can use the free F-PROT Antivirus for Linux Workstations.

First, you must connect to the Ubuntu machine to the network to get Internet access. If you have an Ethernet cable, connect it between the Ubuntu machine and the network switch or router. You can also use Wi-Fi: click the network icon on the top of Ubuntu and select the wireless network name.

Once you're online, go to the F-Prot site to download the anti-virus software and then follow these steps:

  1. Extract the contents of the file (fp-Linux-i686-ws.tar.gz) to the Ubuntu desktop.
  2. We're going to use command-lines, so open Terminal: click Applications > Accessories > Terminal.
  3. To switch to root or administrator mode enter: sudo su
  4. Move the exacted folder (f-prot): mv /home/ubuntu/Desktop/f-prot /opt/
  5. Change to the new location: cd /opt/f-prot/
  6. Start the installation: /opt/f-prot/install-f-prot.pl
  7. Press Enter when prompted to accept the default settings
  8. Wait a while to download the anti-virus updates.
  9. Get out of the root or administrator mode: exit
  10. Run a scan on the infected drive: fpscan /path_to_drive

Copy files to another drive

If you want to backup your files to another drive, bring it up using Computer in Ubuntu just like when opening the problem drive. Then you can drag and drop files and folders between the drives. You can also copy and paste them.

Backup to CDs or DVDs

If the computer you're using has a CD or DVD burner, you can write your files to discs. Ubuntu is already loaded with burning software: click Applications > Accessories > CD/DVD Creator. Then just insert a blank disc, drag or copy files to the window, and hit Write to Disc.

Transfer files to network shares or online storage

You can also transfer files over the network to another computer or network drive or access the Internet to upload to online storage. First, you must connect to the network. Connecting the computer to the switch or router using an Ethernet cable will likely provide much faster transfer speeds. However, if you want to do it via Wi-Fi, click the network icon on the top of Ubuntu and select the wireless network name.

Once you're connected to the same network, you can browse to the desired computer and shared folders via the Network browser: click Places > Network. If prompted to login, enter the credentials for your Administrator account on the remote computer you're accessing. To use the Internet, simply click the Firefox icon on the top of Ubuntu.

Consider Linux as your OS

Now that you've saved your files, you should disconnect or unplug the backup drive. That way if you reformat or reinstall Windows, you can't accidentally modify your backup drive.

If this was your first Linux experience, you ought to play around with Ubuntu to see what Linux has to offer. The open source community provides free alternatives to many of the popular applications, such as OpenOffice.org instead of Microsoft Office. See some of the possibilities in Ubuntu's software repository: click Accessories > Ubuntu Software Center.

If you want to install Ubuntu as your OS, simply double-click the install icon on the desktop. However, if you're planning on reinstalling Windows, you might consider using the easy Wubi installer from Windows.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer. He has authored many networking and computing books for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press. He is also the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi network.

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