I'm using Windows Vista, however, the OS had numerous problems so I decided to fix it with the installation disc. Yet, I can't seem to find it so I'm planning to use Ubuntu as the OS and backup the files from Vista. Is that possible? If so, can you explain how it could be done.

Note: It's possibility it could be either Windows Vista OR Windows 7. Also you may noticed that I'm new to Linux OS, so I need help switching over from Windows to Linux.


Is you current windows install working/bootable? If so, you could simply use an external hard drive to copy files from Windows and the restore files to your new Ubuntu install. It should be easier if your external HD is formatted as FAT32.

If your Windows install is not working, you could use Ubuntu LiveCD to boot your computer, plug your external hard drive and copy the files.


Welcome to Linux! Welcome to Ubuntu!
There are two main methods. Both work for Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  • If your Vista OS is working, then just copy all your data to an external drive or disc. Then install Ubuntu on top of Vista, wiping out Vista completely. Plug in your drive and you can see your data.

  • Make a LiveCD or LiveUSB (for example using Unetbootin), plug in. transfer your data to somewhere safe, such as an external hard drive, and tnen install Ubuntu. If you are storing your data within the computer in any drive, then be careful during the partitioning step in installing Ubuntu not to erase that drive.

If you have data stored in default kind of folders in Windows like Documents, Downloads or Pictures, then to access those in Ubuntu LiveCD, just go to the drive where Windows is installed (there won't be any "C" drive or "D" drive, just drive names like "Personal Drive" and/or their storage sizes like "150GB File System". Search you Windows OS drive by that and then go to folder Users (if that's not there then that is definitely not your Windows drive) and then to the folder that has username you use to login to your Windows User account in Windows (like "Ryan Jobs", "Kitty Kole" etc.). There you will find the Documents or Pictures or Downloads folder from Windows.

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