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How to Troubleshoot Windows Boot Problems using BootMed
The ProblemMy computer won't boot! How do I fix it or at least recover my files?
Summary: NOTE: This tutorial is for an outdated version of BootMed, please download the latest version at http://www.bootmed.com You can do this with just a few clicks using BootMed Plus, try it for free - for a limited time only.
BootMed is an Ubuntu Remix Live CD for Windows Recovery. BootMed is meant to make recovery easy for beginners, it will take you from running anti-virus and anti-malware on a computer that won't boot to recoverying data from a damaged drive if necessary. All you need to do is put the cd in your computer and turn it on. You computer will boot up to Firefox and the step by step instructions you see below. They will guide you through:
BootMed was made to help demystify Linux based recovery. To the average Windows user, the Linux enviroment can be intimidating and confusing, and even more so is fixing or recoverying files from within it. BootMed is meant for the people that wany their family pictures and important documents back, and then want to forget about the Linux world.
First you will need to download the BootMed cd image. To do so go here.
BootMed is a live cd, basically a boot disk on a cd. It will load an operating system, Ubuntu, that is independant of your hard drive. Because it is independant, it gives a great opportunity to try to fix Windows without having to rely on it.
Before you boot your computer, I suggest that you plug it into a wired network connection. The tutorials that load with BootMed are on the internet, not on the cd (that way they can be easily updated and improved). Wireless network connections are more complex and may require downloading drivers, which requires a network connection...
On most computers all you will need to do is put the BootMed cd in your cd-rom, then turn your computer on. If you cannot put a cd in while you computer is off, you will need to turn your computer on, open the cd tray, put the cd in and then reboot your computer. You computer should then check the cd-rom for a boot disk and automatically load it. If your computer does not automatically load the boot cd you will need to change BIOS settings. Follow this tutorial to see how that is done. BootMed will load a webpage with a list of what you can do with the live cd. Just scroll down to "Troubleshoot A Computer That Wont Boot," there you will find a link to this page.
First, you need to minimize Firefox, to do so click the minimize button in the upper left corner of the window. Then you should see the desktop and an icon called Computer, double click it. (Image 1) You should now see a list of storage devices (hard drives, pen drives, cd-roms, disk drives, etc) double click on your hard drive. If you are having trouble figuring out which is your hard drive, here are a few hints:
Before you move on to scanning your hard drive for viruses you need to copy the "Name" of your hard drive, which you will use in the next step. To do so, find the hard drive (it will look something like 250 GB Filesystem) in the address bar and right click on it and select Properties. (Image 2) When the Properties window opens, select the text across from Name: (be careful to select all of it), right click on it and select Copy. (Image 3) You may now click Close. Now that you have found your hard drive, mounted it, and copied its name, you can move on to the next step.
If you would just like to recover your files, and are not interesting in fixing Windows, you can skip to the next step.
BootMed comes with two antivirus programs, Stinger and ClamWin. Both of these are Windows programs that do not normaly run in Ubuntu, they require a program called WINE which makes it possible to run Windows programs in Ubuntu. Before you can check for viruses, you will first need to configure WINE to see your hard drive:
You have now configured your hard drive as drive D: (or whatever letter you chose) in WINE. So when you scan for viruses, be sure to scan drive D: not the C: drive. There are two antivirus/malware programs that come on BootMed, Stinger and ClamWin. Stinger scans for a handful of the more common viruses (about 2140), making it a fast, although not very comprehensive tool. ClamWin is more comprehensive, although it is also much slower. I suggest that you first scan with Stinger and use ClamWin only if Stinger does not find any viruses or resolve your boot problems.
After you check for viruses, try rebooting your computer to see if it works now. If removing viruses does not resolve your issue, you can still copy your files - just move on to the next step.
If your computer is still not booting after the virus scan, you may have a serious problem, ex. hard drive damage. The best thing to do at this point is to recover your files by copying them to a USB drive. Get either a Flash Drive or, better yet, an external hard drive ready and follow this tutorial:
If you were unable to see the files on your hard drive in the previous step, most likely there has been some sort of damage to the hard drive. Making an image won't fix your drive; it will simply make an exact copy of your disk, copying good as well as corrupt data. Damaged hard drives usually only get progressively worse the more they are used, so to cut your losses you should make an image. Damaged hard drives also seem to "confuse" computers, making it difficult to read information. When you make the image, it copies the drive to a more stable enviroment. From that stable enviroment you can use a free program to access the files in the image.
Follow this tutorial to create the image:
Then this one to access the files in the image:
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