Boot and Backup Data without OS on a Computer Before Format

Boot Backup Data without OSThis post explains how to boot and backup your data without OS on your computer before format. Yes, you can copy your files and folders from one partition to other partition, external disks or network share before format.

Let me ask a question, when your computer OS is not booting up or it can’t be repaired then what is the next step? Next step is simply format the partition and do a fresh installation or re install OS in different location.

But sometimes you will be in a situation to format the disk partition, so how about your files?  If you are an IT guy then usually we remove the hard disk, connect with other working computers and backup files, or connect with external hard drive cases and copy our files.

Here you can boot and backup data just by a CD without OS on your computer or removing and connecting disks. Let’s boot computer with Knoppix live CD and backup files before format. It’s very simple and easy method.  USB flash disks, external USB hard disks and network shares working fine with this method to copy your data without OS before format.

Follow the steps to boot a computer by CD without OS and access partitions.

1) Download Knoppix live CD and write to a CD. DVD version is available here.

2)      Boot the computer with CD and Press Enter in first screen.

3)      Knoppix is a Linux OS, so you can see some Linux booting screens and auto detections of your computer hardware.

4)      Once completely booted you can see a full fledge OS which is running from CD without any installation.

5)      Accessing windows partitions in Knoppix is very simple. Normally all detected partitions will be appeared on desktop starting sda1,sda2 depends on how many physical drives and partitions available. In this example I have one partition which is showed in desktop.

Boot Backup Data without OS

6)      Open the drive as normal windows explorer and access windows partition. In this example I’m accessing Windows Vista partition where I can see user profiles and files.

Boot Backup Data without OS

7)      I just wanted to say my Imation USB flash disk and Western Digital external USB hard disk worked fine with Knoppix and I managed to transfer data between partitions to external hard drive without OS.

Boot Backup Data without OS

8)      All disks will be listed under /media/  in Knoppix live CD OS.

9)      Right Click Copy, Cut and Paste work well in Knoppix, so you can access partitions and backup data before format without removing physical drivers.

10)   If you get a doubt on any files and want to open , yes you can do it in Knoppix OS. Knoppix live CD has enough of software to open most of the known file formats.

11)   Since you can’t play around with drivers in Knoppix live CD if it detects your computer network adapter and installs correct driver then configure network and access network shares. This will help to transfer data to network location when OS corrupted.

Read more how to configure network in Knoppix.

That’s it, this is the simple way to access and backup your data without OS and remove drives before format. Keeping a bootable Knoppix live CD with you always is a good idea to access files in computer when it cannot be booted from OS.

If you know any similar methods to access files when OS is corrupted, please share here.

7 thoughts on “Boot and Backup Data without OS on a Computer Before Format”

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  3. Worked fine for me too!!!

    I used Knoppix 6.2 and was able to recover data from a machine in which corrupted registry prevented Windows XP from starting.

  4. people should learn how to do this, great article, easy and simple.. I always use Puppy Linux, same method, just smaller distro is all.

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