Ever heard of the product linux puppy? its really a lifesaver.i'v had friends, relatives, co-workers, .. get into the "handstied" dilemma. now let me describe the "handstied" dilemma: "your system refuses to boot, occasionally it boots up completely but seems to freeze,you try a system restore(like my friend Kay always would), still d same thing, u cant get hold of your operating system CD/DVD,or maybe you even have your OS CD/DVD but a repair(in the case of windows XP) doesn't solve the problem,you'v had it up to "here" with trying, you just want a way to get your important files out and do a clean format/install. Now thats the "handstied" dilemma.LINUX PUPPY to the rescue..
Now heres the procedure for getting and using linux puppy:
A.) Please take the opportunity now to bring your back up/archive/copy of all your important stuff 100% up to date, check that it's accurate, reproducible and held securely on removable media (not your hard drive)......
the idea here is to ensure that all your important data, files, spreadsheets, work, music, emails, log in details, user names, address book, drivers, letters, invoices, videos etc....in fact everything that is important to you (stuff that you would not like to permanently lose) is kept safe on external media. I recommend the use of a USB external hard drive for this.
Whilst you are doing this, collect together all your application installation discs (or downloaded installation executables) serial numbers, product licence keys (including the one for Windows itself and the Microsoft Windows installation disc and or Manufacturer's Restore and Driver/utilities discs.
If you have made a "disc image" using Paragon, Acronis, Ghost or one of the free disc imaging alternatives then keep this image safe also on removable media, verify it for correctness and reproducibility and ensure you have made a bootable CD/DVD for use in the event that Windows will not start.
Now here's the detailed instructions on how to download Puppy and burn it as an image.
B.) Download Linux Puppy from here:
Its a download of only about 100MB, so a broadband connection is advisable for the download... Puppy is an alternative operating system..... it does not need Windows to run, and the licence to use it is free of charge and comes included automatically. It is different in its interface from Windows, but sufficiently intuitive for most folks to use it successfully without problem.
C.) Burn the iso (that you have downloaded) to CD ROM as an "image"...it must be as an image, a copy will not work!........Imgburn is good for this, available from here:
NOTE by following this procedure you will have created a "self contained" operating system" (Linux Puppy and a bootable CD ROM all in one!
D.) Switch on your "original" computer and Set Bios to Boot from CD as first priority...on most Dells it's F2 to enter the Bios (set up) otherwise try F12, Esc or Delete.On some older Compaqs and HP's try F1, for Acers try F1 or F2 or Ctrl +Alt+Esc (the first screen on boot up usually gives the keys to press to enter "Set Up"..BIOS)
NOTE you will need to press the appropriate key (to enter the Bios) immediately after power on.
Your hard drive should be next in priority followed by USB/network if the settings provide these options. Remember to save your altered settings in the Bios before exiting
E.) With your external back up media plugged in to a USB port I.E. External USB hard drive, flash drive etc and the Linux Puppy CD ROM inserted into the CD drive, close down your machine and:
F.) Boot from the CD, you may get a message to "press any key to continue booting from CD" so allow this, Now follow the on-screen Linux Puppy prompts (remember don't install it) let it run in memory, it will be quite happy doing so, and will allow you access to your Hard drive so you can copy off to your external media anything you need. You will soon get used to Puppy and you'll find that you will be able to use the Internet and do most things that you want to do. However as you need to back up your files, I suggest you concentrate on copying off your important stuff first.If you are not experienced with using Linux then an easy way to copy files is to open windows of both the C drive from which you want to copy stuff and also your flash/USB drive, and then just use "drag and drop"/"copy and paste. Puppy will provide full support for USB drives and you should soon find you get the hang of things/i]
Wheww!! now that was easy aint it? so now you are ready to for a clean install.after installation copy your files back in place. Good luck with PUPPY.