|If your RAM and CD drive is working you can backup your own files onto a flash drive using a Live Linux CD. As you can also access your HD with Linux it might help give you a clue where the trouble lies. Here is the info:|
LINUX LIVE CD (from a general note of mine).
I use Puppy Linux 4.3.1. as it is simple and saves nothing to the HD, so I will use that as my example:
On a working computer, first download the file pup-431.iso from here:
DO NOT RUN the file but save it somewhere instead. This is known as an image (.iso). You then have to burn a CD from the image, which does NOT mean just burning the download onto the CD. Most burning software has an "image burning" feature and you use this to create a CD from the downloaded image. In the unlikely event that your burning software has no such feature there are various free programs which will do this. For example, ImgBurn, which you can get here:
With this program, when you run it you select "Write image file to disk".
Once you have a CD you put it in the drive of the faulty computer then power on and Linux should start loading. If it still starts Windows it is because the CD drive loads after the HD. To fix this you go into BIOS and set the CD ahead of the HD and Save settings - best leave it that way. How you get to BIOS varies with computers but often it is either a case of tapping F2 or Del key while booting.
Puppy is slow first time but during shutdown you can get it to Save your settings back onto the CD, so that it boots faster next time. It runs between RAM and the HD so it does not change anything in Windows, which will work quite normally when you boot without the CD.
The Linux desktop has your drive icons at the bottom left. Everything is single click. It is possible to view your Windows files on the HD and copy them onto a flash drive by drag and drop. Obviously you don't delete any Windows files from then HD unless you really intend to do so. Note that Linux shows the HD file structure exactly "as is" (unlike Windows which often presents you with what MS want you to imagine).
It takes a lot of words to describe all this but it is much easier than in sounds.
Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks