Backing up data from an unbootable Windows PC can be a frustrating job, especially for novice users. If your PC running Windows 10/8/7 is not booting up, you might want to back up all data to an external drive before reinstalling the Windows 10/8/7 operating system.
In the past, we have covered a few methods out there to easily back up files from unbootable Windows PC. You can refer to our 4 ways to back up data when Windows PC won’t boot guide to know different methods out there to backup data.
In addition to these methods, one can also prepare and use an Ubuntu bootable USB to back up data from unbootable Windows PC.
Back up data from PC using Ubuntu live USB
In this guide, we will see how to download and use Ubuntu to back up data from unbootable PCs.
Step 1: First of all, download the Ubuntu ISO from the official Ubuntu website and then prepare the bootable USB of Ubuntu on your PC running Windows 10/8/7. To prepare the bootable USB, please refer to step-by-step directions in our how to prepare bootable Ubuntu USB on Windows 10 guide.
Step 2: Enable booting from USB by making necessary changes to the BIOS. Please refer to your PC’s manufacturer’s website as the steps are different for all manufacturers.
Step 3: After making necessary changes to the BIOS to boot from USB, restart your PC, press any key if asked to do so.
Step 4: When you get the following Install screen, select your language on the left side, and then click the Try Ubuntu button on the right side. In a few seconds, you will get the Ubuntu desktop.
Step 5: Connect your external hard to your PC, if you wish to back up data to an external drive. If you want to move data from one internal drive to another, you can do so as well.
Step 6: To back up data from your PC, click on the Files icon (refer to the picture below) to open the Home location.
Step 7: Click the Other locations option located on the left pane to see all drives on your PC. Your Windows 10 drive and other drives should now appear.
Step 8: Navigate to the drive from where you would like to back up data, select files and folders (hold down Ctrl key and then click on files/folders to select) that you would like to back up, right-click, and then click the Copy to option.
Step 9: Click on your external drive in the left pane to open the same.
If the external drive is showing up in the left pane, click on the Other locations option located on the left pane to see all drives, including your external hard drive.
Step 10: Click the Select button (located top right) to copy the selected content. You won’t see a large dialog to show you the progress. Instead, a small icon will appear next to the search icon (refer to the picture below) clicking the same will reveal the progress bar.
You may repeat these steps for all files and folders you would like to back up from your PC.
Step 11: Finally, click on the small down arrow on the menu (refer to the picture below), click on the power icon, and then click Power Off button to turn off your PC.
You may now remove the connected bootable Ubuntu USB from your PC.