Now all he really wants to is recover his data (Uni work) - while he doesn't really need it anymore (since he just graduated) - he wants to have it, portfolio use etc. He tried to reinstall Windows bu it never got anywhere.
Now since there is no way of getting into windows (safe boot also fails) I tried Knoppix. It's an older version, so I may try a newer one soon-ish since it wouldn't allow me to connect to our wireless. (It also gave a fatal error, but still booted up). I can access the hard drive and look at the files.
I tried connecting an external HDD, but no icon popped up on the desktop. I forgot how to do anything else (like check if the device is recognised) - so I resorted to pluging in a mouse, got no response out of it, so I assume something is wrong with the USB ports (I tried them all) - missing drivers or broken.
I tried a usb stick that glows when it's connected and it does, but only for a short second, so I'm unsure of that.
The only other thing I can come up with is trying to transfer the files via networking between a linux and windows PC... but that is a last resort since i'd prefer to stay out of that hassle (last time I did it, it was a hassle!).