Like everyone who makes his living from computers, I’m always getting called on by friends and family to help them fix their PC problems. Thanks to the Gentoo Linux-based SystemRescueCD though, I’m usually able to fix most of their troubles without breaking a sweat.
SystemRescueCD, like the name suggests, is a system rescue disk. You can use it either as a bootable CD-ROM, USB stick, or even over a network connection. While you can use it as a desktop in own right, its real job is repairing crashed systems. In particular, with its disk and file system repair tools, it’s great for bring dead hard drives back to life.
With Linux disk and file tools like parted, partimage, fstools and many others and support for almost all Linux, Unix and Windows file systems, such as ext2/ext3/ext4, FAT, JFS, NTFS, ReiserFS, Reiser4, and XFS I have yet to find a hard drive that could still spin that I couldn’t at least pull data from with SystemRescueCD.