Troubleshooting using Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset ~ Ask The Admin

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Troubleshooting using Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

We have all been stuck between a rock and a hard place at one time or another... Stuck staring blankly at a Windows machine that just won't boot. I have been recommending this re-branded toolkit left and right recently so here is a little more information on it for you guys:

This nifty tool allows you to boot from a CD into a special diagnostics environment which enables you to:

  • Fix boot problems (boot.ini/Chkdsk)
  • Edit the Registry offline
  • Change Services/Drivers startup state
  • Restore to an earlier Restore Point even if Windows fails to start in Safe-Mode
  • Reset the administrator password (or any other account)
  • Easily remove malware & viruses while scanning the system offline
  • Recover lost data while the system is offline (undelete files, folders or partitions)

The tool fully supports TCP/IP networking for sharing folders and remote troubleshooting.

The environment partially-supports running other Windows applications for Virus cleaning, un-deleting files and more. Most applications that will work flawlessly are the one that designed to run without installation and no run-time libraries (.Net framework, etc.)

The original name of the product is "ERD Commander" from Winternals. Microsoft bought the company and now calls that same product by the name:

The download link above is for a fully-featured 30-days evaluation version of the product. this application is intended for Enterprise IT Professionals (as a Volume Licensing Extra).

I recommend on playing with it inside a Virtual PC/VMware workstation. you will be thankful that you've heard about this tool on your next BSOD!

Note that this product officially support the Windows 2000/XP systems only (although it can be used for any other version too...)