It has happened to many of us, you are working putting together some important work on your computer for an important project and suddenly the dreaded happens, your operating system crashes. All that data seems to be erased, the computer refuses to boot up, and you begin to question how you are going to meet the tough deadline you were working towards.
Fortunately, you can undertake a data recovery yourself quickly and relatively easily with free tools available online. As it is unlikely your files gone, that deadline is looking much more achievable.
Firstly, let’s look into what’s happened in this situation. Your computer’s operation system is the software that makes everything on your computer tick. It is the foundation for all of your programs, converts your keystrokes into letters, and processes complex data into the images you see on your screen. A computer’s operating system can be corrupted in various ways, ranging from hardware failures to viruses. When this happens the operating system often loses the ability to read data off your hard drive, even though the data is still physically there and available. To recover your data you need to access the hard drive by another means. Live CDs are a reliable and popular way to do this.
A Live CD is an operating system that rather than residing inside a computer on a hard drive, lives on external media like a CD disc. Generally, the Live CDs contain a version of Linux, a free open source operating system that has been branched out into a range of distributions with varying focuses and features. Ubuntu is the most popular, feature-rich and easy to use Linux distribution, offering a range of options to create a Live CD to access your lost files. Ubuntu includes various data recovery tools, as well as the standard software such as web browsers and word processors.
Fortunately, making a Live CD or USB with Ubuntu is easy. They’ll walk you through the process on their download page with instructions for all major operating systems. Once you’ve installed Ubuntu onto a CD or USB, you then must boot off that device to start data recovery. Often your computer will tell you which key to press to boot off a CD as it tries to start up.
Once your live version of Ubuntu has launched you will be able to go into the file manager and access your hard drive. Simply copy the files you want to recover to a USB stick or external hard drive and you’re good to start work again. Your data disaster has been averted with this simple do-it-yourself data recovery option.