Hiren’s BootCD was one of the best bootable CDs with lots of rescue tools to repair your Microsoft Windows and recover lost data, unfortunately, the project was abandoned. Same goes with FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD and Trinity Rescue Kit. Due to the lack of updates came the birth of many other alternatives inspired by Hiren’s BootCD.
Unlike the previous generation that runs on DOS, today’s bootable rescue USB comes with Windows PE distributions, they are mini-Windows operating systems that one can run from a USB flash memory stick. Boot Discs are extremely handy particularly when fixing a broken Windows system. Having this available on a bootable USB stick if anything goes wrong on your windows system is SUPER handy and has saved me countless times.
For those with an unbootable Windows, a rescue disc can be a life saver for a SysAdmin. It is packed with various diagnostic and repair tools that can do things like fix a Master Boot Record (MBR), recover a password, detect and clean a rootkit or simply allow you to salvage data by transferring it from a damaged drive to another location. Below is a list of bootable rescue discs.
↓ 01 – MediCat USB
MediCat USB is a complete Hiren’s Boot Disk replacement for modern computers. MediCat USB aims to replace the discontinued and dated Hiren’s Boot Disk. It is geared towards modern hardware, and follows the Ubuntu release cycle with a newly-updated release every 6 months. The author of MediCat DVD designed the bootable toolkit as an unofficial successor to the popular Hiren’s Boot CD boot environment. The menu lists the following options in this regard:
- 64-Bit windows Recovery: Choice of Microsoft or Easy Recovery options for Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
- Hard Disk Tools: includes currently Acronis TrueImage 2017, GParted, Norton Ghost 11.5, Paragon Hard Disk Manager, PloP Boot Manager, SpinRite, SuperGrubDisk, Darik’s Boot and Nuke.
- Diagnostic Utilities: includes currently Hardware Detection Tool Memtest86+, TestDisk / PhotoRec / LiliPad, Ultimate Boot Cd.
- Scan for Viruses: this launches Comodo Rescue Disk currently only.
- Remove User Account Passwords: Active Password Changer, Daossoft Windows Password Rescuer, Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, PCUnlocker, Boot Kon-Boot CD.
↓ 02 – Sergei Strelec’s WinPE
Bootable disk Windows 10 and 8 PE – for maintenance of computers, hard disks and partitions, backup and restore disks and partitions, computer diagnostics, data recovery, Windows installation. It includes many free data recovery software such as R-Studio 8.7, Active File Recovery, Active Partition Recovery, Runtime GetDataBack for NTFS, Runtime GetDataBack for FAT, DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery, Hetman Partition Recovery, Eassos Recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and Ontrack EasyRecovery
↓ 03 – Hiren’s BootCD PE
Hiren’s BootCD PE (Preinstallation Environment) is a restored edition of Hiren’s BootCD based on Windows 10 PE x64. Since there are no official updates after November 2012, PE version is being developed by Hiren’s BootCD fans. It includes the least, best and updated free tools used in Hiren’s BootCD. It is being developed for the new age computers, it supports UEFI booting and requires minimum 2 GB RAM. With the useful tools inside of the ISO, you can solve many problems related to your computer. It does not contain any pirated software, it includes only free and legal software.
All in One – System Rescue Toolkit is designed to quickly and efficiently aid a technician with troubleshooting and repairing Windows-based PCs. The Live CD portion of the disc may be accessed by booting the computer from the AiO-SRT CD or USB. The Live CD environment is a customized Ubuntu environment with support for BIOS and UEFI boot (should support newer Apple hardware), Ethernet / Wireless networks, mdadm linux software raid setups, dmraid “fakeraid” setups. Repair Windows includes:
- Windows Startup
- System File Checker
- DISM System Repair
- Registry Editor
- Repair Explorer Icons
- Windows Reliability Monitor
- Blue Screen View
- System Restore
- Windows Update Repair
- Disk Cleanup
↓ 05 – Gandalf’s Windows 10PE [ Donation Required ]
A completely free bootable CD that contains a load of useful tools you can make use of in a variety of situations like analyzing, recovering and fixing your computer even if the primary operating system can not be booted. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, …) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools).
It requires no installation. It can be used on linux servers, linux desktops or windows boxes. The kernel supports the important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs). The bootable ISO consolidates as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD, DVD, or thumb drive. When you boot up from the CD, a text-based menu will be displayed, and you will be able to select the tool you want to run. The selected tool actually boots off a virtual floppy disk created in memory.