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Windows died, want linux, but also to keep data


Through a series of events that involve a virus and the ntfs.sys file getting deleted, I now have a $600 paper weight and am looking to install Linux. I know it would be a simple matter of running an install cd(s), but I want to keep my data that is still on the drive. but since the computer won't even boot into safe mode I can't go through the steps needed to partition and such.

So, what I want to know is it possible to go through the whole partitioning process and such right from a boot cd? there is plenty of room on the hard drive for the install, but I simply don't have access to it. I'll decide later about keeping linux exclusively (more then likely I will since I've been thinking about it for some time), or dual-booting or things like that, right now I have to get into my comp first.


  • Rovanion
    Rovanion Posts: 73
    There are two different scenarios here:
    1. Your NTFS partition is broken, or at least the index of it.
    2. Windows is what's broken and your NTFS partition is still operable.

    So what you should do is to download a LiveCD or DVD of your favourite Linux flavour, I would for a newcomer recommend Linux Mint, burn it out to a CD/DVD and see what state your NTFS partition is in.

    If you're lucky it's only Windows that has broken down you should be able to read your NTFS partition from the liveCD without having to do anything. In that case you should also be able to resize the NTFS partition to make room for your new Linux partition. This will be explained to you in the installation guide, do not panic!

    If you're unlucky your scenario is number 2 and you have a rougher path ahead. In that case you will have to run rescue software for your NTFS partition to get your data back.
  • raptornx01
    Thanks. I'll do that.

    I know why its not rebooting. the ntfs.sys file was deleted. so the rest is intact. there is an infection (braivax) still, but its all intact. Since I won't be booting windows will I have to worry about virus transfer?
  • ford
    ford Posts: 24
    No, you dont have to worry at all. executable format is totally different. you're safe.
  • deatharte
    yes that's correct! try the Damn Small Linux (DSL) Distribution.. it allows you to partition and install to HD.

    take note DSL 50M and in LiveCD.. by choosing install to HD and frugal installation it allows the user to manipulate data in easy way by mounting your NTFS HD..

    Im not Pro im a newbie also.. hehe! much better if you listen to gurus like Mr. Rovanion Luckey


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