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The Windows partition on my laptop seems to refuse to boot, and since I lack the original install CD, I was thinking of installing my preferred Linux distro, Arch on it.

I want to recover data off the Windows hard drive (and onto my external) first before installing Arch, so I intend to use a Live CD to do so. Both the Windows HD and my external HD are formatted using NTFS.

However, the display requires manual configuration in order to use X, which precludes the use of a Live CD that will boot directly into X.

What Live CD distros are available that support reading and writing to NTFS (preferably using ntfs-3g) and boot into text mode?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I use SystemRescueCd. It boots to a bash shell (where you can startx if you want) and can mount ntfs drives using ntfs-3g.
It also includes a lot of rescue tools.

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They also have a great tutorial just for the purpose asked by @MiffTheFox: sysresccd.org/… – IQAndreas May 21 '14 at 5:59

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