What's your system recovery CD? I've used Ultimate Boot CD and GParted. What works for you?

9 Answers 9


Trinity Rescue Kit (version 3.4)

It is possible to boot TRK in three different ways:

  • as a bootable CD which you can burn yourself from a downloadable isofile or a self burning Windows executable
  • from a USB stick/disk (optionally also a fixed disk), installable from Windows or from the bootable TRK cd (which is easier and safer)
  • from network over PXE: you start 1 TRK from CD or USB and you run all other computers from that one over the network without modifying anything to you local network

Here 's a sumup of some of the most important features, new and old:

  • easily reset windows passwords with the improved winpass tool
  • simple and easy menu interface
  • 5 different virusscan products integrated in a single uniform commandline with online update capability
  • full ntfs write support thanks to ntfs-3g
  • winclean, a utility that cleans up all sorts of unnecessary temporary files on your computer
  • clone computers over the network via multicast
  • wide range of hardware support (kernel 2.6.35)
  • contributed backup utility called "pi", to automate local machine backups
  • easy script to find and mount all local filesystems
  • self update capability to include and update all virusscanners + local changes you made to TRK
  • full proxyserver support
  • run a samba fileserver (windows like filesharing)
  • run a ssh server
  • recovery and undeletion of files with utilities and procedures
  • recovery of lost partitions
  • evacuation of dying disks
  • full read/write and rpm support
  • UTF-8 international character support (select keyboard language from the scrollable textmenu at startup)
  • 2 rootkit detection uitilities
  • most software updated to recent versions
  • literally thousands of changes and bugfixes since version 3.3
  • elaborated documentation, including manpages for all commands (also TRK 's own)
  • Add a space after - Apr 30, 2009 at 16:41
  • Try stars so markdown will create an unordered list of it ^^ May 23, 2009 at 12:41

grml as in grml.org! :) It's designed as a Live System for system administrators. It provides:

  • 2500 software packages

  • 3 different flavours (grml, grml-medium, grml-small), all of them available as:
  • 32bit and 64bit version
  • LVM and software RAID support out of the box (including bootoptions for autoenabling them)
  • support for booting via PXE/USB/...
  • ssh-server through bootoption 'ssh=password'
  • support for remote acces via iSCSI
  • support for all the relevant filesystems (ext3/ext4, xfs, ntfs,...)
  • tools and bootoptions for forensical and data rescue investigations
  • default boot into console (X.org available through grml-x) providing a full featured GNU screen, htop, multitail,... setup
  • a great Zsh default configuration

Disclaimer: yes, I'm related to grml. :)


Besides Trinity, I also like Backtrack


Hiren's boot CD works for recovery but it really shines when you need to repartion or format drives, check hardware errors and fix file systems.


I've used http://www.ubcd4win.com/ before, not for a while though


Ultimate Boot CD too. Found an hard drive error with it, although those apps are not the most intuitive thing on earth.


System Rescue CD (sysrescd) due to inertia - did some customization, prepared some scripts.


I've always used knoppix, mostly due to inertia. But recently have had the need to run a decent virus scanner on non functional machines - I used the tools kaspersky provide to make Bart Pe boot disks and have found them very useful.


ERD Emergency Rescue Disk...lets you boot into a windows-like environment, edit the registry, copy/delete files, browse the drives, etc.

I have also used Hirems and Backtrack, but I really like ERD.

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