[SOLVED] Can i boot directly from an USB to recover files?

Oct 16, 2020
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I have a 1TB Toshiba HDD that was going bad, it had around 1700 reallocated sector counts before it went bust. I made backups for most of my files on an External HDD, so i didn't lose much data. However, i was working on some stuff that couldn't backup as the HDD gave in before i could copy it to my E.HDD. Can i use a bootable Windows 10 USB(or any windows?) to boot directly from the USB to get an interface to copy the remaining files to the external HDD. I get a BSOD that says "Bad file config info" Everytime i try to turn on my laptop. So i figured my OS files are corrupted, so maybe if i could get an OS interface i can recover my files or am i out of luck?
 
Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond to my queries, figuring out everything by myself would've been a one-way trip to insanity.
Here's, what i'm gonna do.
  1. Install Windows 8.1 onto the SSD for an interface.
  2. Create a Windows 10 USB via Rufus.
  3. Unplug the SSD, and reattach the HDD.
  4. Use the USB to repair the system files in the HDD.
I had around 20-25 gigs of media(videos/images) that need to be recovered, i'm under the impression that "most of those files" will be in good condition and i could copy them to my E.HDD. I think the drive still works, just that the essential system files are corrupted.

I've never used a Linux Live CD before so i don't know how to configure it to make it work.

Please let me know if this can go wrong in any way.
Is it a laptop or something?If you can boot into any windows from a new disk you can just copy the files off of your old disk...

If you only have one port for a disk...get an external sata to usb caddy/addapter/box

As I said before, repairing windows can permanently delete the files you want, let alone the strain of the repair could finish off the drive before you are able to recover anything or before the repair even finishes,on a drive with that many bad sectors repairing is just asking for trouble.

A live linux CD/usb doesn't need any configuring at all and allows you to copy files off the disk if the disk will show up as a disk which it probably won't because it basically already failed.If you have to recover you will need special software that you would have to download and run which is a bit of a hassle because of the unknown interface.

So get a ready made rescue cd like hiren's boot cd or something, look for rescue cd on the web, those come preinstalled with recovery software that you can just pick out from a menu, and remember only recover to a different drive,plug in a usb stick if you have to.
 
Reactions: CardinalSin
Oct 16, 2020
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No Windows booting off USB, but you can use a Live Linux USB stick made with Unetbootin. It is unlikely that you are going to have much luck though as the drive has to function to get files off with software.
Thanks for the prompt response,
I think the drive still functions but the OS files are corrupted, hence the BSOD. Will booting from a Live Linux disk retain all the partition and folder structure?
 
Oct 16, 2020
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If you just boot Live Linux from an USB it will not touch anything on other disks.
Okay, thanks for clearing that up. Never thought the drive would fail on me so fast, i might have to repair the OS files via a Windows 10 iso. I should've done it before the drive went out of order, I don't have any other computers to make a Windows 10 USB. This is my first time dealing with a failing drive so i couldn't act accordingly. I feel so depressed.
 

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Okay, thanks for clearing that up. Never thought the drive would fail on me so fast, i might have to repair the OS files via a Windows 10 iso. I should've done it before the drive went out of order, I don't have any other computers to make a Windows 10 USB. This is my first time dealing with a failing drive so i couldn't act accordingly. I feel so depressed.
Everyone has a "first time".
Smart people then take that as a heads up to always have a good backup of their data. That way, a failing drive is of no consequence, except for having to get a new physical drive.
 
Oct 16, 2020
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Everyone has a "first time".
Smart people then take that as a heads up to always have a good backup of their data. That way, a failing drive is of no consequence, except for having to get a new physical drive.
I wish drives weren't so expensive here, so i don't have to second guess to buy extra drives. But they cost at least 50% more than in the US and people here don't even earn as much as they do. It's double-unfair, my laptop was my primary media device, now there's nothing to do, i just sit in a corner and cry to myself.
 
Never thought the drive would fail on me so fast, i might have to repair the OS files via a Windows 10 iso.
Get your files first, repairing will write files to wherever which means it might write over partially broken files.Also do not try windows disk check/scan since they are going to destroy whatever is left of your files.

You could and actually you absolutely should try to run recovery software from a live cd, testdisk is a favorite because it's completely free but there are also comercial recovery apps that come with livecds.
https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Livecd

Always recover to a different drive because otherwise you are overwriting files that you could still reocver.
 
Reactions: CardinalSin
Oct 16, 2020
13
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Get your files first, repairing will write files to wherever which means it might write over partially broken files.Also do not try windows disk check/scan since they are going to destroy whatever is left of your files.

You could and actually you absolutely should try to run recovery software from a live cd, testdisk is a favorite because it's completely free but there are also comercial recovery apps that come with livecds.
https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Livecd

Always recover to a different drive because otherwise you are overwriting files that you could still reocver.
I would need a working computer to make a live cd right? I have shelled enough for a 256 GB SSD, which i'll get by next week, then i'll install the windows 8.1 that i have on a USB drive. This will give me an interface to make one, i guess.
 


I would need a working computer to make a live cd right? I have shelled enough for a 256 GB SSD, which i'll get by next week, then i'll install the windows 8.1 that i have on a USB drive. This will give me an interface to make one, i guess.
Well, yes, you need a working computer with internet to make a live Linux USB but it could be any computer not necessarily yours'
 
Oct 16, 2020
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Well, yes, you need a working computer with internet to make a live Linux USB but it could be any computer not necessarily yours'
Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond to my queries, figuring out everything by myself would've been a one-way trip to insanity.
Here's, what i'm gonna do.
  1. Install Windows 8.1 onto the SSD for an interface.
  2. Create a Windows 10 USB via Rufus.
  3. Unplug the SSD, and reattach the HDD.
  4. Use the USB to repair the system files in the HDD.
I had around 20-25 gigs of media(videos/images) that need to be recovered, i'm under the impression that "most of those files" will be in good condition and i could copy them to my E.HDD. I think the drive still works, just that the essential system files are corrupted.

I've never used a Linux Live CD before so i don't know how to configure it to make it work.

Please let me know if this can go wrong in any way.
 
Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond to my queries, figuring out everything by myself would've been a one-way trip to insanity.
Here's, what i'm gonna do.
  1. Install Windows 8.1 onto the SSD for an interface.
  2. Create a Windows 10 USB via Rufus.
  3. Unplug the SSD, and reattach the HDD.
  4. Use the USB to repair the system files in the HDD.
I had around 20-25 gigs of media(videos/images) that need to be recovered, i'm under the impression that "most of those files" will be in good condition and i could copy them to my E.HDD. I think the drive still works, just that the essential system files are corrupted.

I've never used a Linux Live CD before so i don't know how to configure it to make it work.

Please let me know if this can go wrong in any way.
Is it a laptop or something?If you can boot into any windows from a new disk you can just copy the files off of your old disk...

If you only have one port for a disk...get an external sata to usb caddy/addapter/box

As I said before, repairing windows can permanently delete the files you want, let alone the strain of the repair could finish off the drive before you are able to recover anything or before the repair even finishes,on a drive with that many bad sectors repairing is just asking for trouble.

A live linux CD/usb doesn't need any configuring at all and allows you to copy files off the disk if the disk will show up as a disk which it probably won't because it basically already failed.If you have to recover you will need special software that you would have to download and run which is a bit of a hassle because of the unknown interface.

So get a ready made rescue cd like hiren's boot cd or something, look for rescue cd on the web, those come preinstalled with recovery software that you can just pick out from a menu, and remember only recover to a different drive,plug in a usb stick if you have to.
 
Reactions: CardinalSin
Oct 16, 2020
13
0
10
0
Is it a laptop or something?If you can boot into any windows from a new disk you can just copy the files off of your old disk...

If you only have one port for a disk...get an external sata to usb caddy/addapter/box

As I said before, repairing windows can permanently delete the files you want, let alone the strain of the repair could finish off the drive before you are able to recover anything or before the repair even finishes,on a drive with that many bad sectors repairing is just asking for trouble.

A live linux CD/usb doesn't need any configuring at all and allows you to copy files off the disk if the disk will show up as a disk which it probably won't because it basically already failed.If you have to recover you will need special software that you would have to download and run which is a bit of a hassle because of the unknown interface.

So get a ready made rescue cd like hiren's boot cd or something, look for rescue cd on the web, those come preinstalled with recovery software that you can just pick out from a menu, and remember only recover to a different drive,plug in a usb stick if you have to.
Thanks for suggesting an external adapter for an HDD, it completely slipped off my mind.
I will install the SSD onto my laptop's SATA III port and connect the failing HDD via the external adapter through USB. If that doesn't work i'll use a live linux USB.
 
Oct 16, 2020
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Thanks to everyone for suggesting the solutions. I was able to recover the files from my hard drive, here's what I did.

  1. Installed windows 10 onto my new INTERNAL SSD connected via the laptop's only SATA III port.
  2. Bought a SATA III to USB connector to connect my OLD HDD through the USB port in my laptop.
  3. All my virtual drives turned up and were assigned DRIVE LETTERS automatically, I could now copy the files to my INTERNAL SSD. As i anticipated, the HDD worked, but the OS files were corrupted hence i couldn't BOOT into it.
Thank you all for helping out, I hope this will help out someone with the same problem.
Here's the CrystalDiskInfo of the HDD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1di0y5dKXvPeKY9sVyVvnkPbEABuBF24Z/view?usp=sharing
 

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