Hack 72 Back Up Files and Settings

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With all of the viruses, worms, and malware running loose on the Internet, it is not uncommon for a Windows user to find that her system has become unusable (some people argue that Windows systems are unusable by default). Use Knoppix's Windows filesystem support to back up important files and settings when Windows can't boot .

There are many utilities on the market designed for backing up and restoring files on Windows systems. Windows even comes with its own backup software preinstalled . These utilities are good only if you can actually use them. It is not uncommon for a virus or file corruption to leave you unable to use Windows or to boot into Windows Safe Mode. Even using Microsoft's Windows Update can leave your system in an unusable state. If you have not maintained your backups , you find yourself mournfully tallying up all the files you are about to lose. The Windows Recovery CD doesn't provide you with much help in this circumstance either, because you can't navigate outside the Windows systemroot folder (usually WINDOWS or WINNT ), and even if you could, you don't have many options for backing up your important data. Don't worry. You can use Knoppix to back up your important files even when Windows no longer boots.

Knoppix picks up where the Windows Recovery CD leaves off, with the ability to navigate through your entire filesystem and back up important files to many different kinds of media from other connected hard drives, floppies, USB key drives , writable CD-ROMs, and even other computers on the network. Besides, you can browse through your filesystem graphically and open up files along the way, so you can tell if P0311231923.jpg is that important baby picture, and whether Untitled1.doc is a blank document or your graduate thesis.

7.3.1 Back That Thing Up

To back up your important data, determine what you need to back up and where you want to put it. First, find your Windows partition. If Windows is the only operating system installed on your computer, this should be easyjust click on the single hard drive icon that should appear on your Knoppix desktop; it is usually labeled /dev/hda1 . If you have more than one operating system installed, or more than one partition on your hard drive, you may need to search for it. Click on each hard-drive icon. Check for directories named Documents and Settings and Program Files to help you identify your Windows partition.

Open your Windows partition with the Konqueror file manager, and browse through your directories to decide which files you need to back up. To back up all of the user's files and settings on Windows 2000 or newer systems, you must back up the entire Documents and Settings directory. This directory contains settings for your applications, the My Documents directory, where you keep your important data, and the files on your desktop. You can back up your programs by backing up the Program Files directory, but realize that this does not back up registry settings your programs might have created when they were installed. For most programs, simply copying the directories to a clean system does not restore themyou must reinstall.

If you are having difficulty finding all of your files, you can use Konqueror's find utility by clicking Tools Find File in the menu bar.

Find the files you need to back up, and then decide where to back them up, depending on the availability of hardware and the number of files you need to back up. If only a few documents need to be backed up, simply use a single-floppy drive. If you are backing up your entire family album, you need more space. USB key drives can be handy for large backups, because you can quickly copy your important files to the drive, carry it over to another system, empty the drive, and repeat. If you have two CD-ROM drives in the system (or you free up your CD-ROM drive with [Hack #5] ), one of which can write to CDs, boot Knoppix on the regular drive, and click K Menu Multimedia K3b to launch K3b, KDE's easy-to-use CD-writing application, to back up the files to CD-ROM.

You can also back up files to shared directories on your network. Follow the steps in [Hack #39] to mount the remote network filesystem to your Knoppix system. Then you can simply drag-and-drop files from your local hard drive to the remote network share.

Here's the worst-case scenario: if you need to back up only a few small files and you have no other way of transporting them, email the files to yourself. Just follow the steps in [Hack #19] to set up an email client, and send the important files as attachments. If you do this, however, keep in mind that most mail servers have a limit to how large file attachments can be.

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Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Year: 2004
Pages: 166

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