Boot Media and Tools

Anchor Link AllBootDisks
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-04-14
Windows: DOS, 9x, NT, Me, 2000, XP
“These are the ISO boot disk images available from AllBootDisks. To use these images, download the .exe file to your PC (don’t worry it’s virus free – we’ve checked them). Once the file has been downloaded, simply double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions. If you need assistance creating a bootable CD or floppy disk from this image, visit the how-to page.
“We offer two types of boot disk images, depending on your needs. The contents of these disks are identical, so you will only need one or the other.

Automatic Disk Image
These files should be used when you just need to create a bootable floppy disk as fast as possible. You simply download the file you need, and double-click on the .exe file. You will have a boot disk in no time!

Diskette Images
These files are identical to the Automatic Disk Image, but they are cross-platform. Basically this means you can use these Diskette Images on Windows, Linux, OS X, BSD, etc. These Diskette Images are perfect for Virtual computing using products such as VMware Player, VMware Server, VMware ESX, and Microsoft Virtual Server. You should use the Diskette Images for a Virtual Machine.”

Anchor Link Avira AntiVir Rescue System
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-05-22
Version: 20120522120051 – Released: 2012-05-22 Windows: 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 245 MB (ISO)
“The Avira AntiVir Rescue System allows access to computers that cannot be booted. This makes it possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan for virus infections. Just double-click on the rescue system package to burn it to a CD/DVD which can boot an unresponsive system. The Avira AntiVir Rescue System is updated several times a day so that the most recent security updates are always available.”
[ Note: It appears that this site is very frequently updated. Therefore all of the information here is only as accurate as of the last date we reviewed the site. Ed. ]

Anchor Link Bart’s PE Builder
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-09-10
Version: 3.1.10a – Released: 2006-02-17 Windows: XP, 2003
File Size: 3.2 MB Portable
“Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a bootable Window CD-Rom or DVD from Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 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 (even masterpieces like modboot and Bart’s Network Bootdisk) in no time! Goodbye to all the good and bad dos-based NTFS utilities! Now we can boot from a CD-Rom and have full read/write access to NTFS volumes!

“PE Builder is not a Microsoft product and does not create Microsoft Windows Pre-installation Environment (‘WinPE’). Using PE Builder does not grant you a license to Microsoft WinPE or to use the Windows XP or Server 2003 binaries in a manner other than stated in the End-User License Agreement include in your version of Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Microsoft has not reviewed or tested PE Builder and does not endorse its use.
“PE Builder (pebuilder.exe) runs on Windows 2000, XP, 2003. It does not run on Windows NT4, ME, 9x. To avoid any confusion, the bootable CD generated by PE Builder should be called by its nickname ‘BartPE’!”

Anchor Link Bootable Floppy Disk Creation
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2010-03-03
Revision: 2.4 – Released: 2010-03-03 Windows: XP
“This step-by-step article describes how to create a boot disk for Windows XP to access a drive with a faulty boot sequence on an Intel-processor-based computer.”

Anchor Link EasyBoot
License: Shareware – $29.95 Last Reviewed: 2012-08-23
Version: – Released: 2012-08-18 Windows: 9x, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP
File Size: 3.1 MB
“EasyBoot is an integrated tool to create MultiBoot, Menu driven Compact Discs with local language. It has the ability to automatically produce boot image files, and generate the ISO file as well. Using your CD-R/W Recording software such as Nero or Roxio to Record the ISO, you get a bootable CD that completely belongs to you. You can customize it with your companies name or slogan or even use it for your clients.”

Anchor Link nLite
License: Freeware – Donations appreciated Last Reviewed: 2011-04-24
Version: – Released: 2008-09-11 Windows: 2000, XP, 2003, Vista
File Size: 2.5 MB Requires: .NET Framework
“nLite is a GUI for permanent Windows component removal by your choice. After removal there is an option to make bootable image ready for burning on cd or testing in virtual machines. With nLite you will be able to have Windows installation which on install doesn’t include, or even contain on cd, unwanted components. nLite Features:
¤ Service Pack Integration
¤ Component Removal
¤ Unattended Setup
¤ Driver Integration *
¤ Hotfixes Integration **
¤ Tweaks
¤ Patches ***
¤ Bootable ISO creation
* – Textmode (CD Boot) and normal PnP
** – only new type 1 hotfixes (for example XP post SP2)
*** – supports generic SFC, Uxtheme, TcpIp and Usb Polling patching.”

Anchor Link Ultimate Boot CD
License: Freeware – Donations appreciated Last Reviewed: 2010-08-25
Version: 5.0.3 – Released: 2010-08-25 Windows: All
File Size: 301 MB
“You need the Ultimate Boot CD if you want to:
¤ Run floppy-based diagnostic tools from CDROM drives. More and more PCs are shipped without floppy drives these days, and it is such a royal pain when you need to run diagnostic tools on them.
¤ Free yourself from the slow loading speed of the floppy drive. Even if you do have a floppy drive, it is still much much faster to run your diagnostic tools from the CDROM drive, rather than wait for the tool to load from the floppy drive.
¤ Consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD. Wouldn’t you like to avoid digging into the dusty box to look for the right floppy disk, but simply run them all from a single CD? Then the Ultimate Boot CD is for you!
“When you boot up from the CD, a text-based menu would be displayed, and you would be able to select the tool you want to run. The selected tool actually boots off a virtual floppy disk created in memory.
“Ultimate Boot CD runs independently of any operating system. It will boot from any Intel-based machine, regardless of whether DOS/Windows/Linux/BeOS is installed on the machine. However, you do need an operating system and a ISO-capable CD writer software to create the Ultimate Boot CD from the downloaded ISO image file.”

Anchor Link Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
License: Freeware – Donations appreciated Last Reviewed: 2013-04-30
Version: 5.2.3 – Released: 2013-04-30 Windows: All
File Size: 501 MB ISO image
“UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair/restore/diagnose almost any computer problem. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows. UBCD4Win is based on Bart’s PE. Bart’s PE builds a Windows ‘pre-install’ environment CD, basically Windows booted from CD. With network support, the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc. This project includes almost everything you need to repair your system problems. There are many types of utilities included that allow you to recover and/or repair a damaged system. Please visit the List of Tools page for a complete list of what is included in the latest version of the project.
“There are several requirements for building this CD which can and may make it difficult for novices to successfully build the project. Please understand that these requirements and restrictions are due to copyright laws, etc. I provide detailed instructions, email support, and the forum for help. Inexperienced users will feel a sense of accomplishment and gain knowledge when they successfully build the CD.
“If you wish to run UBCD from a USB memory stick, please refer to: Making UBCD memory stick”

Anchor Link UNetbootin
License: GNU GPL – Open Source Last Reviewed: 2012-12-27
Version: 5.83 – Released: 2012-12-27 Windows: 2000, XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 4.9 MB
“UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for a variety of Linux distributions from Windows or Linux, without requiring you to burn a CD. You can either let it download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you’ve already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn’t on the list.
“UNetbootin can create a bootable Live USB drive, or it can make a ‘frugal install’ on your local hard disk if you don’t have a USB drive. It can load distributions by automatically downloading their ISO (CD image) files, or by using existing ISO files, floppy/hard disk images, or kernel/initrd files, for installing other distributions. UNetbootin can also be used to load various system utilities.”

Anchor Link USB Boot Problems
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-04-14
Author: Fred Langa
Published: 2004-08-16
“Almost any USB-equipped PC can read and write files to these devices, making them a nearly universal tool for moving larger files around without a network, or even serving as a back-up medium for selected files. Most newer PCs also can boot directly from these devices, and that brings us to today’s topic.
“In theory, making a USB drive bootable should be utterly simple: After all, a USB drive presents itself to the system as a kind of floppy-like medium, and every PC for the last 20 years has known how to boot from a floppy. But, naturally, it’s often not that simple: There can be problems on both the software and hardware side of making a USB device bootable.”
Anchor Link Windows and DOS Boot Disks
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-04-14
Windows: 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP
“The majority of tips, tweaks, files, bootdisks, instructions, utilities, links, patches, updates, and all other information contained on this site are posted for advanced DOS and Windows users. If you do not understand the jargon, instructions, filenames, and/or file descriptions here then I firmly recommend that you do not download any files or install them. Various anti-virus programs may report that some utilities here as trojans or destructive programs. If you do not know how to tell if your anti-virus is giving you a ‘false’ alarm then do not download any files from this website. I am positive that the most important advice I can give is if your system is working just fine, then do not mess with it. In other words, do not install a patch or update unless you are 95% sure you need it to fix your system.”

Anchor Link Windows In Your Pocket
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-04-14
Author: Bjorn Frohlecke
Dated: 2005-09-09
“All it takes is a minor error in the Windows Registry or a virus infection, and your operating system can become unbootable. But with a properly configured USB flash drive on hand, you’ll always have a compatible replacement no further away than your pocket or keychain. In addition, the flash drive can also provide a secure browser and virus scanner, and lets you take your favorite DVD burning and Office software with you wherever you may go.”