You’ve seen versions of Linux that run off CD that can be used as full Linux systems and are especially useful for recovering from boot problems, even on Windows XP computers. You’ve seen those live CD distros and thought to yourself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a native Windows version that resided totally on CD and could be used to recover your distressed PC. Haven’t you wondered that?
Today’s Freeware of the Moment is a free utility from Bart Lagerweij called BartPE that is a live CD-based copy of Windows XP that can be used in just such recovery scenarios. It is a complete Win32 environment that includes support for a network, graphics subsystem and will work with virtually any Windows XP file system. BartPE can be used instead of a DOS bootdisk for those times when your hard drive won’t boot. From the BartPE web site:
Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks.
It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800×600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on. This will replace any Dos bootdisk in no time!