Jacob J. Walker's Blog

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Archive for February 25th, 2015

Essential Boot Media for PC Technicians

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Every computer technician should have a software toolkit in addition to a hardware toolkit.  And some of the most important software tools is that of boot CDs / boot USBs. This is because there are many tasks that cannot be done while the original operating system is running on the hard disk.   To make the boot media, I recommend CDBurnerXP to make CDs and DVDs, and YUMI for bootable USB flash drives.

Since most of these boot CDs are freely available, it is best for a technician to get all the major ones:

The Ultimate Boot CD

The screen shot above is from The Ultimate Boot CD.  This Boot CD has many freeware and open source utilities on it that can be ran without the main operating system running.

Hiren’s BootCD

The Hiren’s BootCD has been called a computer technician’s best friend. It’s a bootable CD that contains a huge set of tools to help you troubleshoot and repair even the most corrupt machines.

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

If the above Boot CDs can’t do the job then the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows is another great option. It also contains a huge set of tools for troubleshooting various issues.


#1-TuffTEST-Lite is the freeware version of the #1-TuffTEST™ Automatic PC Diagnostics product. .#1-TuffTEST-Lite is a “Stand-Alone” diagnostic program that has its own proprietary self-booting operating system, written in assembly language to allow the testing of a computer’s basic hardware, without the operating system potentially limiting what can be tested.  It has a few useful hardware diagnostic tools, such as being able to easily check a keyboard, that the other Boot CDs don’t necessarily have built-in.

Linux Based Boot CDs

As discussed in this article, there are a variety of Linux boot CDs that are very useful.  Among these are Knoppix, Puppy Linux (for older hardware), Clonezilla (Live CD for hard disk imaging), SystemRescueCD (for Linux systems), and the Network Security Toolkit.  One not mentioned in the article, but is also very useful is Inquisitor.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 25th, 2015 at 11:30 am