Adventures with a bad laptop harddrive.

My brother gave me a call the other day wondering what is options are since his computer was taking 2-3 hours to boot and having thousands of dialogue messages pop up. After discussing things we came to the conclusion that his harddrive was bad. He got a replacement from dell but still wanted to save his data since he was able to read it from the bad hd. He purchase usb hd. Downloaded knoppix and I walked him through the following process. We booted knoppix to make sure that we could see the old hd and the new USB hd, we could. So we proceeded to copy all of the information over. He installed the new harddrive but Windox XP was unable to recognize it. So formatted the drive (USB) as a FAT32 disk, while in windows. We then again booted into knoppix and copied the data over to the USB drive and presto windows was able to view all of the old data again. Man was he happy! Linux again saves the day.