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True Stories of Knoppix Rescues

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the and-it-fits-in-your-wallet dept.

Hardware Hacking 335

Omniscientist writes "We've all been there: Our system is on the edge of death and we need to either fix it or retrieve important data that still remains hidden away in its dying clutches. LinuxDevCenter has a funny article on a heroic tale of a sysadmin relying on Knoppix to save the day. I for one, always make a boot disk in case of problems, but Knoppix can turn a bad day into a good one for just about anyone. Perhaps every administrator should have a Knoppix CD on reserve."

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Offtopic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312307)

but how is this story "Hardware Hacking"?

Re:Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312335)

NOTICE: SLASHVERTISEMENT

This is simply an article by the author of "Knoppix Hackxorsz" or some such Bill O'Reily No spin factor book.

F'en republicans!

READ. ITS FUNNY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312551)

I'm using Knoppix as a FreeSBEE replacement.
:r!laugh --respectfully

Re:Offtopic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312690)

Most people use Knoppix to install cracked versions of Windows XP Professional.

Well... (4, Funny)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312323)

I, for one, welcome our new bootdisk making...

Aw, fuck it.

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312362)

Don't you mean "fsck it"?

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312375)

...maybe FDISK it?

Virtual to Virtual migration (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312330)

I have used knoppix and dd to migrate virtual machines from Virtual Server/Virtual PC to VMware. Now if that ain't a rescue, I don't know what is.

Re:Virtual to Virtual migration (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312506)

Great. As your next project, I recommend GETTING A FUCKING LIFE .

Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312677)

First of all, Virtual PC and WMware emulate different hardware. You might even have to recompile the kernel after "migrating", though you could probably get away with just removing and adding the correct modules. Secondly, I'm not sure how you would use dd to copy the disk. Both Virtual PC and WMware have their own different virtual disk image formats. I highly doubt you could just diretly copy the disk image and have it work. My best guess is that you booted up Virtual PC with the Knoppix live cd, use dd on the virtual disk to copy it to a physical disk or partition, then booted up VMware and copied the physical disk or partition to a VMware virtual disk image. If so, that sounds retarded. If not, tell me how you did it.

Re:Virtual to Virtual migration (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312857)

Works great to 'clone' a drive to a new bigger one. Just mount both hd's under the /mnt directory, go to /mnt/hda, type:

tar cf - . | (cd /mnt/hdb ; tar xf - )

Take a lunch break. When you get back, everything's been moved to your squeeky clean new drive. Then just dd the first sector or 2 off the old disk (the bootloader), and dd it onto the new one, & yer done.

The obviousness (5, Funny)

ZeeExSixAre (790130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312331)

The article is well-summed-up in this gem here:

I suppose the moral of this story is to be careful when you play around with the dd command and your MBR.

DOY!

Re:The obviousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312625)

People still use "doy!"?

1995 called and... you get the idea.

Re:The obviousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312804)

People still use "doy!"?

1995 called and...

People still use "1995 called..."? wow.... you ARE out-of-date!

Re:The obviousness (1)

ovit (246181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312678)

Hmm... whats this "dd" command...
I think i'll try it now...

dd of=/dev/hda1 if=/dev/null count=1000000

no problem!

td

I use it on crapped on WIndows boxes too.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312333)

works like a charm to save data on corrupted windows boxes..

Re:I use it on crapped on WIndows boxes too.. (5, Informative)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312718)

works like a charm to save data on corrupted windows boxes..

  1. INDEED! I've saved several millions of dollars worth of info by booting NT* servers with a Knoppix CD (or Gentoo before they dropped samba support from the live CDs). I was praised as a herald. Nope. It's not me. I just used the right tool for the right job. Recovering a Windows system with Windows is near impossible.


  2. Aside, I use Linux bootables (Gentoo mostly) for checking the life of my HDs. I run a Gentoo machine (installed near 3 year ago). hda has seen a LOT (even before I put Gentoo on it - it was an MDK drive after it was a Win* drive). I've noticed SMARTd telling me latley that his life may be running short these days, but, after a e2fsck, it's fine. /me shrugs. I still need to replace him regardless.

    It's only a 10G drive (I have 4 others, much larger, in this box), but he needs to be replaced soon.

    Aside, I've saved a LOT of Win* Servers / laptops / desktops with "Live CD's".

what a coincedence (5, Funny)

drunken dash (804404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312347)

i just burnt myself a cd of knoppix-3.8 the other day, for just this reason! although i've had no reason to use it (yet), im hoping my system starts acting up soon so i finally have an excuse to use it :P

Re:what a coincedence (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312391)

I have never needed to rely on knoppix. For every major failure, I just use the setup installation OS CDs to boot.

Re:what a coincedence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312616)

Maybe your being funny but I'll bite in case others fell the same!
Your method does work but is not always the best or fastest method. We have hundreds of machines. If a users goes down, we supply them a standard image on a new machine to work on while we retrieve what we can from the existing HD. With Knoppix, we can boot and pull stuff they require from the HD without using the native OS at all. We could spend time hoping to recover with the OS install CD but quite honestly, it will not save any time at all. What files were corrupt and replaced? Do we need to patch the machine again because of what might have been replaced? Are there bad sectors? Is the HD itself bad? The save off process with Knoppix (or similar) takes less then 5 minutes and over the network, we can copy back to their new machine what they need. The main advantage of a bootable CD is you do not rely on the potentially corrupt (either hardware or software), Knoppix fails much more gracefully when it gets to corrupt areas of a bad disk much better then W2K and XP do. You can still copy off what is readable without the OS choking and failing to allow further access to the disk.
To each is own but don't limit yourself to the OS disk simply out of spite. Knoppix is a very useful tool regardless if you specifically have never needed it.

Re:what a coincedence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312442)

There is no 3.8 its only up to 3.7

Re:what a coincedence (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312526)

That's what makes it such a huge coincidence.

Re:what a coincedence (1)

POLAX (690605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312549)

Where'd you get knoppix 3.8? None of the mirrors have it available...

3.8? (2, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312858)

If you want your system to start acting up, just boot that 3.8. Considering that 3.7 is the newest released, there is likely to be a big suprise waiting in whatever you downloaded marked Knoppix 3.8.

Damn Small Linux (5, Informative)

tuxliner (589414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312372)

In case you need a smaller, Knoppix based, distro : Damn Small Linux is much smaller and is very good as a system rescue tool too.

Re:Damn Small Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312490)

wonderful distro, lossy at pulling up a variety of disks, partitions and geometry in predicatable ways.

i've had to take dsl and throw it out the window on several occassions because it can't detect ordinary partitions on hda.

whip out my "recovery is possible" and i'm back in business. it see's my partitions just like slackware or redhat sees them.

dsl..."hello"...they're right there!!! wtf ....#fdisk -l...(stares)..(mouths some choice phrases)...cat /proc/ide/stuff cat /proc/partitions...ahhh fuck it. starts to rummage for RIP cd.

Re:Damn Small Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312578)

" wonderful distro, lossy at pulling up a variety of disks, partitions and geometry in predicatable ways.

i've had to take dsl and throw it out the window on several occassions because it can't detect ordinary partitions on hda.

whip out my "recovery is possible" and i'm back in business. it see's my partitions just like slackware or redhat sees them.

dsl..."hello"...they're right there!!! wtf ....#fdisk -l...(stares)..(mouths some choice phrases)...cat /proc/ide/stuff cat /proc/partitions...ahhh fuck it. starts to rummage for RIP cd.
"

I wish this made some sense

Re:Damn Small Linux (2, Interesting)

BaldGhoti (265981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312540)

Unfortunately, the name is frequently frowned upon by PHB's. "Does the name of that program use... PROFANITY?"

I've used Knoppix to recover data from a WinXP box with locked-down security--my fiancee's OS bit it when she installed XP SP2 and the files were restricted to her account, so I put a spare HD in her machine and copied over all of her data using Knoppix (which conveniently ignores Windows security settings). Then we did a full reinstall from scratch--no data loss at all.

PLD RescueCD (2, Informative)

persaud (304710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312735)

Contains 130Mb of tools on a 50 MB ISO [pld-linux.org] . Can run from RAM, so CD can be removed after boot.

INSERT (5, Informative)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312854)

If you're going to suggest a Knoppix-STD alternative, why not name one that's intended for data recovery and system restoration...

The only recovery disks that I've found worth using are a custom gentoo based live-cd and INSERT

Knoppix-STD or some other live disk is good for imaging and file recovery, but lacks real utility... like editing a windows 2000 registry, or doing vfat/ntfs hacking

Go Ahead, try INSERT [inside-security.de] (and yes, i know it's Knoppix Based)

I once saved the day with Knoppix (5, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312376)

A co-worker was trying to salvage some files from a dying Windows 98 machine. Win98 was having the damndest time accepting a USB memory drive (even with the right drivers installed). Five minutes with Knoppix and all his important files (mainly family tree stuff) was backed up to the USB memory drive.

Re:I once saved the day with Knoppix (4, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312557)

Christmas at my Daughter's house... her machine was playing up and I'd bought her a 256Mb USB Keydrive to use to keep her important data on...

cut a long story short... how the heck do you install a USB key drive onto a win98 system that has no internet connection and the driver files are only to be found on the USB drive that win98 recognises as new hardware, but won't actually scan it for the drivers as it hasn't allocated it a drive letter yet... well, Knoppix saved the day and allowed me to get the drivers copied off to a fresh directory on her hard drive so that win98 could then find them...

She now wants me to set it up dual boot for her as she was mightily impressed with how far Linux has come in the few years since she last played with it (Mandrake 7.2)

Wisdom from the yesteryears. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312382)

> Perhaps every administrator should have a Knoppix CD on reserve.

Duh? Let's hear some NEWS for nerds.

Why is this a story? (-1, Flamebait)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312383)

This guy should not be a sys-admin. First, he uses an IDE cable that is out of spec in a production server. Then he tries to install GRUB but doesn't read the paramters correctly and deletes his partition table. Knoppix is not really the story here; rather, the story is the fact that this guy does really dumb things. He did not even have the information on the system backed up.

This is more a cautionary tale more than anything else.

Re:Why is this a story? (4, Insightful)

BaldGhoti (265981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312440)

Oh, come on, like you've never fouled anything up the first time you tried to play with it.

Re:Why is this a story? (2)

unts (754160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312484)

Ditto!

I presume parent is some godlike person who never makes a mistake.

Re:Why is this a story? (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312489)

Yeah, but lotion seems to take care of that, after a little while.

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312529)

Oh, come on, like you've never fouled anything up the first time you tried to play with it.

Sure, I make mistakes, as everyone else. But I try to make the mistakes on a test machine instead of a production server.

RTFM (4, Informative)

BaldGhoti (265981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312593)

He didn't make these mistakes on a production server either. The first was on his main workstation (not a server) and the second was on his laptop (also not a server).

Really, if you wanna flame him, you'd be safer pointing out that this is just some guy dicking around on his home machine and managing to not scrag his mp3 collection thanks to the wonder of Knoppix.

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312560)

I am not that smart, but I have never messed up a production system because I run test systems. Even if I did make a mistake, it would not be because I used an out of spec IDE cable. I keep backups of my data, too, especially if I am going to be messing with the partition information in anyway--even when using Partition Magic. The obvious stuff, you know, that everyone should do, like look both ways before crossing the street.

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

BaldGhoti (265981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312636)

See my comment above: this was done on his personal workstation and his laptop respectively--not a production server.

Re:Why is this a story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312641)

Well, yea, fire is 'obviously' hot, but that doesn't stop people from playing with it. Until they get burned, at least.

Nothing is obvious until you have to go through it once.

To make a really extreme example: It seems obvious that a small chunk of ice flying at rediculous speeds could damage the leading edge of the Space Shuttle wing. Yet it still happened, and did we all call it 'obvious' before Columbia was lost?

Re:Why is this a story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312679)

What spec should i look for?

Re:Why is this a story? (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312474)

yes, but everyone does something profoundly stupid every once in awhile.

Knoppix is good for fixing the problem, regardless of whether the problem was caused by an ID10T error or an OS crash.

Re:Why is this a story? (0, Troll)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312555)

Using Knoppix to rescue a non-booting system .. common, people, they teach this stuff on Blues Clues! Is this news for nerds?

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

crazyeddie740 (785275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312587)

Eh, we all do stupid things. Sure, ideally, he shouldn't have screwed up. But it's nice to know you can fix things when you do screw up.

Re:Why is this a story? (2, Informative)

Software (179033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312599)

Well, he wasn't working on a server:

"The first and only time I experimented with out-of-spec IDE cables was on my main workstation."
And he had a reason for out of spec cables: he couldn't reach the connector on the motherboard.

For not reading GRUB parameters, well, there's just no excuse for that.

Re:Why is this a story? (3, Informative)

geekman (55648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312609)

I disagree. Every sysadmin I have ever known has made mistakes. Knowing how to bail yourself out is what makes you a great sysadmin. The person behind the previous post denies his/her own human qualities.

One other thing.... avoid doing dangerous admin commands when highly stressed or tired. I once deleted an entire directory I didn't intend to because I forgot the directory was hardlinked to another location.

As a result, 10 Virtual Servers, including a domain controller, suddenly blinked off. I had blown every one of them away in one misguided command.

Re:Why is this a story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312622)

The first and only time I experimented with out-of-spec IDE cables was on my main workstation.


For what it's worth, it looks like the guy was experimenting with his workstation at home.

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312623)

so.. in which fantasy land you don't have to make compromises?

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

FrankNputer (141316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312698)

OH MY GOD! CALL OUT THE MILITIA!!

Read it again. He didn't use the cable on a "production server", he used it on his workstation. And I suppose no sysadmin ever f'ed their partition table?

Damn. Lighten up.

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

RodRandom (734200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312724)

Since when does idiot-proofing do any harm?

Re:Why is this a story? (1)

russint (793669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312746)

"This guy should not be a sys-admin. First, he uses an IDE cable that is out of spec in a production server."

The guy clearly says that he only used out of spec IDE cables on his workstation.

enough ? maybe ? please, Y.A.K.A. (0)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312384)

/* I'm going to be foftopic again, nevermind.*/
I don't know, tell me, am I alone in feeling there were just one too many Knoppix-rescue articles on /. over the last months ? For God's sake, we really don't have anything else to talk about ?

I'm sure many hundreds of ./ users could come up with dozens of ways to rescue data with or without Knoppix, and most of us have some kind of rescue CD's. Do we really need Y.A.K.A. (Yet Another Knoppix Article) ?

I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312500)

Some guy rescues some data from a fubar'd system, writes about it in an article, and submits it to Slashdot. Repeat.

Don't get me wrong; Knoppix is useful for this kind of thing, but do we need to be reminded of it so often? Similarly, I am getting tired of finding the latest Microsoft bug posted to the frong page. We get it. Microsoft software is buggy. Can't you just make a "Microsoft BUGS" section so that I can ignore all those stories? They probably won't because that would cut their front page stories in half.

I agree, but... (2, Insightful)

schmobag (804002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312388)

...what's with the "Perhaps..."? IMHO, some kind of linux rescue cd is a sysadmin must-have.

Re:I agree, but... (system design) (2, Informative)

ardiri (245358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312828)

as a sysadmin for many years; you learn very quickly NOT to put anything valuable on the same drive that boots/manages the operating system.

i use /hda for booting/system and /hdb for *data*. if something screws up on any of the /hda partitions - you *reinstall* (or, try to recover it). bottom line is that none of your data gets messed up, because its on a *seperate drive* (note: not just seperate partition).

i even take it one level further now by putting anything i need (especially development tools/kits) as vmware disc images. this way, i can easily move stuff between machines - and, i just need to install vmware to get started (beats installing everything again).

operating systems should be something you can swap in/out without putting any of your valuable data at risk. hell, if you wanted to use a bootable linux from CD, and rom everything from a ram drive - why shouldn't you?

i wasn't sure how to interpret this article. first, a guy who screws up his own systems; then tries to get acclaim on the "recovery stories". did anyone miss the guy wrote a book on this as well? seems like a publicity stunt.

what happened to the old linux slackware days where all you needed was a boot and root floppy disc and you were all hunky dorey. nothing like vi'ing /etc/ files *sigh, those were the days*

Knoppix to the rescue (1)

pirodude (54707) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312394)

I've used knoppix to recover both windows and linux systems for years. Whenever a windows install is too hosed to boot I'll use knoppix to get all the data moved over to another system (if it's a laptop). I've used knoppix to fix hosed lilo configs, recover data from hacked installs, etc. It's a great tool for any admin.

Re:Knoppix to the rescue (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312603)

Whenever a windows install is too hosed to boot I'll use knoppix to get all the data moved over to another system (if it's a laptop).

For Windows system it's best to use a good cleaner [sourceforge.net] ;-)

Re:Knoppix to the rescue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312618)

For windows data recovery Bart's PE is a good cd to pull files of the "c:" drive

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

Wow... (0, Redundant)

JossiRossi (840900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312401)

This story is over a month old. The story was origianlly posted Dec. 4, 2004.

Re:Wow... (1)

JossiRossi (840900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312436)

*Ahem* I mean Dec. 2, 2004

Knoppix to the rescue (1, Insightful)

Storm (2856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312408)

I always keep multiple Knoppix CDs in my laptop bag, plus a couple of variants. I have two of the latest, one for emergencies, and one for Linux evangelism...Plus, when I was toting a Powerbook, I had to have a Mac Knoppix.

In addition, being a security engineer, I always have a copy of Auditor and a Knoppix STD "in case of emergency." Hey, you never know when you will be called on to...er, penetrate.

Re:Knoppix to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312563)

Try as I might, I can't get the newer Mac Knoppixes to run on my (April 2004) PowerBook. Any tips?

Anyone?

Re:Knoppix to the rescue - Use those AOL mailers! (1)

wrenhunt (704610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312584)

Now you know what to do with all those metal cans and lucite plastic mailers that the AOL CDs come in!
Load 'em up with Knoppix and stick in your travel bag, suitcase etc., so you always have one with 'ya!

This linux sounds too dangerous for mortals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312419)

Letting you do stuff and all. For the record, there are similar boot disks for NT environments that let you do the same thing, only with a mouse as god intended.

Other distros work, too (4, Informative)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312425)

Not only Knoppix, but many of the new "live CDs" work very well for such rescues on hosed (Windows, and others) systems. I, myself, have used Knoppix, Mandrake, PClinuxOS and Mepis as rescue CDs (preferring Mepis, but that's just me), and I've seen Ubuntu, SUSE, and some others used in the same ways.

Wait, wait, wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312429)

You're talking about rescuing a Linux system? I thought they were infallible?!

No Backups? (2, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312430)

OK let me see if I have this straight.

Some "battle-hardened" sysadmin (who apparently doesn't to do regular backups... hmm...) salvages a few systems with Knoppix, and it's front-page news?

Must be a real slow news day.

Knoppix to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312435)

I work in an all windows repair shop, with the only linux desktop. Knoppix, and Knoppix-STD have saved the day on many occasions, specially with NTFS, to save from having to pull the hdd out and put it in another machine. Can't beat network support for moving files around either.

PowerPC ? (1)

wrenhunt (704610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312784)

We've all done the Linux and Win NTFS stuff by now, but what about PowerPC (Mac OS X)? Any 'live' distros that don't have to be installed to disk first?

They just televised one of these on CNN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312455)

They just televised on of these rescues. The guy's knoppix had turned quite blue, as he had lost his trousers and the water was really cold.

laptop -FDD (1)

GtKincaid (820642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312464)

For those of us without a floppy drive on our laptops (and no usb floppy drive) knoppix type live cd's are a god send , after many failed and funny kernel patches , i swear i would of gone totaly insane without the ability to boot knoppix,chroot and apt-get a replacment kernel

minus 5, T8oll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312468)

Usenet. In 1995, won't vo7e in

Knoppix - a lifesaver (2, Informative)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312476)

I've used bootable linux CD-ROM for many system saving tasks. Usually it is to fix windows machines that have been infected with a virus. A friend, neighbor, or coworker will be unable to boot due to some registry corruption or 'missing lsass.exe' virus corruption. Using knoppix I've been able to mount the NTFS file system and repair from a special hidden copy of the system hives.

I've also used Toms root boot disk - which is linux based but much smaller (designed to fit on a floppy).

Recently, I've been using Kanotix distro which was derived/inspired by Knoppix. Its debian sid based and includes many more drivers built in - my laptop wireless works out of the box with Kanotix and the ndiswrapper. It includes 'captive-ntfs' which lets me mount NTFS as writeable (important when modifying those registry hives). Kanotix website is in both German and English. I wont link to it since I haven't asked permission.

Knoppix website (2, Informative)

Patik (584959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312478)

It may not be the official homepage, but it's the best one I've found. Knoppix.net [knoppix.net]

I recommend downloading it via bit torrent here [uni-kl.de] .

Mepis may be a better choice (2, Interesting)

EdipisReks (770738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312486)

Where i work, at the University of Cincinnati, our "official" (official because it's what my boss favors, not because of university policy or anything) live distro is knoppix and it has certainly helped in situations where machines have been royally screwed up, for whatever reason. i've had better luck with mepis, hower. i find that it is faster and more compatible (especially with properly recognizing and using sound cards), and that it is also more fully featured. it makes a good install, too.

Hero of the day? (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312509)

I for once, do not welcome "Heroic" as an adjective for such a small feat as to recover a partition table from Knoppix. Really, the "Heroic" adjective is a bit too much. How about the one who saved the Windows Server day by using a boot floppy then? Restoring a failing Windows install, THAT is heroism!

Knoppix used to save WIn98 (2, Interesting)

rscrawford (311046) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312521)

My young sister brought me her laptop which was probably the most compromised machine I'd ever seen: tons of adware, spyware, and viruses had made it almost unusable. I'd promised I'd fix it, but I couldn't even get it to boot to the point where I could rescue her files. I made some fixes so that I could boot it, but whenever I tried to copy her files to a special share on my Linux box, some virus would pop up and kill the connection before it was done. I was just about to give up, when I thought of booting up the computer with a Knoppix CD I had. So I did, and mounted her hard drive and tar'ed up all of her files and copied them to the Linux share. I scanned all of her files for viruses and whatnot on that computer while wiping her computer and reinstalling Windows. I wasn't able to convince her to switch to Debian, but I did install AdAware, Spybot S&D, Thunderbird, and Firefox, and hid all links to IE (I did install the "View in IE" extension for her, just in case).

She's gotten a new laptop since then, one which runs WinXP. But she's now a Firefox fanatic; she even asked for a Firefox T-shirt for Christmas. I'm so proud. Now if only she'd let me dual-boot her machine.

Re:Knoppix used to save WIn98 (1)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312617)

So I did, and mounted her hard drive and tar'ed up all of her files and copied them to the Linux share. She's gotten a new laptop since then, one which runs WinXP.

I used Knoppix for backing up the Windows 98 disk of my parents, but I'm not sure if the same routine will work with XP (think Alternate Data Streams etc.). Does anyone know? I'm not particularly fond of imaging programs...

So can a Gentoo install CD (1)

bkw.org (463094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312536)

Those nice 50 meg gentoo install cd's can do the same thing! Hell just about any LIVE CD for that matter could.

bkw

The lesson I learned from this... (0, Flamebait)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312538)

...is that I can do stupid things without taking backups, and maintain my self-ascribed "battle-hardened admin" status, with only a single Knippix CD.

I'm sorry folks, but this story should serve as an example of what NOT to do.

yea but (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312554)

can you run a cluster with it?

Re:yea but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312766)

Why yes, yes you can. Google Cluster Knoppix :-)

Tech-support (1)

Phrekie (724303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312573)

I've used knoppix a couple of times during my stay at a small tech-support (about 1000 computers supported) Often users came in with computers that didn't boot for one or another reason. It was really handy to just boot knoppix, save their important files to a usb-harddrive and just re-install their whole system.

RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312575)

I prefer the RIP ( Recovery Is Possible) CD for fixing/salvaging systems. It boots faster, supports BSD, and Linux filesystems and has only the tools needed for the job.

Timing Is Everything (1)

robwmc (734472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312605)

I just had a drive crash in a laptop. I couldn't get the windows disk to reformat or repartition my drive. Knoppix to the rescue. I repartitioned the drive and then that other OS was finally able to reformat and re-install. I now keep a Knoppix disk with me where ever I go.

A healthy baby boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312651)

A woman once gave birth in the back of my Knoppix CD--without a hitch!

Good stuff!

Slackware is also useful (1)

m3rr (669531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312655)

I have a Knoppix disk that I don't use. I run Slackware on everything, so, when I have a problem, i boot up bare.i with the Slack install disk and fix it that way.

Downloads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312662)

Is there anywhere that I can download this that is not BitTorrent? I can't install Birtorrent at work. I hope someone can help me out here.

http://linuxiso.org/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11312861)

http://linuxiso.org/

KNoppix- lifesaver for 615s (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312691)

Our 615s in the lab take forever to reboot.

So I have a Knoppix live cd that has XGalaga on it; MAN is that fun! Now I look forward to the reboots!

UBCD ... (1)

paranoidgeek (840730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312713)

I am quite fond of UBCD because it has a heap of floppy disk images that i can boot from on a CD ...

Like memtest86 and Ranish Partition Manager

Although it isnt a linux boot disk ( some of the earlier versions had RIP on it but im not too sure if it is still there ) it has saved my computer more than once.

My dead drive (4, Interesting)

superid (46543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312720)

I had a slave drive with about 4GB of family photos. This included years of photos of my kids, and many irreplacable photos of my wifes mother who has since passed away. [ this is known as foreshadowing ]

I built a brand new system and took that drive out and put it into another XP system as a slave....no problems at all. Then we had a power failure. I have 9 computers in my house, many with several drives, every system was fine, with the exception of that one drive. XP decided that this drive was no longer formatted.

I took my lumps from the wife and began to look into data recovery. I tried SalvageNTFS [salvagentfs.com] , ScroungeNTFS [memberwebs.com] and a demo [ontrack.com] from OnTrack. I forget the actual status that each tool reported but suffice it to say that none of them were successful and I just moved on. I did keep the drive though. A few weeks ago I stuffed it into what is to be a new webserver and put in a knoppix live cd. *poof* got everything back...every photo was recovered.

Can't explain it, but I'm keeping a Knoppix CD in my box of tricks from now on.

knoppix is great. (1)

shoota (834369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312772)

I often use knoppix to transfer data when i upgrade to a knew hard drive, since i have all my ide channels full i unplug my operating system hard drive, hook up the new data drive and copy the files from the old data drive to the new, works like a charm

subject (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312818)

My 120 gig Maxwhore drive died but I was still able to recover my unbacked up information using some tools it had. I was quite amazed at being able to recover them.

I have a stack of CDs, USB drives and pseudo mirror over the net.

One Alternative: BertPE (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312820)

Funny, just yesterday I blogged about some similar [kisrael.com] experiences...I had an XP box that would log me out as soon as I went to log in, and because all my passwords were blank some of the linux rescue CD based fixes wouldn't work...

I decided to just grab my personal files off (one rule I have is to put all my personal stuff in c:\data\ ) To make a long story short, Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD [nu2.nu] , at the recommendation of Enkidu on alt.os.linux, turned out to be a better bet for my needs, letting me shove the files onto my laptop over the network. (I'm proficient at both Windows and Unix commandlines but not too great as an admin on either, so maybe that has something to do with my problems with, says, system-down rescue cd linux [system-down.com] )

...and an excellent O'Reilly book on Knoppix (1)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312825)

Knoppix Hacks -- which has some nice tips & tools in it (even stuff you probably could have thought of but never bothered).

NOTE: I am not the author nor do I work for O'Reilly Publishing. Anyone who says otherwise is going to find out what I learned from the O'Really series.

What "Knoppix Hacks" Didn't Include (2, Interesting)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11312827)

Like how to "build in" a cheat code into your Knoppix remaster.

The trick is, after you rsync the /cdrom directory to the master directory (see the book), cd to master/boot/isolinux and edit the isolinux.cfg file. Put your favorite cheat in the first APPEND line.

This worked for Knoppix 3.4 and up. Don't know about earlier versions.

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