I am using windows 7. My windows is not loading. I want to recover some files using dos commands, Is that possible anymore?

  • 1
    Please provide more information. – Ramhound May 25 '16 at 2:36
  • I suspect you are trying to boot Windows 7 straight to "DOS", i.e. before loading the GUI, like you used to with Win31, in the hope of using command line tools ("DOS commands") to recover your files. If that is the case, I got bad news for you: Windows doesn't boot DOS and then the GUI since WinXP—some 15 years ago—i.e. your Windows GUI is no longer a DOS application: there is no DOS under Win7.— Even your filesystem (NTFS) is unreadable for DOS. – erreka May 27 '16 at 18:23
  • @Shiran Maor: If one of the answers was helpful to you, then please consider marking it as the accepted answer so others may more easily find it in the future. This is also a polite way to thank the person answering your question for helping you out. – Andrea Lazzarotto Sep 18 '16 at 21:12

A practical way to do this is to physically remove your hard drive from the PC and temporarily install it in another working PC.

If the hard drive is still intact, you'll be able to navigate and copy all of your files (to perhaps a USB flash drive).

Files in your "My Documents" folder will require that you "take ownership" of that folder, before it lets you copy them.

So, the "down side" is:
1) You need to "borrow" somebody else's PC, who will let you open the case and install your drive
2) If the drive was the cause of the original problems, you might not be able to recover any data


I want to recover some files using dos commands, Is that possible anymore?

Yes, that would probably be possible. The creation of a DOS disk which supports NTFS partitions has been discussed in this question. You could use such a disk to boot your computer and then use DOS to access the partition and copy files.

Quoting from Batch file to copy directories recursively (answer by lc.):

To copy all the files and subdirectories (including any empty subdirectories) from drive A to drive B, type:

xcopy a: b: /s /e

However, in my opinion that would be a bit cumbersome. For this reason, I would like to suggest an alternative approach.

Just use Linux :)

As with many of the most common Windows problems, Linux saves the day. You can use UNetbootin to download and install your distro of choice on a USB drive:

UNetbootin screenshot

For this task, I suggest you go for the lightweight Xubuntu. Reboot your computer and push the appropriate key to show the one-time boot menu. The key varies depending on your BIOS (it might be e.g. F10).

Select the entry referring to your USB key and press Enter. When the live Linux system boots, you will see the drives on your desktop (on many distributions, including Xubuntu) or in the file manager (on basically all of them).

You can double click a drive to open it. Back up the files you need by connecting an external drive.

Bonus tip: you can use the same drive to install Linux and get rid of Windows.

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