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I have a laptop (Toshiba Satellite) that is pretty messed up. The person this belongs too already replaced it with a new machine. My job is to transfer all her data from this machine to disk so that I can transfer it to her. She doesn't want to lose any data (understandably so).

Any operation I attempted (i.e., double clicking on any folder icon, like My Documents, My Computer, etc) resulted in a complete crash. The only good news is that I can actually start and navigate around using the command line. Also, I can access the internet.

I have a network, so if I can map the drives I can get this thing figured out (hopefully). Also, I tried a USB drive but I couldn't figure out how to access it from the command line.

Two questions (I need to use the command line for these): How would I go about accessing the USB drive and how can I map the shared drives on my network so that I may cd to that directory for use of the copy command?

EDIT - sorry, yes, Windows XP Media Edition.

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm assuming it's a WinXP machine.

  • Use xcopy instead of copy.
  • The USB drive should show up as another disk drive when you plug it in, like E: or something, just keep trying letters.
  • You can map a network drive using net use * \\server\share /u:Username it will then ask you for the password, once it's mapped it will tell you what drive letter it ended up using.
  • I'd start with a chkdsk /f c: and see what it finds.
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Great idea. I will try these alternatives. –  nicorellius May 19 '10 at 18:38
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If you can obtain it somewhere, you could use the newer Robocopy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocopy –  Tom Wijsman May 19 '10 at 19:18
    
The command net use * \\server\share worked like a charm. I can now navigate to the directory and copy files. Thanks! –  nicorellius May 19 '10 at 19:23
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I'd just boot it using Knoppix, and manipulate all the files that way.

Knoppix is a great tool for this sort of system recovery.

Edit: Yea, seems for me that the first thing on a laptop to go is always the optical drive...They just can't take the pain.

I've had some success with booting Knoppix from a USB key. It'd be my preferred method if USB keys could be made read only...I'm all about read-only media for troubleshooting.

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Good point. I haven't confirmed whether the CD drive is operational. This machine is real messed up. Any launching of other than Command line and Chrome has caused nothing but trouble. No IE, and I can't even install Firefox. However, I will boot my version of Knoppix live to see of this works. –  nicorellius May 19 '10 at 18:39
    
I've used Ubuntu 9.1 for this as well. Both the "bad" drive and the USB drive were recognized and available on boot; it was very easy to transfer from one to the other. –  Michael Todd May 19 '10 at 18:53
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Any operation I attempted (i.e., double clicking on any folder icon, like My Documents, My Computer, etc) resulted din a complete crash. The only good news is that I can actually start and navigate around using the command line. Also, I can access the internet.

That is most of the times a shell extension crashing, you could use ShellExView and sort on the Company field now you can select those that are not from Microsoft and disable those. Disabling non-microsoft services and start-up programs can also help to resolve in this problem, use MSConfig for that.

Reboot and enjoy a working Windows Explorer. ;-)

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Yes, tried stopping services with task manager and msconfig. This actually did help get the system less bogged down, but if I wasn't careful, I would cascade an entire mess of failed executables and complete system failure. This machine was jacked, I tell ya! Thanks though... –  nicorellius May 19 '10 at 22:22
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