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I am running Windows 8.1 on my Sony Vaio laptop and want to run a Linux-based OS from a bootable USB. Can anyone tell me whether my Windows will be safe during and after the booting process or I'll lose all the data, softwares, files, etc. ?

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  • No, you can access them, but they should not be modified without you doing do so (in for example a file manager). – PlasmaPower Mar 23 '14 at 5:54
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If you are booting live from a USB or CD you can read/write to the windows partition. Therefore you can screw something up, if you are messing with system files on the windows partition.
You can safely play in the Linux OS environment just don't touch Windows System files or play with the partitions (unless you know what you are doing), and you will be fine.

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  • crbon i have a Sony vaio svf15218sn. Can you tell me the step-by-step procedure to boot from a bootable USB ? I am unable to do this as no boot menu comes when I boot with the USB plugged in. – ashish.one Mar 23 '14 at 7:55
  • @user308131 - First off all did you make the usb bootable. Try this software linuxliveusb.com. It will give you a simple gui and help you setup the usb drive properly. Leave the usb drive plugged in, then restart the Sony laptop and as soon as it starts booting up again just tap F2 a bunch of times until you get into the bios. Then use the arrow keys to navigate to boot section and then go to hard disc priority change the first option to your usb. Press F10 and then Enter. The laptop should now start rebooting and boot into the usb – crbon Mar 23 '14 at 8:06
  • I have done all this using the software unviversal USB installer and have changed all the required bios settings.But the reboot brought me back to Windows. What should I do next ? – ashish.one Mar 23 '14 at 8:15
  • @user308131 - If you pressing F2 repeatedly when the laptop is booting doesn't work. Follow the following steps youtube.com/watch?v=IqkCS0sRz5c When you get to use device that's where you click on your usb and then the laptop should restart and boot into the usb. – crbon Mar 23 '14 at 8:16
  • Same issue persists. I followed the video and 3 options come up : EFI USB, EFI CD, EFI Network. I selected the first one,but again the reboot brings the Window OS back. Any help ? – ashish.one Mar 23 '14 at 9:01
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It should be safe, unless you modify any thing on the file system or partition table. Mostly the file system will be automounted inside linux. You have to be careful if you are deleting any files on Windows drive.

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  • Chandrasekar, I have a Sony vaio svf15218sn. Can you tell me the step-by-step procedure to boot from a bootable USB ? I am unable to do this as no boot menu comes when I boot with the USB plugged in – ashish.one Mar 23 '14 at 7:56

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