The problem with computers is that they often break down or malfunction and every Windows user should be aware of at least one bacon-saving, data-recovering system restore disk for darker times. A rescue disc can be a life saver for a SysAdmin. Packed with various diagnostic and repair tools they can do things like fix a Master Boot Record (MBR), recover a password, detect and clean a rootkitor simply allow you to salvage data by transferring it from a damaged drive to another location. So we’ve compiled a list of 10 Best Rescue Disks For A Windows System Restore
1. Hiren’s BootCD
Probably the single best restore discs to have ever graced a failing system. Any IT technician or habitual technology tinkerer will have come across Hiren’s BootCD and if so would sing its praises. Focused entirely on appeasing Windows systems,
Hiren’s BootCD contains a wealth of utilities including malware and rootkit detection, antivirus scanning, temporary file cleaners, data and driver backups, hardware scanning, partition scanning, imaging and saving, and password crackers. It can even reflash your BIOS or wipe your CMOS if required. Hiren’s BootCD is completely free.
2. The Trinity Rescue Kit
It fits nicely on a CD (or a USB stick if you prefer) and once booted gives you tools to reset lost Windows passwords, scan hard drives for viruses and malware, clone drives, recover lost partitions, even open up the drives as network shares so you can get files off of them and to other computers on your network. It’s completely free, although a donation to the developer behind it is always appreciated and keeps the project alive.
3. FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD
In this boot CD are the most popular and useful tools anyone would ever need. The best of the free software, the best of the commercial software, and it all fits on one CD-R that’s readable by any computer worth booting on. Not everything can read a DVD, and USB booting is hit and miss at best.
FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD is based upon the Hiren Boot CD with a customized boot menu and a whole bunch of updated tools thrown in. F4’s UBCD contains tools that provide system information, tools that recover/repair broken partitions, tools that recover data, as well as file utilities, password recovery tools, network tools, malware removal tools and much more.
4. The Ultimate Boot CD
Similar to Hiren’s BootCD, UBCD troubleshoots both Windows and Linux systems with a massive range of helpful utilities. It is useful up and down the system error board with drive cloning and data recovering tools, hardware testing, partition scanning and a host of other system repair tools.
UBCD aims to “consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD” – something the makers have come very close to achieving.
5. System Rescue CD
SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software.
The disk is packed with tools to help you manage or repair partitions, back up your data or clone your drives in case of a failure, and supports a wealth of file systems (even network file systems like NFS) so you can work with just about any file on any drive anywhere. The disc also comes with replacement bootloaders, system file editors, network troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, and disc burning tools so you can burn while you use the disc. There are also antivirus, anti-malware, and rootkit detection and removal tools. It’s completely free.
Knoppix is considered the grandfather of recovery discs. This Linux Live CD provides a fully functional operating system once loaded onto a malfunctioning system, rather than just providing you a GUI with different system analysis options. The Knoppix operating system comes with some 1,000 software packages for you to scan through, including troubleshooting, hardware analysis, data-recovery and cloning tools alongside browsers, image-manipulation tools and media players.
KNOPPIX can also be used as a productive Linux system for the desktop, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it
7. AVG Rescue CD
The AVG Rescue CD is provided in two versions: an ISO image that can be easily burned to an optical disc (CD), or a compressed version that can be installed to a bootable flash drive (USB). Once this is done, you can simply boot from the drive of choice directly to the AVG menu, where you can scan for viruses, edit files, test your drive, or even edit the registry. You can also access a number of common Linux tools to make changes to your system.
8. Kaspersky Rescue Disk
Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 is designed to scan, disinfect and restore infected operating systems. It should be used when it is impossible to boot the operating system. Kaspersky Lab products are always upgraded and renewed. In order to restore your system,
9. Comodo Rescue Disk
Comodo Rescue Disk (CRD) is a bootable disk image that allows users to run virus scans in a pre-boot environment. It is a powerful virus, spyware and rootkit cleaner which works in both GUI and text mode. CRD can provide a more comprehensive and thorough scan than regular malware cleaning applications because it cleans your system before Windows is loaded.
CRD is intended to be used when malware embeds itself so deeply into your system that regular AV software cannot remove it. The rescue disk is also very effective at removing infections that are preventing Windows from booting in the first place. Apart from the virus scanner, CRD also provides tools to explore files in your hard drive, take screenshot and browse web pages.
10. Avira Rescue System
Avira Rescue System provides a free bootable antivirus program that you can run from a disc before the operating system starts up.Because Avira Rescue System is based on the Ubuntu operating system, it means their’s a familiar, point-and-click desktop interface you can use to operate the programs.