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For someone looking after a small 50 Windows PC network (Mainly XP - some Vista), what is a good set of recovery tools that can put installed on a USB drive (or perhaps CD?) to enable us to troubleshoot / recover / reboot troublesome PC's?


locked by HopelessN00b Dec 5 '14 at 4:59

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closed as off topic by Sam Jan 18 '12 at 21:17

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The biggie for me is SpinRite from Steve Gibson ( Saved many an ailing disk drive with it.


The entire SysInternals suite has saved me multiple times. memtest is also brilliant as is spinrite.


How homogeneous is the setup? If you've got a lot of identical hardware, having a generic disk image goes a long way...

Also one or more of the following:

  • UBCD and/or UBCD for Windows (a.k.a. UBCD4Win)
  • SpinRite
  • the aforementioned disk image
  • Some sort of PE-type disk (i.e. BartPE)

These are some of the biggies. UBCD4Win and BartPE can be configured to have all sorts of stuff like a good anti-virus program, CCleaner, etc. Alternately you could have a USB drive with something like ClamWin portable, CCleaner, and other portable utilities.

I recently came across Avira AntiVir Rescue System. I don't know how good it is yet, but it may be worth looking at.


I've made some suggestions on another answer:

  • DOS boot with CDROM
  • Small BartPE with Ghost - run Win32 applications to test the computer, and transfer files off a dying harddisk with NTFS
  • memtest86 - test RAM
  • Offline NT Password Recovery boot - clear local administrator password when lost

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