"Even if the Windows emergency boot worked, how would
he finish editing and then printing out the report? Instead I
suggested he use a Linux Live-CD. My hunch was that although the
Windows OS failed to boot, his files were in tact. So, I pulled a
Knoppix Linux Live-CD from my bag and asked him to insert it into
his drive. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a Live-CD
allows you to boot Linux from the CD-ROM into memory without
touching the OS on the hard disk.
"But before he booted, I asked him if he had a USB RAM card, or
a CD-RW drive? Unfortunately, his laptop didn't include a CD-RW to
backup his files, and he did not have any other means of backing up
his vital report. I looked around the room. Spotting his Minolta
Digital camera, I asked if it was working and if he had the USB
cable for it. Mitch handed me the camera and cable. I inserted it
into the laptop USB slot just before I booted Knoppix.
"On Mitch's laptop, I needed to press F12 to choose the CD-ROM
as the boot device. Then within seconds Knoppix began to load.
"Once loaded, the first step was to mount both the Windows hard
disk and the Minolta camera's memory disk."