You know those times when things go wrong on your computer, and it won’t boot, or you can't’ login into your system, or there’s a rootkit messing up your booting or you just want to recover files from a drive. Those are the times having a rescue disc will do you a great deal of good in helping you out. So let’s take a look at 5 very useful Linux based Rescue CDs you can check out.
1. Hiren's Boot CD
Hiren BootCD is a pretty popular Linux-based rescue disc. It is tagged as “a first aid kit for your computer” and rightly so. It contains tools such as defrag tools, driver tools, backup tools, antivirus and anti-malware tools, rootkit detection tools, secure data wiping tools, and partitioning tools, among others. It is also capable of other useful utilities including re-flashing your system’s BIOS, wiping your CMOS, cleaning out temporary files and folders. You can also securely delete data or backup your data to another drive, recover damaged partitions or even scan your system to identify hardware failures. It is capable of so much more than I’ve mentioned and for a rescue system it should be the first on your list. Hiren Boot CD is available to download as an ISO for easy installation to a USB or burning to a CD.
Rescatux is a linux-based distribution designed to fix problems with both Linux and Windows. It is currently in beta but nonetheless proves more than enough to make it on our list. It comes with an app/wizard called Rescapp that provides access to the tools available on Rescatux CD. With the aid of Rescapp, you can perform tasks such as resetting passwords, restoring grub on linux or the Master Boot Record on Windows. You can also perform checks for your filesystem, repair damaged partitions and recover deleted files. Don’t let the beta tag fool you as it can be quite a useful tool at your disposal.
3. The Ultimate Boot CD
Ultimate Boot CD is a bootable rescue CD that comes with a variety of tools integrated into that give you the functionality and ability to perform some very userful rescue operation on your computer. The disk is made up of a collection of bootable disk images, all stored on a bootable CD. Boot the CD, then choose a disk image and then the system boots from the image, and you're running the programs on the disk. Each image come wth different tools and utilities as well as different interfaces. You are provided with a wide range of tools including data recovery, drive cloning, BIOS management, memory and CPU testing tools. It is available for download in a ISO format and can easily written to USB or CD. Skilled users can do a lot with this tool but for the novice, you should be careful not to break their system beyond repair.
4. Tiny Rescue Kit
The Trinity Rescue Kit is a Linux-based Rescue CD designed for the recovery and repair of either Windows or Linux machines. You may load it up on a USB (or CD) and boot it up. The boot menu offers a choice of boot options synonymous with most linux distributions so you can try different modes if the default does not work for you. Once booted up, you’re provided with a range of tools allowing you to reset lost Windows passwords with Winpass, backup data, recover data, clone drives, modify or recover partitions and run rootkit detection. There are also a ton of antivirus scanners provided including Avast, Clam AV and BitDefender. You shouldn’t be intimidated by the text based interface as it is pretty simple to use. You can grab it from here.
5. System Rescue CD
SystemRescueCD is a powerful tool for repairing Linux systems. It has been developed with system administrators in mind. It can be used to troubleshoot both Windows and Linux servers and systems. When you boot up the system, you’re taken into a console interface so you ought to know your way around. It has a wide range of tools that allow you to manage and repair partitions. You can also backup your data and resolve bootloader issues. You can also provided with a ton of antivirus and rootkit detection and removing tools. SystemRescueCD is available for download as an ISO file so you can burn it to a CD or use it to create a bootable USB drive.
In conclusion, if you are a system administrator, or like me you are always tinkering with your system, having a couple of these rescue kits available will go a long way in sorting you out. Try them out, keep copies on CDs and USB drives and they will be handy when you need them.
Give them a try, and make sure you keep CDs or USB drives with your favorites handy for when something does go wrong.