Use Ubuntu To Access A Failed Windows Hard Drive

Bootable Ubuntu USB

My daughter brought me her HP laptop that was running Windows Vista, but now won’t boot. Like many users, she had years worth of data and no backup. All she wants are the photos and a few assorted documents. After trying various hard drive utilities, with no luck, I decided to try and create a bootable Ubuntu (Linux) USB stick. I know from past experience that booting Linux on a USB stick should get us by Windows but still allow us to get files off the hard drive.

Following these directions (I am using a Mac, but there are options for Windows too), I was able to create a bootable version of Ubuntu 12.10. Rebooting the laptop with the USB stick plugged in, I was able to boot to the USB stick, and start up Ubuntu. And like some kind of magic, the Ubuntu Desktop appeared. Bringing up the File Manager tool, and finding the folder where the photos and documents are located, I was able to download all 20GB worth of files to another USB hard drive I had plugged into the laptop.

Now we can rebuild the system using Windows Vista (because the system was built specifically for Vista, mainly because there aren’t any Windows XP/7/8 drivers for the video/network/sound cards.

I might be able to make Windows 7 work, but it will be a stretch. I may just install Ubuntu 12.10 on the laptop and call it good. She’ll have a system that is easy to use and will give her fewer problems. I guess it also means I’ll have to do a little training.

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MOG Launches Free Version Of Music Service
MOG announced today that they are offering an ad-supported free version of their music service. The interesting thing here is they are trying to gamify the service, giving users free music,  based on the amount of sharing, playlist creation, and the number of referrals to the service. This could be interesting. According to their press release “Tastemakers and influencers can easily get a lifetime of free on-demand music.” Read more here: http://thom.ws/o4P0CC

Chegg Buys Zinch In A Move Towards A Social Education Platform
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Samsung Wants To Own Your First, Second, And Third Screen
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The Windows Phone 7 Land Rush

Windows Phone 7 is about to hit the streets, and there is a lot of buzz being generated. My first impression of the phones are so-so. Nothing to write home about. The device is simple, and according to Steve Balmer’s keynote address at PDC2010, Microsoft wanted to put the most important features front and center on the main screen.

Microsoft is late to the mobile party as it were. Apple owns a commanding lead in the smart phone arena, with Android and BlackBerry having large user bases. But Windows hasn’t had a game competing device or OS until now. If Microsoft does this right, and doesn’t strong arm developers as much as Apple does, the Windows Phone 7 app store could be the piece that makes this phone a winner.

Application Stores like iTunes, have given Apple the leverage it needs to remain strong and keep their lead. With over the top developer agreements, and total control over the hardware and software, they also control the experience. Microsoft owns the OS, but is allowing other manufactures to build the devices, which isn’t necessarily and bad thing, but could be one reason it only achieves mediocre success. If I could wave a magic wand and command the Mobile division at Microsoft, that’s what I would do. Users may kick and scream, but taking a queue from Apple, so what. The experience is second to none.

The application space for the Windows Phone 7 could be a land rush. And with the shear number of developers who write software for the Windows platform, and so have a good understanding of the language used to write applications for WP7, I would expect see the volume of apps built and sold in the WP7 store to dwarf that of Apples iTunes App Store. I could be wrong, but the numbers are in Microsoft’s favor.

Microsoft is definitely muscling in on the mobile and cloud space. With the introduction of the Azure platform, and the WP7, Microsoft is finally starting to embrace anywhere computing as it’s lead platform.