How to Backup Files/Data When Windows on Computer Won’t Boot


Learn an easy way to backup files and data from the computer with the help of Ubuntu Linux when Windows won’t boot.

Windows OS seems to be so easy to use, because of it’s easy to use user interface. However, whenever things go wrong on our computer we get stuck, as we don’t know the internal working of our machines and the OS. One of the similar kinds of situation occurs when suddenly your system ruuning Windows refuses to boot. 


Whenever Windows stops booting generally Windows reinstallation is the way to go. However, for this, you need to format your hard drive and as obvious, you will lose all of your data. To overcome this situation here is a guide on how to backup files when Windows stops booting.

For this we will be using a bootable USB flash drive and run Ubuntu through it access the files and folders in your PC. Once you get access to your files, you can copy them to a hard drive by connecting it to your PC’s USB port.

Recommended Read: How to uninstall Preinstalled Apps on Windows 8


  • USB Drive
  • Ubuntu ISO Image file
  • Rufus:  Tool to create bootable flash drive

How to Backup data files when Windows Stops booting using Ubuntu Flash Drive.

Step 1: Download Ubuntu ISO image file from the below link.

             Download : Ubuntu ISO Image file

Step 2: Download Rufus to create bootable drive from the below link.

              Download: Rufus

Step 3: Connect your USB device to PC.

Step 4: Once you have downloaded Rufus, double-click on it to open it.

Note: Rufus is a portable application thus doesn’t require installation.

Step 5: From Rufus window, click on device and select your USB device.

Step 6: Select “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers”  for Partition scheme and target system type.

Step 7: Select system as “FAT32 (Default).

Step 8: Let Cluster Size as default.

Step 9: In format Option select or Check the following options.

“Quick format”
“Create a bootable disk using “
“Create extended label and icon files”

Step 10:  Now click on Drive icon beside “create a bootable disk using” and select your downloaded Ubuntu ISO image file.

Step 11: All set, click on start to begin the process.

create-backup-when-windows-won't boot.PNG

Wait for few minutes and you will have a bootable Ubuntu Linux flash drive. Once completed, follow below instruction to backup files from your computer.

Step 1: Connect your USB device to PC.

Step 2: Turn it on by pressing power button.

Step 3: Now keep pressing F11 to bring up boot selection menu.

Step 4: Once you see Boot selection menu, use your keyboard arrow key to select your USB Flash drive device as boot device.

Step 5: Once you select your USB as boot device, you will see a Ubuntu Welcome screen with two options Try Ubuntu and Install Ubuntu.

Step 6: Select Try Ubuntu.

Step 7: That’s it. Now that you are logged in, you can access files on your computer’s hard drive.

Step 8: Now if you want to copy all the important files then simply connect a external hard drive to your computer.

Step 9: Click on Explorer icon, copy files or folders and paste it into your external drive.  

Now if you need you can format  and reinstall Windows on your PC. Once done, move all the files back to your PC from your external hard drive. 


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