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Thread: Laptop died

  1. #1
    Joined
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    Laptop died

    My laptop croaked but I'm fairly certain that the hard drive is fine since it's fairly new. I have to do some magic to get the files back and I have no experience with recovering files from a linux partition. I'm assuming only another copy of linux can read it (ext3 file system).

    When I do finally retrieve the files how much of them can I use to recover my original install? I upgraded my laptop to an older P4 to an AMD 64 bit processor. My neighbor, who's a linux freak, made some comment a while back that I could literally just drop my files onto another system and just run it provided I had the hardware drivers. Is there any truth to that? It's a moot point because I've already installed the latest KUbuntu.

    This laptop came bundled with Vista so it's my first experience with MS's latest. Not really happy with that and the fact that a new laptop comes bundled with 18,000 spyware infested pieces of garbage software. I couldn't get Linux on here fast enough.

  2. #2
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    Re: Laptop died

    Hi snowball,

    Can you just clarify exactly what it is you want to do (the bit about Vista is confusing me slightly).

    Anyway, as a general rule of thumb...

    If you just want to recover documents, pictures, config files etc then pop the drive in any working machine and use a Linux LiveCD to boot the machine (I normally use knoppix for recovery like this, but you can use virtually any LiveCD). Then mount the partition on the HD and copy off your files. You have a number of choices to where you copy them - to a USB pen drive, burn them to CD/DVD with K3B (if you have twin optical drives), copy them to a network share, upload them to an FTP server etc, whatever option is available to you and most convenient.

    If you intend to recover the whole system, you can normally just pop the drive into the new replacement box and boot it straight up - I've certainly done that with Red Hat based distros. Linux will autodetect all the new hardware and should reconfigure itself just fine. Not sure if this is what you intended as it's a laptop??

    But yes, to read Linux ext3 filesystem you will need to use a Linux LiveCD or mount it in a Linux box, no joy with Windows here I'm afraid. If you have another Linux system, you could just mount the HD in that and copy the files across same as you would do in a Windows environment.
    Last edited by Ned Slider; 01-07-2008 at 03:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Joined
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    Re: Laptop died

    The first issue will be getting the old harddrive into a state where you can read from it. Either get an external USB case that you can plug the drive into.

    On the new laptop, install all the programs you used to use on the old computer. Then reboot the new laptop, booting up with a Live CD with the old HDD plugged into the USB port. Now you should be able to copy everything from the old harddrive's /home/snowball2 to the new hdd's /home/snowball2 directory. That *should* contain all of you personal settings and files.

    You may also want to selectively choose some files from the /etc directory to be placed on the new drive's /etc directory as well. These are system wide configuration files. Don't copy these wildly as you may not want all of them. And the *buntu's do strange things in there with auto configurations and such. So be selective. If you know you spent some time configuring SSH the way you want it, then copy the /etc/ssh directory.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Re: Laptop died

    Sorry for the confusion but those were the answers I was looking for.

    While I have you both here I was also curious if there was anything comparable to the Windows Device manager? I'd like a device listing to know that my hardware is all recognized appropriately and installed. I can't think of what I've used in KUbuntu before but I recall that it gave me mountains of hex values, PCI settings and generally useless information in unreadable blobs of text. Forgive my simplistic needs but I like seeing a single line naming a device and a little red X when it isn't working. Is there anything like that?

  5. #5
    Joined
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    Re: Laptop died

    As far as I know no there isn't anything like that.

    The question is do you really need something like that? Honestly no. Lets look at it this way... Do you care if your sound card is working? Yes you probably do. Do you need an application to tell you it's working, no. It either is or it isn't. Do you care if that built in Win-modem really works or not, if you are never going to use it? If you don't have a use for it, then why bother getting it to run? Remember, the less you have running, the less you need to worry about you system's security.

    The key thing here is does your computer, and all its peripherals that you use work? If so, you're good to go.

  6. #6
    Joined
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    Re: Laptop died

    I'm not sure about Kubuntu, but Ubuntu under System-Preferences has the Hardware Information app which actually calls itself Device Manager when operating. It will identify the equipment the system sees, although it doesn't necessarily give you the ability to uninstall or reload drivers like the Windows version does.

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