"Did Windows crash beyond repair? If so, you probably want to
get your files off of the drive before you erase everything and
reinstall Windows. This tutorial will help you do exactly that.
"We're going to use Ubuntu's LiveCD mode. Ubuntu is a popular
Linux distribution that's a free and open source alternative to
Windows. The LiveCD mode lets you boot into and use the operating
system (OS) without installing anything on the computer. You should
be able to view your files and copy them to another drive, backup
to discs, or transfer via a network. Now let's get started!
"Download and burn the Ubuntu CD
"Most Linux distributions aren't on the shelves of your local
stores. You have to make your own CD unless you want to order them
online. If burning CDs isn't your thing, consider using a USB flash
drive. If you're trying to rescue files from a dead computer,
you'll obviously need to use a different PC that works. If your
computers aren't up, you might try a friend or neighbor."