I have an ancient Toshiba laptop which was my first laptop and has all my crucial files on it. It takes half an hour to boot and none of the ports work in Windows XP mode, its original operating system. Even though I had “disowned” the laptop for a Vista-running Compaq and my new MacBook Pro, it still had some very important files which I had to excavate.
As previously mentioned, none of the ports worked in Windows mode. Not the USB ports, not the CD drive. Not even the floppy drive. I saw no possible exit. At about the same time, I began my infatuation with non-Windows operating systems and was looking at Linux. I was searching the web and found several lightweight Linux distros such as Damn Small Linux and Tiny Core. DSL had tons of apps but took up too much space. Tiny Core was too confusing and hard to use. Also, Ubuntu wouldn’t install on my CD. Then, I found SliTaz. It was a brilliant 35MB Linux Distro perfectly suited for my use as it would run fast on ancient hardware from a Live CD.
The distro easily downloaded, even on my Telecom broadband connection, and I quickly used ImgBurn to install the ISO. It took a bit of a hike through the Toshiba’s BIOS to get it to boot to CD and after a quick reboot, SliTaz loaded and I was ready to go! So how was I to get at the files? I couldn’t use the CD drive as the Live CD inside, I couldn’t use the floppy drive as I was not only out of floppies, my files were all bigger than 1.44MB, I had to connect my troublesome external hard drive via USB. Then, SliTaz did what my other computers sometimes didn’t manage. It recognised my WD Elements drive first time. It didn’t take long to copy all my files, a surprising achievement.
In summing up, SliTaz not only saved my valuable files, it gave me a valuable experience in how to save a dying computer using a lightweight Linux distro. If you want to find out more about SliTaz, go to its website.
SliTaz GNU/Linux | Slitaz