Best live linux distro for maintenance

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Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:04 pm

I need to boot Linux off of a disc (CD preferable) so that I can attempt to pull files off of a Dell laptop that has a hosed hard drive. I'll need to be able to run it on the laptop, and have support for USB flash drives to transfer the data.

Any help with picking a distro for this is appreciated. Thanks!
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:11 pm

Have you looked at something like the ultimate boot CD?
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:14 pm

ubuntu should work. i have had less problems with the old 7.04 version than the newer and better 7.10 version
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:26 pm

I like Knoppix for that purpose, although it hasn't been updated in a while so any bleeding edge hardware support added within the last ten months won't be there. They're supposed to release a new version based on kernel 2.6.22 soon, but who knows exactly when.
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:16 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Have you looked at something like the ultimate boot CD?


I'd have to see if one of the utilities on the UBCD allowed copying of files from the hard disk to a flash drive.


Hance wrote:ubuntu should work. i have had less problems with the old 7.04 version than the newer and better 7.10 version


Which version of Ubuntu is bootable?
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:23 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:Have you looked at something like the ultimate boot CD?


I'd have to see if one of the utilities on the UBCD allowed copying of files from the hard disk to a flash drive.


Hance wrote:ubuntu should work. i have had less problems with the old 7.04 version than the newer and better 7.10 version


Which version of Ubuntu is bootable?


They're both LiveCD's so both should be able to boot fine. I've had better success with 7.10 than 7.04 so YMMV.
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Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:25 pm

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Postposted on Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:03 pm

I can't seem to access local hard drives from any of the utils on the UBCD. Is there something I'm supposed to do to find the drives?
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Postposted on Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:11 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I can't seem to access local hard drives from any of the utils on the UBCD. Is there something I'm supposed to do to find the drives?


I think what the grandparent actually meant was "Ultimate Boot CD for Windows", which is a different program, and is Quite Nice Indeed.
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Re: Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Mon May 26, 2008 9:56 am

These live discs never seem to work right. Ubuntu loads, but it's impossible (i.e. it won't work no mater what I try) to install Flash, which means I can't run things like virus online scans or updates. The UBCD for Windows is also a major PITA. It took me days to figure out why it wouldn't compile, and the only way it would finally compile is if I disabled a number of features (still no reason why those features caused any problems). After that, I found out that there's no way to install or use Flash, or even install any programs like virus scanners, OR install updates for a virus scanner that's already there. I was able to copy files off of the computer, but not save the computer, which should have been possible. These boot CD's are essentially worthless until these problems are fixed.
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Re: Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Mon May 26, 2008 10:07 am

FireGryphon wrote:These boot CD's are essentially worthless until these problems are fixed.
They are worthless for what you are attempting to do with them, but they are useful to others.

The big problem with Flash is that the license prevents the live CD creators from distributing it, they can only distribute scripts to fetch it. You could submit bug reports in to Adobe to fix their license to allow redistribution on live CDs and also to the live CD distributors to fix Flash installation.
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Re: Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Mon May 26, 2008 10:34 am

Having been in this situation several time (own a small computer business) my experience is that I rarely have been successful using a live cd to retrieve data from a borked hd. What I have had to do in just about every case is to dig the drive out of the laptop and, through a usb adapter, mount it on another computer.

Lots more work on the front end, but lots less work on the back end and better results.

I know that is not what you asked, but just another thought.
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Re: Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2008 10:05 am

You could try something interesting and create your own LiveUSB.

http://gentoo-wiki.com/TinyGentoo
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Re: Best live linux distro for maintenance

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2008 10:20 am

FireGryphon wrote:These live discs never seem to work right. Ubuntu loads, but it's impossible (i.e. it won't work no mater what I try) to install Flash, which means I can't run things like virus online scans or updates. The UBCD for Windows is also a major PITA. It took me days to figure out why it wouldn't compile, and the only way it would finally compile is if I disabled a number of features (still no reason why those features caused any problems). After that, I found out that there's no way to install or use Flash, or even install any programs like virus scanners, OR install updates for a virus scanner that's already there. I was able to copy files off of the computer, but not save the computer, which should have been possible. These boot CD's are essentially worthless until these problems are fixed.

I just pulled a bunch of files off of a very sick hard drive that wasn't even letting windows load using whatever the newest Ubuntu is. I also installed flash while doing so, so I'm not sure why you're saying installing flash isn't possible - it is. Obviously it's gone when you reboot, but installing it isn't that difficult. I don't remember specific steps, but I don't remember it being other than expected. I imagine I just went to the package managed and told it to install flash or just installed it using the normal installer linked from a webpage that used flash.
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