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July 12, 2008

PC rescue mission: nostalgic.

Sis’ Windows crashed beyond recovery yesterday. Needed to back up essential folders before I re-install XP over it. But the Safe Mode command prompt was so stupid it tried to start Windows and open a cmd prompt. When Windows could not be started.

I’m not as prepared as I used to be, when I often go on PC rescue missions. The last one I can remember was some months back with Jean’s virus-ed PC. But today I realized that Ubuntu LiveCD was my new recovery CD. I had to download a recent version for NTFS write support, but I meant to download it anyway to upgrade my laptop.

It was superior in these features:

  1. It fits on a CD. Works on old systems that could not read or boot from DVDs.
  2. It was a bootable CD. As long as BIOS is funtional, I can boot.
  3. It has built-in NTFS support. If not it would be useless for recovering a Windows machine.
  4. It was supposed to auto-mount the detected hard disk volumes, but due to incomplete shutdown, it gave a warning instead. Enough help was given for me to terminal and override the warning to mount it anyway.
  5. GUI. I could do quick filesystem navigation and prompt owners for important folders to back up.
  6. Decent built-in driver support. Couldn’t do my external USB wireless network adapter, but it could recognize iPods as disk drives and even the music inside (which was what I used to back up important data). Sound card and speakers also worked on load. Hopefully it can detect internal wireless cards.

So I guess what I need to stock up on are:

  1. Windows XP CD. Not DVD for the same reasons above.
  2. Service Pack 3 on a CD.
  3. Maybe a consolidated driver CD for my own PC.
  4. External rescue: AVG on a CD, latest signatures maybe on a thumbdrive.

Easy to say, Lazy to do.

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