• Breaking and entering with Linux

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    HARDWARE By Ben Myers Use Linux on a USB stick to diagnose a Windows system. My working premise here is that your Windows system will not boot, not ev
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    • #2386776

      My niece had a Sony laptop that she hadn’t used since she was in college. It had Vista on it and she had forgotten her password. I needed a laptop to try out Linux Mint on so I offered to buy it from her. She said I could have it but I’d have to get past the password, and if I could, please try to get her files and pictures from it and send them to her.

      I used the Linux Mint DVD to run the Linux from, accessed the old hard drive and was able to copy her files to a Flash Drive that I gave to her. She was happy and I then installed Linux on it. I’m still using it to this day (with a few upgrades).

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

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    • #2386856

      Here are a few more details about what you may have to do to a laptop to remove Secure Boot.

      In the past 5 or 6 years, it has become more common for laptops to have at least one internal battery, underneath the bottom cover.  In all, there are two or even three batteries, the CMOS battery and one or two large batteries to power a laptop without the charger.

      I have seen laptops with three types of battery setups.

      1. Single external battery

      2. One external and one internal battery

      3. Two internal batteries

      If a laptop has an external laptop battery, remove it. If it is the only laptop battery, hold the power button in the on position for 30 seconds to discharge the CMOS. (This case is the only one covered in my article.)

      With one or two internal batteries, the procedure gets dicey. No matter what, you have to open up the laptop, and disconnect one or both internal batteries, then either disconnect the 3v CMOS battery or hold the power button down for 30 seconds.

      As an alternative to discharging the CMOS, open up the laptop, disconnect the hard drive or SSD, boot the laptop with the bottom cover off, enter the BIOS setup menus and change from Secure to Legacy boot. Then put the drive back in, and reassemble the laptop.

    • #2392046

      I had this experience with W2K on a Toshiba all in one.
      BSOD on any of the following: upon startup, running a rescue CD, moving the HD to an Thinkpad HD tray booting from the the TP’s orginal HD and touching the Toshiba’s HD.

      This was NTFS, so not sure what happened.

      Even running an installation CD and trying to format the HD, BSOD.

      Eventually booting the Toshiba’s AIO, from Puppy Linux, I was able to access the drive; mount another PC and copied all the desired files over.

      Once that was complete, I used the GParted tool located in Puppy to wipe the disk.

      Then I was able to do a fresh install of W2K on the system and recover the copied files from the other PC.

      Puppy Linux is one of my favorite distros for this reason.  Small, basic and typically and view, change or copy files to a non-encrypted HD.

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