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?
The biggie for me is SpinRite from Steve Gibson (grc.com). Saved many an ailing disk drive with it.
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)
- 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