How to recover your data.
For those of us who like to have a dual bootable system.
I had a dual bootable machine: XP and Linux. I had the bright idea of upgrading XP home edition to a Professional without backing up any data in the Linux partition, but when I boot the machine it not longer recognizes the Linux partition, it was not anymore a dual bootable machine. My files in the Linux partition were not longer accessible. They were there, but I couldn't do much with them. Tried a couple things, for example, booting with the first CD, and trying to recover the Linux partition by pressing F1 and typing rescue, it did not work. All indications told me that partition was beyond repair.
It is time for Knoppix!
This is a wonderful disc, and I think everybody having dual-bootable machine and not, should have it near by..
With Knoppix you can fix almost anything, for example recover passwords, Windows and Linux password, fix file configuration problems, etc, etc. If not, you can backup your data, even your Windows data.
A couple things about security.
1- We all know the importance of passwording the BIOS, specially the capability of booting from the CDROM. Even more important if the machine is a laptop. Why? Well, with Knoppix any one can boot any machine and read, copy, etc., any data from Windows or Linux.
2- Any important data should be kept encrypted! Once again, with Knoppix any one can do the same thing as pointed out above. Finally, donít forget to backup your Windows file encryption certificate(XP Professional & 2000 only) as well.
Knoppix in action, here is how.
Boot your machine with Knoppix, Knoppix will mount all the partition in /mnt/somwehre from here is a matter of getting to your data. Use k3b to back your data, and you are ready for another install.
When you get ready to back up your data using k3b in Knoppix, click force to eject the Knoppix CD, and put your blank CD in, click write, burn, etc., That's it.
To avoid all of this, it's advisable to have a /home partition, this way if you ever need to reinstall Linux, you will try NOT to format your home partition, and all your data will be safe. Another solution is to have a vfat type partition, this way, you put there anything that can be used by both O.S.
Keep in mind that the way to have a dual bootable machine is by installing Windows first, then Linux. The other way around will not work such was my case.
These were my two cents.
While it is nice that you made this post about the many uses of LiveCDs as a recovery tool, you didn't need to reinstall Linux in this situation. There was nothing wrong with the Linux system.
When you updated to XP Pro, it just replaced your bootloader with the Windows bootloader, which doesn't know how to boot anything but Windows.
So you could have fixed the problem by just booting into your Linux system with a LiveCD, and reinstalling the Linux bootloader.
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