Top 10 Best Rescue Disks For A Windows System Restore

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

Official site: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/             Download link: hirensbootcd.org/download/

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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,

win-08_harddisk_storageHiren’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

Official site: trinityhome.org                 Download link: HERE

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The Trinity Rescue Kit is a customized Linux distribution that’s designed specifically for troubleshooting and reviving ailing systems, whether you’re running Windows or Linux. trk34-b365-simple-menu

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

Official site: falconfour.wordpress.com             Download link: Here

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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.

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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

Official site: ultimatebootcd.com  Download link: ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

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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.

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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

Official site: system-rescue-cd.org       Download link: HERE

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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.sysresccd-003-640x480

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.

 


 

6. Knoppix

Official site: knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html   Download link: HERE

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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_010

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

Official site: avg.com/gb-en/avg-rescue-cd   Download link: avg.com/ww-en/download.prd-arl

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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

Official site: kaspersky.co.uk   Dowload Link:  HERE

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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

Official site: www.comodo.com     Download link: download.comodo.com

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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_opt1_011813

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

Official site: avira.com   Download Link: avira.com/en/download/

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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.

2 comments

  1. Hello!

    First, sorry for my poor English: it’s not my native language (I’m from Italy).

    Well, I repair PCs and I use to keep in my pocket a multiboot USB with tons of tools which can help me to solve most of the problems I face almost every day.

    These are my favorite live tools:

    > Antivirus: Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Dr. Web and AVG. Both Kaspersky and Bitdefender can have some wifi issue with some (few) cards, but everything works fine if you use them from the new UEFI-BIOS YUMI (it’s still a beta but it works fine). Don’t ask me why! 🙂 The latest AVG has improved its network tools and now wifi works like a charm (once you could connect only using eth0), so you can easily update the signatures.

    > System Tools: Boot Repair Disk, Rescatux, Super Grub 2 (included in Rescatux) Gparted, Mini Tool Partition Wizard and my favorite ones: Clonezilla and System Rescue CD (which among hundreds of tools includes Gparted and Super Grub2). Clonezilla never failed me and System Rescue CD, though it’s not for newby, is absolutely one of the best multitool, if not THE best. I repeat: not very easy for beginners, but very powerful: you can clone, image, save data from failing disks, manage partitions etc… Many of its features are good for Windows too.
    For Cloning you can also use Ghost 4 Linux but it doesn’t still have UEFI boot support.

    > Distros: Porteus, on my opinion, is the best live OS you can use: it’s customizable BEFORE you download it and it’s very light (about 300 Mb). You can have more than one, depending on your needs: for example you can have one for BIOS 64 bit, on for UEFI 64 bit and one for BIOS 32 bit. Debian live it’s a good choice too. Puppy and Elementary are good but I don’t like them very much (it’s my opinion).

    > More: if you want to be “bad boys” 🙂 you can use Pentesting and “Hacking” distros like Kali, Backbox or BlackArch. They are not so easy to use if you want to be a pro, but they are worth a try even if you are not interested in this kind of operations.

    If you want to be anonymous you can use Tails, a Debian base distro that uses Tor for anonymous browsing.
    Parrot OS is another distro which combines anonymous browsing and pentesting.

    For forensics purposes i suggest CAINE and (but it’s not very updated) Deft. CAINE can be used like a regular distro, having LibreOffice, Browsers etc… The good is that it has a gui for Photorec and DDrescue, for those who are scared by command line: for example System Rescue CD has only the command line version of both.

    Finally, I want to mention some discontinued tools that cannot be used on modern PCs (especially the UEFI based ones) but if you have an old machine they can be still useful: Trinity Rescue Kit, Falcons Four and, above all, Ultimate Boot CD. In fact, Ultimate Boot CD should be developed into a new graphical version that now is in a beta… I don’t know if it’s dead or not. Let’s wait and see!
    Remember that none of these three tools are UEFI boot compatible.

    Well, there are many, many other live tools, but on my opinion these are (among free ones) the best, and if I should mention all the rest I would take the risk of writing a boring, endless post! 🙂

    Just a tip: most of the times you (me too!) don’t really need all these tools, but it can be a good idea to keep them in a multiboot USB. Easy2Boot and Yumi are the best multiboot USB creators. We’re waiting for Yumi to became stable in its UEFI compatible verisions. Yumi is also being rewritten for Linux but there’s not a ETA.

    Cheers, 🙂

    Bert

  2. Thanks Bert!!!

    I know you posted a year ago but I just downloaded PORTEUS and it is fast and slick. I was using HBCD to recover a PC but it would not let me repartition the drive. I downloaded PORTEUS and it did right away.

    Thanks again.

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