Windows live CD

When something goes wrong in Windows (I can’t boot, not even in safe mode), and I really really need that data, the first thing that crosses my mind is to use a Ubuntu Live CD. However, if Win was not shut down correctly, the ntfs partition can not be mounted.

Recovery disks are plenty on the internet. They all come bundled with all kinds of little programs to help you debug/recover your data. What if such a recovery disk would give you a standard win(explorer) inteface, with network access, disk utils, debugging tools? A trully Win Live CD.

Well, something like this exists from some time, and i refer to BartPE Installation environment: http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks.

It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800×600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on.
This will replace any Dos bootdisk in no time!

Someone can always try to make its own Win Live CD, but why not use something ‘standard’, bundled with all kinds of ‘goodies’ ? . Just google “HawkPE”.
Below is an example of such a compilation:
http://www.mininova.org/tor/2155489 – HAWKPE-42 The PC Tech’s Swiss Army Knife Live DVD

Quoting from its description:

A fully-functional BartPE/WinPE (Windows XP SP2) + Linux (Slax-6) live
CD/DVD ISOs. Comes w/ AdAware SE + McAfee AV + ClamAV + SpywareDoctor
updated as of 29-Dec-08, Windows Explorer, SmartDriverBackup,
PCI-TREE, FoxIt PDF Reader, FileZilla FTP Client, Ghost 8, UltraVNC,
Partition Magic 8, CHNTPW (now Vista-compatible), WIPECMOS, MEMTEST,
the Hitachi/Seagate/WD hdrive diagnostics, etc. Boots to WinPE by
default. Download README-HAWKPE.TXT or HAWKPE-CHANGES.TXT in advance,for details about the package.

I have tried this DVD and surprise: everything works 🙂 Enjoy.

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