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I have a messed up hard drive that, when I boot it, just drops to initramfs. I am a newbie to ubuntu, and I think the hard drive is failing. Is there any way to "take my files and run", per say? Like, on a disk or a flash drive, or even just from my livecd? Thanks

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Yes, you can. It does not matter if it is a livecd or a bootable flash drive. You just mount your partitions in the live session and then you can start copy the files.

To mount a disk from a livecd you to know 3 commands.

List your partitions, you need to know the device names, like /dev/sda1.

sudo fdisk -l

Mount the disk, lets say that you want to mount /dev/sda1. You dont need to specify filesystem if you use ext file systems.

 sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

Now you can copy your files from /mnt with the filemanager.

And you might need to unmount the disk

sudo umount /mnt
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