I have a computer that is completely hijacked. I cant even get into windows safe mode to install a virus utility software. Id like to use a linux distribution on cd and access the windows users files (pictures,music,etc) and move them to a usb drive. What is the most reliable CD distribution of linux i can use to take care of this?
If you are comfortable with the command line, any linux OS that boots to a live version would do. Ubuntu is a favorite of mine and also Knoppix is great too.
Nice thing about some of the more user friendly distros (Ubuntu) is they auto-mount all the Windows partitions and external drives for you and provide great file explorers to handle the copying, pasting etc.
as a side tip, I would also scan the transferred data before you throw everything back on a fresh new machine.