Hi Distress, and welcome to SWI.
Since you want to save data files (you can't save installed programs this way, only data files), and your hard drive isn't bootable, what you need to do is boot from an external source such as a CD/DVD running LINUX, and then save your data files to another source such as a flash drive. I would recommend formatting the flash drive before saving files to it.
I would create a LINUX disc (create it on a clean, uninfected system), and after booting from LINUX, do a full format the flash drive that you intend do save your data to, and then while still in LINUX, save your data files to the flash drive you formatted.
A good, compact choice for LINUX would be PuppyLinux.
On a working system, download PuppyLinux from here and save it to your Desktop.
If the other system uses Windows 7, you have no need to download a utility to burn the image to disc. Just follow these instructions:
If not Windows 7, you will need to download a program like InfraRecorder that can burn an .ISO image to disc.
When you have successfully burned the disc to CD/DVD, eject the disc and put it in the computer that will not boot.
If not already done so, configure that computer to boot from CD or USB first. To do so, restart your computer. Carefully read what appears on the screen to see which key need to be pressed to enter Setup.
From there, navigate using the keyboard to the Boot section, then use the Page Up and Page Down keys to move the CDROM or USB option first. Afterward, save and exit setup. When the computer restarts, it will boot from your CD or USB drive instead of the unbootable hard drive, and you will be presented with PuppyLinux.
It will say Linux will boot automatically in 8 seconds. Let it. It will proceed to "boot the kernel." You will be presented with a number of options. Select the default option for everything and you will see an interface with several icons on it.
Click (only once) on mount and the Pmount Puppy Drive Mounter menu will open. Click MOUNT next to the hard drive that contains your Windows installation. Also mount any removable media you have inserted to transfer your data to.
A window will open titled /mnt/sda1 (or something similar).
You will now have access to all of your files in a familiar folder format. Right-click anything you wish to salvage, place your mouse over Dir '[foldername]', click Copy..., then click on the window containing your removable media. Right click empty space, and select Dir '[foldername]' then Paste...
When finished, click menu on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, and click Shutdown.
Some good guidelines for reinstalling Windows:
- Before you start, from a clean, uninfected system, download your antivirus (Avast Free and MBAM together are an excellent choice) and firewall, and save to CD/DVD or flash drive.
- Disconnect your network cable before installing Windows.
- Install your Antivirus.
- Install your Firewall.
- Reconnect to the Internet.
- Update your AntiVirus.
- Go to Windows Update and install ALL critical updates.
Does that help?