I'm getting ready to build one with some of the common apps I use including malwarebytes, Spybot, and memtest86 . What elese do you recommend I add? Is there a single CD image out there that has all these tools already that I can just burn?

5 Answers 5


I have the same set on PXE and on USB stick attached to my keys. Don't use CDs.

  • Linux rescue CD from http://www.sysresccd.org/ both 32 and 64 bit
  • WinPE (BartPE) with Total Commander, Acronis Disk Director and Acronis TrueImage and a maximum drivers included
  • FreeDOS boot disks - useful for BIOS reflash/etc.
  • MHDD & MemTest86+
  • CLI utilites for all raid controllers we have currently (megacli for LSI, tw_cli for 3ware) both Windows & Linux versions.

Boot menu is set up with pxelinux on pxe/wingrub on usbstick.


My go-to disc is the Ultimate Windows Boot CD. It requires that you have a copy of WinXP to build it, but thats usually no problem. In the end, it creates an .iso you can burn to disc, or they have instructions to make it into a bootable USb drive. The list of tools is huge, and you can find that HERE.


As this is a sysadmin site, I recommend you don't bother. By the time you've cleaned 1 machine you could have deployed 50 using standard deployment tools.

If someone gets a virus or trashes their machine then just re-image it. They shouldn't have data on there that isn't backed up anyway.

  • Depends which server you've messed up... Still a valuable tool.
    – dunxd
    Sep 16, 2010 at 11:44
  • 1
    dunxd - same again for servers really - OS from backup and carry on. And if you're getting spyware on servers then you're definitely doing it wrong.
    – Rob Moir
    Sep 16, 2010 at 11:54
  1. Ad-Aware
  2. Spy-Bot
  3. System Drivers as most of the computers I support are Dell.
  4. ClamWin (in case they need a virus scanner)
  5. Utility to Retrieve Windows Product Keys (in case you need to reinstall)
  6. Trinity Utility Disk (reset Windows passwords amoung other things)

That's about it because beyond that if it's a windows system you're probably better off reinstalling.


First, look at Ultimate Boot CD. It's got to be one of the longest lived boot / rescue CDs around. I have a copy in a jewel case stuck up on the wall so I can grab it easily. It's also not difficult to add any tools you like to the CD. The only downside is that the tool names are not descriptive, so you'll want to play around with it a bit before you use it.

Second, I like to have a copy of Spinrite readily available. Even though there is some dispute over what it's truly capable of, I've personally used it several times to bring hard drives back to life.

Third, I like to have network drivers on a disk. I support a single location, and store all of my drivers on a share. If a machine can get on the network, I can get at all the rest of the drivers.

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