Another system rescue story, using Ubuntu LiveCD

Adding to what i had written in one of my earlier posts about the rescue act using a gnu/linux live cd , here is a related story posted on the ubuntu-users mailing list:
(this is a trimmed version, full story here)

A horror story with a potentially happy ending.

So, I use PartitionMagic 8.0 to move a few things around for the
ever-expanding Ubuntu portion of my hard disk. Then the god-awful happens: in the middle of applying my changes, Partition magic gives one of its ever-helpful error messages (“Error #705 applying changes.”) and stops.
Now since I am primarily a Windows user (and all my software and work sits under Windows as a result), my natural reflex was to pull out my Windows recovery disk to see what I could do. What a damned joke. Apparently, to Sony, “recovery” means “erase everything on the whole disk and put back in the vanilla install”. There was no option of any kind to try and restore the MBR or any such thing. Just a snide “it is advised to back up your critical data before proceeding”-style message. Bastards!

Luckily I have Ubuntu. And, more specifically, I have my Ubuntu LiveCD. Which I booted and fired up GParted in. To see that I have…. nopartitions. Time to go hunting.

Having a fully-functional system despite not having a functional hard drive has its advantages. Sure it may be slow as all Hell on a CD, but it works. And it lets me surf the net to find possible solutions before giving up and losing literally years of data. Ordinarily I’d have to go to another computer (say in my classroom) to research solutions and download things and even mess with the hard drive (after removing it), but the Ubuntu LiveCD rendered that unnecessary. On the same crippled machine I could do whatever I needed to do.
So here’s where things stand now. GRUB is saved. Ubuntu works (with a few annoying glitches — I may just reinstall the system and restore my /home, taking the opportunity afforded to modify my partitioning scheme […]
‘ll do Sony’s version of “recovery”, restore my vital data (which is sitting on that handy external disk — the partition can’t be booted, but it reads just fine!), and then uninstall everything under Windows but for the few applications left which don’t have a suitable Linux alternative. (That list shrinks regularly and consists now of mostly games.) I’ll wind up with 5-10GB devoted to Windows and 30GB devoted to Linux. And Linux — Ubuntu — will be the OS I use most of the time now.

Ubuntu Live CD can be downloaded here.
You can also get it shipped to anywhere around the world, free of cost, from here.


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