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I have a Windows laptop whose display isn't working, and I have to get some data from it.

I want to get access to the Windows shell in order to move some files, and all I have access to is a network and another laptop with Ubuntu or another Linux distro.

Is there a way to do this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You should be able to mount the root windows directory (e.g. c:) on ubuntu by mounting the windows share \\windowscomputername\c$ You can see the instructions for mounting the CIFS share here. To access that magic share named c$, you will have to provide the administrator account name and password.

Note, if you want to access other partitions (e.g. d:), the same trick will work by replacing the c with the appropriate drive letter.

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1) Rip the HDD out of your laptop

2) Put it in a desktop you control

3) Rip the data off the drive

Considering that you are running ubuntu (and other Linux distros?) then you should very easily be able to just get the files off of the drive directly.

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In case it may be a while before you get the screen fixed, or may need to transfer files later to other computers I like this solution with a USB adapter which will might handle both sata or ide usually for less than $15. This is the kind of tool a geek should have laying around anyway. – Dennis May 3 '12 at 21:38
@Dennis if you have a SATA data cable and the power cable spare in your case you don't need to have a USB adaptor. You can connect it internally and simply mount it as another drive. EZPZ – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 21:56

If you really want the Windows Shell (gui) then you can do a push install of VNC. I don't know if WINE will support those tools. After that you can run VNC Viewer from your Linux box ...

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