How To: Build a custom Windows recovery disk

Build a custom Windows recovery disk

Systm is the Do It Yourself show designed for the common geek who wants to quickly and easily learn how to dive into the latest and hottest tech projects. We will help you avoid pitfalls and get your project up and running fast.

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Save yourself the hassle of rebuilding your system in the event of a catastrophic disk failure by creating a custom recovery disc... and learn about Rescue CDs and Slipstreaming while you do!

From Revision3:
Eventually it will happen: your hard drive gets corrupted, damaged or wiped. Your PC has become a giant paperweight. If you have backups all of your data -you do back up your data, right?- you can spend hours manually re-installing your operatings system, updates and programs.

Or, follow our instructions to build a custom recovery disk that will quickly rebuild your systm exactly how you want it!

For creating custom image restores Roger prefers Macrium Reflect Free. While you can go with pay for disk imaging titles like Symantec's Ghost or Acronis True Image, or try your hand at an open source disk imaging tools I find that Macrium Reflect Free offers the best balance between price, ease of use and functionality.

Before you rebuild your Windows box, you might want to recover data, diagnose issues or reformat and repartition a new hard drive. A "Rescue CD" will be a huge help. Typically a collection of tools loaded onto a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive, a Rescue CD helps you troubleshoot your machine even if the hard drive isn't working.

All of them except the Ultimate Boot CD For Windows are ISO files you download and burn out using your favorite CD/DVD burner. Then set your machine to boot from the CD first and it will automatically boot into the rescue disk.

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