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March 23, 2007

7 downloadable CD images that will give you super powers

by @ 7:07 am. Filed under General Linux, How-To

The other day, I had mentioned a Linux boot CD that would allow one to reset the Administrator password on an NT-based machine. I have successfully done this on Windows 2000 and XP. Well, Vangelis wrote in, asking where to get that CD. Let’s do an exchange. I will show you mine if you show me yours. I’ll list all of the useful boot CDs that I use and what I use them for. In exchange, you leave comments pointing us to those that you use and why you use them.

Darik’s Boot and Nuke – "a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers." This will pretty much ensure that your data is absolutely destroyed. When you sell your machine, you can be sure that your credit card number isn’t still on the hard drive somewhere.

Ophcrack – "a Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables." If you ever forget your Windows Administrator password, this Linux-based LiveCD may be able to crack it. I’ve enjoyed about an 85% success rate with this.

Ultimate Boot CD – "Assembles over 100 PC hardware diagnosis tools into one bootable CD to analyze and repair hard drives and boot problems." Very nice to have when working on a server that is throwing fits.

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor – "This is a utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT system." This is the tool that I used to fix up that box at work the other day. If you can’t crack the password with Ophcrack, or you don’t have the time, just reset it with this tool. I’ve only had success setting it to a blank password, but that has worked every time.

Knoppix – "KNOPPIX is a bootable Live system on CD or DVD, consisting of a representative collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a productive Linux system for the desktop, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk." That seems pretty clear.

gparted – "GParted is the Gnome Partition Editor application." Which means that it is a Live CD that will allow you to resize, delete, and otherwise modify your partition table without having to boot into the system loaded onto the machine. This is a great open source replacement for something like Partition Magic.

Hiren’s Boot CD – Really, this one has way too much stuff to list here. Suffice it to say that if it is not on one of the other CDs, it is very likely here.

There are the major ones that I carry around with me. Take a look at them and see if there’s anything useful for you. If you have one that is not listed here, please post a comment for all to see (actually, I’ll likely just edit this post and list it here with the others).

6 Responses to “7 downloadable CD images that will give you super powers”

  1. suser Says:

    insert: gparted included. fluxbox. based on knoppix. basic security stuff. fully replace systemrescuecd.
    backtrack: the best security based live cd out there.

  2. freyk Says:

    I loved ultimated bootcd, but after the release of 3.4, they didn’t pack version 4.0 with INSERT anymore 🙁

  3. Scott Morris Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂

  4. E@zyVG Says:

    Knoppix – always handy and perfect LiveDVD (5.2 being latest) … never know when you will need one.
    gparted – for same reason you have and there is one reason for it to have – partitionaning/managing the hdd(s)
    Hiren’s Boot CD – sounds interesting one and will give it a try.

  5. KevanF1 Says:

    Hiren’s Boot CD is excellent, though, somewhat grey in the legality area I think 😉

    You will not find the download on the site, I found that out about 2 yrs ago when I first heard about it. If you e-mail Hiren (Indian guy) he will send you a link to the download.

  6. mukesh Says:

    thanks for suggestions. hiren boot is like a superpower which allows you to solve
    boot broblems and window failures. this cd is like a magic .i like it.

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