How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

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MtnDewManiac
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How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by MtnDewManiac »

Hello,

Have an issue with my laptop hard drive (bad sector in the worst location, I suppose). I can no longer boot into the installed Mint OS. However, the files are still there. I know this, because some time ago, I followed a forum member's directions to "install" the actual live .ISO into my grub menu. The .ISO file is physically located in the same partition that my installed Mint occupies. The .ISO is just another file on that partition's file system, lol.

And I am able to boot into that live .ISO. My problem is, I am not knowledgeable enough to access my hard drive from within the live OS environment. It has Thunar on it (Xfce version, Mint 19.2). If I remember correctly, someone helped me figure this out once before, but that was way back when Mint 14 was brand new, and I cannot remember how to do it.

I have tried doing web searches for this, but have had no luck. I keep ending up in threads/articles from people unable to INSTALL to their hard drive. I only want to read files from it. I have tax documents, and personal files that are important to me on it that I need to "offload," either onto a USB flash drive that I have, that Internet cloud thing that I read something about a while back, or both. Someone told me that my issue is the first sign of a failing hard drive, and I may not have much time / many reboots into the live OS environment remaining before it is too late.

Thanks in advance!
Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
deepakdeshp
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by deepakdeshp »

Do you know where are your files? Which partition? Is it a plain install or with encryption and lvm?
If you know your partition size you can find your partition .

Code: Select all

 df -m /dev/sd*
gives sizes in megabytes.
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I am using Mint 20 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by pbear »

At a guess, you're thinking of ISO boot. Works well enough, but you would have had to set it up while the system was still working. Also, I'm skeptical it would still work if the hard drive is unable to boot the internal drive. ISO Boot uses the hard drive, of course, not only to boot but to load the live session.

Probably you're best option would be to create a live USB or DVD on a friend's computer, then boot from that.
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MtnDewManiac
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by MtnDewManiac »

deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:42 am
Do you know where are your files?
Yes and no. I have found the one partition - it is showing up in the live ISO Thunar as the "isodevice" directory. I am still unable to even see any other partitions, though. And that one isn't showing up as a partition.
deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:42 am
Which partition?
deepakdeshp wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:42 am
Is it a plain install or with encryption and lvm?
Just regular partitions. Well... I'm not real up on the tech stuff. Partition 1 was originally a Windows 8 partition, entire 750-gigabyte hard drive. I think I deleted it, formatted it, something. This was several years ago when I received the laptop. Then I shrank the space to 157 gigabytes. Created partition 2 as a 593-gig "extended partition," it's like a box I guess? Something about needing to do that to put additional partitions in the box instead of just creating them like the normal regular one or something, I'm not really sure; I followed instructions way back when. Anyway, inside partition 2 is Partition 6 which is a 577-gig partition, and partition 5 which is a 16-gig swap partition. Partition 6 is Ext4 and has Mint 17 Xfce (yes I know it has expired, was in the process of testing the 19 to make sure it works on my computer so I would know if I could use it as my everyday one or need to use 18). Partition 1 is Ext3 or Ext4; the latter, I think. It has Mint 19(.2?) on it. I had just about decided it works for me and was going to ask with help in figuring out how to do a one-disk install (no functional DVD drive and computer doesn't boot from USB) when I read that 19.3 cane out, which has the new Xfce. So I would have downloaded and installed it to test in partition 1.

Partition 1 is the one I don;t know how to access. The live OS doesn't see anything except the partition that the .ISO is on. It has blinders on, so to speak, and I don't know how to sneak past them any more (forgot).

Partition 1 is /dev/sda1. Partition 6 is /dev/sda6. I have no idea where partition 3 and 4 are, or if they ever existed. There is no room for any others now, lol. Maybe they were main and swap in a previous install? I had another mint before 17. 14, I think.
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by MtnDewManiac »

pbear wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:33 pm
At a guess, you're thinking of ISO boot. Works well enough, but you would have had to set it up while the system was still working. Also, I'm skeptical it would still work if the hard drive is unable to boot the internal drive. ISO Boot uses the hard drive, of course, not only to boot but to load the live session.

Probably you're best option would be to create a live USB or DVD on a friend's computer, then boot from that.
IDK what that iso boot is. The hard drive boots fine, otherwise I wouldn't be able to select the 19.2 .ISO from my grub menu and boot into it. There's just some kind of error on it that won't let me boot either of the installed distros (17 or 19.2). I did some disk scan or other that I found either in the live OS or in that weird terminal thing that grub throws me into when the boot to 17.3 (installed distro) fails. Mint 19.2 (installed distro) looks like it throws up the same megawall of text and errors, but it just reruns the grub instead of going to the weird terminal.

The disk scab - it might have SMART in the name, or maybe it just said it could only scan SMART drives, I was pretty exhausted by that time as I have not been sleeping well for a while, then messed with this for most of the night. But it said the drive health was fine, only ONE bad sector. Seems to be sector 2048. Or maybe 204B? I can't hardly see any more and can't afford to replace my old broken glasses right now. Speaking of which, I hope my posts in this thread are legible - I am using an old borrowed 7" tablet becayse it is bigger than the cell phone (and has a little real physical keyboard!), but it is still almost like looking at a screen full of little blurry black dots instead of letters/numbers. Also, some of the keys are in odd positions on the keyboard, need to hold Fn key to get certain common characters like ', ", et cetera. If I must, I will use the Firefox on the 19,2 .ISO, but that gets kind of awkward. Plus, I don't know how much time is left before the hard drive gets worse, abd am trying to "save it" as much as possible for when I can copy files off of it. I only have a couple of small-capacity USB flash drives, and there is a LOT of data. A good friend has offered to donate a working replacement hard drive, but he lives on the other side of the country and his governor was intelligent enough to institudte a shelter4-in-place order some time back. So he cannot go to the post office at this time. I assume if/when he is allowed to go mail it, I can copy as much as my thumb drives will hold, shut the computer down, remove the current hard drive, put in the new one, copy the files over, pyt the old drive back in, copy more files off of it, and keep doing that until... Oh. I'll have to figure out how to get some kind of OS onto the new hard drive, first, won't I? Well, he does linux and is pretty smart so maybe he can do that and partition it into three or four partitions so I can do the GRML rescue trick to put 19.3 on it in one and use it to install itself to one of the other partitions. Complicated, I guess.

Continued thanks to those who are trying - or will try - to help me with this extreme issue.
Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by MtnDewManiac »

Hey, I just thought of something:

.The one partition that I can see because it is the .ISO"s "isodevice." The hard drive scan thing tells me there is only ONE bad sector. I was thinking earlier that I should be able to find whichever file is messed up, rename it to file.NFG, beg one of you to send me a copy of a it, and save it into the proper directory. Wouldn't that work, at least temporarily?

But I do not know how to determine which file is bad. I thought it might be in the /boot or /boot/grub directory, so I tried copying that onto my flash drive, having assumed I would get an error message and know the culprit. Thinking that it must be something that grub tries to access very early in tthe process, since the same error effects both distro installations. However, I received no error message, so that means the error is elsewhere. Any way to figure that out>
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by pbear »

MtnDewManiac wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:25 am
IDK what that iso boot is.
What you are doing is called ISO boot. I thought you were asking how to do it. On re-read of the OP, I understand that's working already. You just want to know how to access files from a live session, right? Easy. Open File Manager. The internal hard drive will be listed on the left, under Devices. Click it, that will mount it and you can access files the same as always, including copy to USB.
... abd am trying to "save it" as much as possible for when I can copy files off of it. I only have a couple of small-capacity USB flash drives, and there is a LOT of data. A good friend has offered to donate a working replacement hard drive .... I assume ... I can copy as much as my thumb drives will hold, shut the computer down, remove the current hard drive, put in the new one, copy the files over, pyt the old drive back in, copy more files off of it, and keep doing that until... Oh. I'll have to figure out how to get some kind of OS onto the new hard drive, first, won't I?
What you need is a SATA-to-USB adapter. If you can borrow one, that will be fine, as you're not likely to need it again any time soon. Then you could install to the new hard drive from your current system, then swap it in. Or you could burn the ISO to one of your USB drives (use USB Image Writer), install the hard drive, install Mint, then copy files off the old drive to the new one, attaching it to the computer with the adapter.
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Re: How to Use Live .ISO to Access Hard Drive?

Post by trytip »

if you can't boot either something broke in your hardware or software which one is it?
timeshift back to when you were able to boot have you tried that? means boot with your live-mint and open timeshift there
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