B05: Saving Files From Unbootable Computer With EBCD
1. Getting EBCD
EBCD is a software to burn on CD/DVD for booting PC and recovering data in emergency situations. EBCD contains file manager, which is able to process files on FAT, NTFS, EXT3 volumes. All national characters in file names are displayed correctly and preserved when copied. Builtin editor and viewer allows you to work with files in any DOS/Windows encodings, and also UTF-8 and UTF-16.
Using EBCD you can backup your data from IDE, SCSI and SATA fixed disks to USB Flash, FireWire removable devices, or other fixed disks; and restore it when necessary.
EBCD can be downloaded from http://www.prime-expert.com/ebcd/download.php .
When download is complete, you can burn ISO to the CD/DVD media according to this instruction. Also it explains how to set up BIOS to boot from CD and verify that CD/DVD was burned properly.
We recommend using rewritable media CD-RW/DVD-RW/DVD+RW discs rather than write-once CD-R/DVD-R/DVD+R.
Demo version of EBCD will be sufficient to save your files from unbootable computer.
2. About EBCD File Manager
EBCD file manager is classic two-panel file manager like Far Manager and Total Commander for Windows, like GNU Midnight Commander for Linux/Unix, or like Norton Commander for DOS.
For more information on this topic refer to EBCD user guide volume "Introduction to file manager".
See also article in the Wikipedia: Orthodox file manager
3. Step By Step Guide
Boot EBCD, choose "File Manager" in the main menu.
1. Choose target folder
Open the drive you are going to backup to, in the one of file manager panels. To do this, press Alt+F1 key.
In popup window choose target drive using ↑ (UP) and ↓ (DOWN) keys, then Enter or by clicking it.
The following screenshot shows choosing of drive E: (USB flash thumbdrive).
Left panel should display contents of chosen drive. In this example, it shows contents of drive E:.
If target folder already exists, enter into it in file manager. If this folder is
non-empty, delete its contents or use some other folder for backup.
If backup drive does not yet contain target folder, then you may create it (F7).
2. Select files and folders to backup from the source disk
In another panel of file manager, choose source drive for backup. Press Alt+F2 to do this.
In popup window choose desired drive using ↑ (UP) and ↓ (DOWN) keys, then Enter or by clicking it. The following screenshot shows choosing of drive C:
Right panel shows contents of chosen drive. You may navigate to desired subfolder using ↑ (UP), ↓ (DOWN) and Enter keys. (Tab key changes active panel.)
Select files and folders to backup (on right panel). Use Ins key to mark them yellow,
also you can use NumpadPlus and NumpadMinus to mark/unmark by file name mask like *.docx.
The following screenshot shows right panel with selected files, ready for backup.
3. Start backup process
To copy selected files and folders (right panel of file manager in this example) to destination folder on the backup drive (left panel in this example) press F5 key, while right panel is active (Tab key changes active panel).
A popup window should occur. Press Enter key or click Copy in popup window to confirm target path.
Backup process should start immediately. You should see progress window showing information
about files being copied.
If you backup to removable media, like USB flash, you should see asterisk on yellow background in the right bottom corner of your screen.
Asterisk shows that removable device is in use now and you should not unplug or eject it.
Wait until asterisk disappears and then unplug device or eject the disk. If you fail to do so, data loss may occur.
If you want to interrupt file copying, press F10 or Esc.
When copying is done, progress window disappears.
The last screenshot shows contents of System_backup folder of drive E: after backup.