I'm trying to figure out a way to boot from a USB flash drive to move files from my internal drive to a USB 3.0 external drive. In the past, I've used "Mini Windows XP" to do this with USB 2.0 external drives, but it doesn't support USB 3.0.

What I want to be able to do is move/copy/paste/delete files and create folders on the internal drive and the external drive. Also, I prefer a method that is fast, simple, and that doesn't require the use of the command line, if possible.

Context: Right now I'm getting the blue error screen on Windows right after boot so I can't access the log in screen. I want to backup some of my files in my internal storage to an external USB 3.0 drive.

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    I haven't tried this yet but I think you could use an Ubuntu boot disc for this purpose. – Alex Essilfie Dec 5 '15 at 6:26
  • @AlexEssilfie I see, do you know what's the size of that Ubuntu disc? I was hoping to find a lightweight tool that can boot up quickly. – Jorge Luque Dec 5 '15 at 7:10
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    or SystemRescueCD sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage, you can boot it up to a command prompt or to a Linux GUI – gogoud Dec 5 '15 at 8:36
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    SystemRescueCD is actively maintained by its developers, lightweight and easy to use. – karel Dec 5 '15 at 10:56
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    Just to note - there was a request to migrate this to SR.SE. Least for now, I'm a mod both here and there, and this didn't feel like a good fit. And yes, run a linux livecd, force the old disk to mount, and do a file recovery from there. – Journeyman Geek Dec 5 '15 at 11:01

If you want a GUI environment, use a Linux loaded flash drive and do a live boot up. From there, you have full control of all your data.

The easiest Linux environment I'd recommend is Ubuntu, mainly because of the abundance of documentation available online.


  1. Download Ubuntu.
  2. Make a bootable Ubuntu flash drive (documentation has detailed steps).
  3. Start computer and choose to boot from flash drive.
  4. You will have 4 options, choose the first one, which should say: "Try Ubuntu before Install."
  5. Once inside Ubuntu, you should see disk icons on the dock. Each disk represents a physical device or partition. Click the one you desire, and you'll have access to all your files.

Note: If you want more detailed steps, please let know.


You can easily do that by using a Live linux USB or DVD. You can download Slax . It's Just under 220 MB. Will support USB 3.0 too. You can access all your hdd data using this live cd. You can download the ISO Burn to a Disc or USB using unetbootin and boot from the usb/dvd


  1. Download slax linux distro
  2. Burn it to a DVD/USB using unetbootin from another computer
  3. Use the dvd/usb to boot up your computer(Refer this life hacker article)
  4. Connect your external drive and do whatever you want
  • Hadn't heard of Slax before. It seems rather interesting from a cursory glance. I'll try it out soon. – Alex Essilfie Dec 6 '15 at 20:42
  • It's a wonderful distro. Should try it. – shobi Dec 7 '15 at 11:41
  • Please expand on the HOW part. You did a good job of answering the y/n question, but this answer doesn't walk through the steps. – RookieTEC9 Dec 8 '15 at 1:48
  • I have added the steps, hope it satisfies you – shobi Dec 8 '15 at 7:05

I believe if you can boot into command prompt, you can use the xcopy command to move files from one drive to another, I'm not positive though.

  • How do you boot into command prompt? You mean, using a Windows Recovery Disc then going to the advanced troubleshooting options and then Command Prompt? Also, sorry for not mentioning this in the question but I'd rather not use command prompt for this since it would take me forever to browse through the different folders and specify which folder I want each file to go to. I'm not trying copy the whole drive into a single folder but rather copy some files and place them in different places. – Jorge Luque Dec 6 '15 at 3:30

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