Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tech Notes:-Using Knoppix Linux Boot CD to Back Up Your Personal Data

What is Knoppix?

Knoppix is a Linux boot CD created by Klaus Knopper. Knoppix can be used on most Windows computers and is best suited for instances where your Windows operating system has been corrupted and you are unable to boot into your desktop workspace. Knoppix is basically an entire operating system (like Windows) on a single CD. Your computer loads the Linux operating system stored on the CD instead of your normal Windows operating system, when you boot from your CD-ROM drive. This allows you to bypass any faults or errors that are occurring in Windows and access the data stored on your hard drive. Knoppix sports an intuitive graphical user interface that, when combined with the instructions below, is easy for anyone to use.

Where can I get a Knoppix boot CD?

The Knoppix software can be downloaded from the Knoppix web site ( and burned to a CD. However, the file is quite large (700 MB), so a high-speed Internet connection is recommended, and the site can be somewhat difficult to navigate.

External Storage Devices

If you are using Knoppix to access and back up your data, you will need something to store the data on once you have booted up using the Knoppix CD. Depending on how much data you need to back up, this could be a USB flash drive or a USB hard drive. A USB flash drive is usually smaller than a hard drive. If you are only backing up a limited number of documents or files, this will be sufficient. If you are backing up a larger amount of data, such as pictures and music, a USB hard drive may be necessary.

Using a Knoppix Boot CD to Back Up Your Data

Note: Before starting in on these instructions, make sure that your computer is set to boot from a CD

  1. Turn on your computer and place the Knoppix CD in your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Once you have booted from the Knoppix CD, you will see the following screen. Press the Enter key.

    Knoppix will begin a colorful, text-based initialization stage that will look like this:

    After Knoppix has finished initializing, it will load the graphical user interface:

    When Knoppix is finished booting up, your screen will look like this:

  3. Close the Knoppix 4.0.2 - Konqueror window by clicking on the X in the upper right-hand corner of the window.
  4. Insert your USB hard drive or USB flash drive into an open port on your computer. A new icon will appear below the Trash icon on the desktop named something like to sda1.

  5. You will need to set the permissions on the USB device to allow Knoppix to create new folders and transfer items from your hard drive to the USB device. Right click on the icon for your USB device and choose Properties, then click on the Permissions tab.
  6. On the Permissions tab, change the Group and Others drop-down menus to Can Read & Write and check the Is executable box.

  7. Next click on the Device tab. On the Device tab, remove the check from the Read only box and click the OK button.

  8. On the desktop, click on the icon for your USB device. Knoppix will “mount” the device and then open a window to show you the contents.

  9. If you already have data on the USB device, it will display in this window. Create a new folder to store the data that you are attempting to back up. Right click in the empty space in the right-hand side of the window and choose Create New, then choose Folder.

Note: If the Create New option does not appear when you right click, you have not set the permissions correct according to the directions above. Go back to step 5 and continue from there.

10. The New Folder window allows you to enter a name for the new folder you just created. In the example below, the new folder is called “backup”. Once the folder has been created, it will appear in the right side of the window.

11. Next you need to locate the files on your local hard drive that you want to back up. Drag the USB device’s window to the upper right-hand corner of the screen and look back on the desktop. Click on the Hard Disk icon to display its contents.

Note: If you have more than one hard drive, or a single hard drive with two partitions on it, you will see two Hard Disk icons (most probably hda0 and hda1). You will need to check each one to see which contains the files you want to back up.

12. Select the files and folders you want to back up and drag them to the USB device window backup folder. In this example, we are going to back up the My Documents folder.

- In the Hard Disk contents window, click on Documents and Settings folder (which may display as Documents a…).

- Find the folder with your Windows account user name and click on it.

- Find the My Documents folder and click and drag it to the USB device window. When you release the mouse button, a pop-up menu will appear.

- Choose Copy and Knoppix will copy the data from the hard drive to the USB device.

13. Now that your data has been backed up, you can disconnect the USB device. In Knoppix, you have to do this carefully to prevent damaging the device or data loss. Right click on the icon for the USB device and choose Unmount. It may take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes to unmount itself.

14. After it has finished unmounting, drag the USB device’s icon to the Trash icon on the desktop. Click Yes to confirm you want to remove the device. You should no longer see the USB device icon on the desktop. It is now safe to unplug it from the computer.

15. To shut down the computer properly in Knoppix, click the "K" button on the far left of the bottom tool bar and choose Log Out from the options presented.

16. On the End Session for "knoppix" screen, choose Turn off Computer. Your computer will run through the shut down process and your CD-ROM drive will open. Remove the Knoppix disc and press the Enter key.

You have completed backing up your data using a Knoppix boot CD.

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