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SliTaz to the rescue!
  • monzmonz February 2010
    I just had a wonderful experience with SliTaz this afternoon, and want to share it with all those here who love SliTaz as much as i do.

    A friend of mine had a c.2001 Dell Latitude laptop running Windows XP which he used for work. About a month ago, he found that it would boot into Windows but then after 5 minutes he got the dreaded BSOD ("Blue Screen of Death", for those lucky computer users who aren't familiar with it). I was confident that i could use SliTaz to help him somehow, at least to recover his data, but hopefully to actually get the machine working again.

    So i put the SliTaz 2.0 CD into the drive and powered on. Nothing but error messages. The BIOS did not see a hard-drive, and it also didn't see a CD player. The hard-drive thing turned out to be stupid human error: he actually had taken the drive out of the machine, so it really was not there. But he had it with him, screwed into another holder because he had tried to retrieve it on another machine with no success. And luckily i also had a floppy-disk with the 1-disk BG-TLB (Bob Giannone's Tiny Linux Bootdisk), and the machine did boot from that.

    So with BG-TLB i was able to use fdisk -l to see the hard-drive parititions, but while BG-TLB can mount vfat filesystems, it lacks the ntfs tools, so i could not mount the hard-drive to examine it. But then surprise!, i was also able to mount the SliTaz CD, altho i could only see a few of the files on it.

    At this point i was thinking that that was as far as i could go, BG-TLB is just too small to work on Windows XP partitions. But just to try it, i turned the machine off and took out the floppy, trying to boot SliTaz from the CD, and lo and behold, it worked!

    So then he finally saw the data that he has been needing for so long, and we saved the most important bits of it onto a floppy disk. I also tried to install GRUB from the command-line, hoping that if the problem was due to a virus overwriting the Master Boot Record, GRUB would overwrite that and he might be able to boot into Windows again. But again, i got a message that the BIOS could not find a suitable block device.

    So having gone this far, i finally twisted his arm into giving me permission to partition the hard-drive and install SliTaz, thinking that the slitaz-installer would put GRUB onto the MBR with no problem. And i was right. So now, he has his Windows machine back, and he also has a small (1 GB) Slitaz to play around with. He's been wanting to do that anyway, so this was really good.

  • minilinminilin February 2010
    Hi monz

    Congratulations for your successful rescue.
    I think it was really exciting;-)

    Gruß Jupp
  • slant6slant6 February 2011
    \ I'm the guy! Now I'm here trying to figure out why the cd drive disappeared,  and monzo's post is the first hit I tried not knowing it was about me! The world spins in a circle, I guess.
  • Trixar_zaTrixar_za February 2011
    Funny how that works hey? Which version of SliTaz are you using? The drive disappearing can be caused by several things, but the most common cause would be HAL being unable to detect it or the disc within it properly. What does the dmesg command say when you put a disc in the drive?

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