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Old 05-05-2004, 12:17 AM   #1
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Exclamation Windows Boot rescue disk from Linux??

Forgive me if this is a stupid question...newbie here. I've been asked to make a Windows Boot Rescue Disk using my Linux distro (SuSE 8.2 Pro). This person says they don't have Linux on their computer - but I can use my Linux distro to make this rescue boot disk for him. Does anybody have any idea what I'm to do? Thanks in advance.
Old 05-05-2004, 04:03 AM   #2
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You can boot the machine with a Linux disc, of course, but since NTFS write support is experimental at best (there is software that allows you to write to NTFS safely, but I don't think any distro includes it yet).

If you need NTFS write support, I think you are going to have to make a custom boot disc, unless somebody has made one already.
Old 05-05-2004, 05:22 AM   #3
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What is this disk required to do? Repair the Windows bootloader? Allow the user to boot into Windows when it's broken in order to back up files prior to a reformat and reinstall? Repair a broken partition table?

What version of Windows is it? The best Windows rescue boot disk is the Windows CD itself (if the Windows version is 2000 or XP). If this is not available, or the version is Windows 95/98/ME, you'd do better to use a LiveCD distro as a rescue disk (which is probably what this person meant). This is not going to help you repair Windows system files (only Windows is going to help you do that), but it can be used to allow you to continue work when Windows won't boot (as one can gain access to the files one was working on and most likely use Linux programs to complete the editing/printing), surf the Internet for help on the problem, and/or give one a chance to back up irreplaceable files before reformatting the Windows partition and reinstalling Windows (or installing Linux ).

LiveCDs are Linux distributions that run entirely from the CD-ROM drive, and are not installed to the HDD. Their original intent was to be used as a System Resuce Disc, although they have since become popular as "pre-install learning experiences", since they allow less-technical users to use Linux without endangering their Windows installs.

The most popular of these are Knoppix, MandrakeMove, Slax, and Mepis, but there are several more. You can find out more about these distros on As far as I know, the SuSE 8.2 install disks do not have the capability of helping to rescue anything but a SuSE 8.2 installation on the HDD of the PC it's being run on, although it might be able to repair a broken FAT32 partition table. And as noted, SuSE 8.2 likely does not include much if any NTFS support if the Windows installation is formatted as NTFS. The current versions of LiveCDs are much more likely to include some version of such support, especially if they use the 2.6 kernel or backported patches to the 2.4 kernel, in which such support has been greatly improved (or so I'm told).

"Rescue" means a lot of things, though, so without more information as to what exactly needs to be rescued, and what the person asking expects these rescue disks to be able to do, it's hard to direct you accurately.


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