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How To Backup From Command Prompt

This is a discussion on How To Backup From Command Prompt within the Windows 10 Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi! My brother did it again. I tell him not to click yes on windows that pop-up on screen, but


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Old 05-24-2020, 05:03 PM   #1
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Hi! My brother did it again. I tell him not to click yes on windows that pop-up on screen, but he just clicks away. He doesn't know if he clicked on something or opened an e-mail from somebody he doesn't know, however, now his computer won't start. It runs windows 10. It goes through a repair routine, restarts and says it can't fix it. I went through the advance recovery steps, trying everything including restore and roll back last updates, but nothing. I'm trying to recover some files before I killdisk and start over using the command prompt. The prompt comes up as \windows\system32. I changed it to c:\, but when I use DIR it shows 1 File 0 bytes and 0 Dir 106,xxx,xxx bytes. I tried to change the directory to a directory I know is on the drive, but I get---Volume is system reserved, or if I don't use \ Invalid path. I tried to copy his Thunderbird profile---xcopy /e /i C:\users\xxxxx\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\ D:, and I get path not found. I've tried it without the backslash after Profiles with the same result. and the same with a backslash after D: What am I doing wrong? I'd like to at least get Thunderbird backed up and maybe some other files. Before I Killdisk, I'm going to try and reinstall, and see if I can save his files. However, I'd like to at least have the peace of mind that I saved some of the files. Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:46 PM   #2
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Try Britechguys excellent tutorial here: https://www.techsupportforum.com/for...t-1240348.html
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:14 PM   #3
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Well, how is the e-mail being accessed under Thunderbird? If by IMAP, then there's really no need to try to snag anything other than, perhaps, contacts, and not even those if you've been using a contact sync-ing add-on.

I suspect you will end up having to do a completely clean reinstall, the proverbial "nuke and pave," based on what you've offered so far. There are infection vectors that, once unleashed, destroy things beyond any repair.

Situations like this point up, again, why it is absolutely, positively vital for any computer user to acquire an external backup drive, select a backup and recovery suite, and establish a regular, cyclic full system image backup protocol. I care far less about whether they are able to do the recovery independently than I am about the fact that backups are being taken that allow same, and then the backup drive safely stowed away, not connected to the machine, until the time comes for the next backup to be taken. This is essential for any computer owner, but ultra-essential when you have someone who cannot control their own impulses with regard button pushing and link clicking, inviting inevitable destruction.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I'll try the reinstall tomorrow, but why can't I copy any files from the command prompt? Shouldn't dos be independent of the operating files? I mean, if a file was corrupted that disallows start up, shouldn't I still be able to access the directories? Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:35 PM   #5
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If you can't boot Windows, how will you get to command prompt?

If you are able to get to Command Prompt, regardless of exactly how you do it, and the drive being discussed is accessible, you should be able to access the files if the file system itself is undamaged.

It could be easier to pull the drive and connect it to another computer using the appropriate cable (and, possibly, power supply) if you can't get to command prompt.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:40 PM   #6
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In Command Prompt, first find out which drive letter has been assigned to the Windows partition. Run DISKPART then LIST VOLUME to see the list of mounted volumes and the drive letters, if any. The Windows partition is NOT always assigned drive letter C: in the Windows Recovery Environment or Windows Preinstallation Environment, which is where you're running Command Prompt from.

You can also install Windows afresh without deleting or formatting partitions. All the existing files and folders on the Windows partition will be moved to a folder called Windows.old, from where you can access and retrieve what you need to restore. I do this all the time with client machines because it saves hours of backing up the data to a separate drive then restoring after the install. This is because moving stuff from one location to another in the same partition does not physically move the data and happens in a flash.

Alternatively, you can spare yourself a lot of agony and use live Linux session to easily browse the partition and copy what you need from it, or delete everything except the Users folder, which you can rename to, say, DATABACKUP then install Windows without formatting the partition. After the install, the databackup folder will be there for you to retrieve what you want from it.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I'll try those commands. also, I downloaded Rescatux live cd. One question---how do I copy files using live cd as the disc drive will be using the live cd. Thanks
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:31 AM   #8
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If not already mounted, You mount the Windows drive you need, while in Linux and copy them to a usb drive like you would in Windows.

https://www.howtogeek.com/236807/how...rive-on-linux/
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake's7 View Post
Thanks for the responses. I'll try those commands. also, I downloaded Rescatux live cd. One question---how do I copy files using live cd as the disc drive will be using the live cd. Thanks
Copy files to an external drive or flash disk, not the live cd.
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses. I finally accessed the files using the Ubuntu Live disk and copied what I needed. Then I DBANned the drive and did a fresh install of Windows 10. What ever caused the problem, I didn't want any part of it left on the drive. Now, if I can train my brother not to click all over the place...Thanks. By the way, I don't know how to mark this as solved.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake's7 View Post
Thanks for the responses. I finally accessed the files using the Ubuntu Live disk and copied what I needed. Then I DBANned the drive and did a fresh install of Windows 10. What ever caused the problem, I didn't want any part of it left on the drive. Now, if I can train my brother not to click all over the place...Thanks. By the way, I don't know how to mark this as solved.
you can mark the tread as solved under thread tools above first post
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Mark thread solved under thread tools when issue has been resolved.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
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you can mark the tread as solved under thread tools above first post
For the sake of visual completeness:

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