Hiren’s Boot CD
This is any computer professional’s ultimate must-have tool!
When it comes to computer repair, having useful and easy to use software is always a bonus. If you haven’t heard of Hiren’s Boot CD, read on, you can thank me later 🙂
Hiren’s BootCD is a boot disk utility that will help in resolving a HUGE number of problems you may encounter in your career of computer repair. It provides software and tools for almost any kind of problem, from data recovery, testing hard drives, and doing full ghost copies of one hard drive to another, or to a .GHO image file. It really is an awesome piece of software, and best of all, it’s F-R-E-E!!
Below I will summarize the software included with this package, and then I will point out a few of my favorite tools to use. Stay tuned!
Mini Windows XP
Now this is one very nifty tool. If you cannot access your operating system, and/or want to move data from it to another drive, this tool is just awesome. It loads a mini version of Windows XP straight from the CD and you can access all your devices (be it external hard drives, internal hard drives, USB drives, other CD’s/DVD’s, etc.) This is pretty much what it looks like:
Data Recovery Tools
Sometimes you may not be able to access files on a hard drive (even if they are still there) due to accidental deletion or hard drive failure, or other similar issues. Hiren’s Boot CD has quite a list of useful software tools to help you backup and retrieve these missing files with only the click a few buttons. Some of these programs can even help you to retrieve and access corrupted files, which will not be accessible even within your operating system.
My favorite piece of software for data recovery in this package is one by the name of GetDataBack. It looks something like this:
Data Backup Tools
My favorite piece of software for backing up data (or retrieving it, depending on the case) in this package is one called Symantec Ghost. This thing is really powerful. With Ghost, you can do a complete backup of a hard drive, including the operating system. You can make a .GHO image copy of the hard drive to burn to another hard drive, or restore at a later stage. You can also do a “disk-to-disk” copy of a hard drive.
I use this feature a lot, like really a lot. When my client has a hard drive that is busy dying, I just throw it into my workshop computer, along with a new hard drive, and just copy all the data over to the new hard drive. Plug the new hard drive into their computer, and BAAM, it works. How awesome is that? It looks something like this:
These tools can monitor all your hardware, and even predict how long your hardware still has to live! There are tools included that can test all types of hardware in the computer, from RAM (Random Access Memory) to CD/DVD Optical Drives, and most importantly, hard drives! There are a lot of hard drive testing tools for each manufacturer. The one I use the most that’s included with Hiren’s Boot CD, is of course Seatools.
Seatools is Seagate’s Hard Drive testing tool, but the cool thing is it can scan and test a lot of different manufacturer’s hard drives.
Last but not least, there are password tools. This is great for when your client has forgotten their password and their account is the only one on the operating system. Or if you make stupid mistakes like I have in the past, when you’ve forgotten to ask the client what their password is when you’ve taken their computer or laptop to your workshop, and you don’t want to sound unprofessional when you phone them to ask for it.
These password tools basically scan the hard drive you select for the user accounts, and then you can tell it to either reset the password to something else, or remove it completely. These tools have helped me out quite a bit in the past. An example of one of them looks like this:
Stay tuned for a future blog post where I will be showing you exactly how to use this amazing tool called Hiren’s Boot CD.
To download the latest version (version 15.2) of Hiren’s Boot CD, visit the Hiren’s Boot CD Download Page by clicking the button below, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the green box. Click on Hirens.BootCD.15.2.zip and enjoy this awesome tool.
Let me know what you think of it in the comment section below!