I suffer being a tech hero. Relatives and friends come to me with their mechanism problems, and some-more mostly than not, we assistance them. Their problem gets solved, and my ego goes adult a notch. (I can attest for that final one. –Ed.)

It helps to have a right tools–and unless a crony has a hardware problem, all of those collection fit onto a singular peep drive. If a person’s complement is amply sick, we can foot a Linux movement called PartedMagic from a peep drive. From there, we can collect files off an unbootable PC, check a condition of a tough drive, and indicate for malware.

Not that we always have to do that. My special peep expostulate also contains mixed unstable Windows utilities (relatives and friends with Macs are on their own). With these programs we can purify a tough drive, redeem deleted files not in a Recycling Bin, scrupulously mislay commissioned programs, check a condition of a tough drive, and indicate for malware.

All of a programs I’m recommending here are free, during slightest for personal use. Some competence need licenses if you’re a professional.

Creating a bootable peep expostulate is remarkably easy. All we need is a peep expostulate (a 512MB expostulate will do, with room to spare) and a giveaway Universal USB Installer. Insert a expostulate into a USB port, and afterwards launch a installer. In step one, name PartedMagic (it’s rather nearby a bottom), and afterwards check a Download a iso option. The download itself can take time; as we write this, a stream chronicle is 163MB. Everything else should be transparent from there.

Once a expostulate is bootable, we can duplicate your Windows programs onto it. But we won’t speak about those programs usually yet; I’d rather start by display we what to do in Linux.

Fixing Windows From Another OS

Your friend’s PC substantially doesn’t foot from a peep expostulate by default, so you’ll have to figure out how to make it do that. When a mechanism initial comes on, it competence furnish messages revelation we what keys to press for ‘Setup’ or a ‘Boot Menu’. If it offers both, go with a Boot Menu option, given Setup will need we to change a foot sequence of your friend’s appurtenance (you should change it behind when you’re through).

If we see no such messages, examination with dire duty keys usually before Windows loads (F10 is a good gamble for a Boot Menu). You can also hunt a Web for setup or “boot menu” and a PC make and indication number.

Even if we know a suitable button, removing a timing right can be tricky. we usually pull and recover a symbol over and over again until a scold menu comes up.

(If you’re wondering since we shouldn’t simply emanate a bootable CD instead of a peep drive, we can list several reasons: You can’t simply duplicate files to a CD. Not all PCs have visual drives anymore. And not all computers with visual drives foot from them though a same hassles we usually described.)

Once we successfully foot from a drive, name Default Settings (Runs from RAM) from a ensuing menu. You’ll shortly find yourself in a absolutely familiar-looking environment.

But here’s one thing we should remember: Linux is indeed regulating in a practical expostulate in RAM. Any record we save to a base “drive” will disappear when we reboot. If we wish to save a file, save it to a peep drive.

The following are a few things that we can do in PartedMagic.

Mounting partitions in Linux.Recover files:
If your crony can’t foot a PC, recuperating critical files off a tough expostulate is substantially a initial priority. Click a external-drive idol nearby a lower-left corner, and afterwards click a Mount symbol subsequent to a suitable partition. Find a files and folders we want, and drag and dump them to an outmost expostulate (if your peep expostulate has adequate giveaway room, we can use that).

Editing hard-drive partitions.Edit partitions:
If a name PartedMagic didn’t idea we in, this Linux distribution’s categorical explain to celebrity is a nondestructive assign tool. Just double-click a Partition Editor idol on a desktop, and adult it comes. This will tell we right divided if a scold assign is bootable, or even visible. To change a partition’s status, right-click it and name Manage Flags.

Check a tough drive’s health: Double-click a Disk Health icon on a desktop for technical information on a tough drive. The final add-on lets we run a drive’s built-in evidence tests.

Scan for malware: Unfortunately, a command-line chronicle of ClamAV that comes in PartedMagic is anything though friendly. You competence wish to follow these instructions closely, or usually skip to a subsequent section, where we advise some alternatives.

First, we have to download a stream definitions. Click a Start button (yes, I’m regulating a Windows tenure for clarity) and name System Tools. If a Download Clamav Definitions option is available, name it.

If we don’t see one there, launch Firefox (Start, Internet, Firefox), and go to a ClamAV site. Download main.cvd and daily.cvd. Save them to a /root/clamav folder.

Before we run a scan, make certain that all of a partitions we wish to indicate are mounted. See a “Recover Files” territory above for instructions.

Next you’ll need a folder, preferably on a peep drive, to store a suspected putrescent files. If we know how to emanate a folder in Windows, we can figure it out here.

Now open a depot window: Select Start, Accessories, LXTerminal. A command-prompt window will open. At a prompt, form cd /root/clamav and press Enter. Then form clamscan -r -v –move=
path to your new folder
/media. For instance, we competence form clamscan -r -v –move=/media/sdb1/badstuffinside /media. (Note that there’s a space between badstuffinside and /.) Press Enter.

When a indicate is over, suspected files will be off your friend’s tough expostulate and on your peep drive. You can afterwards demeanour during them, establish if they’re necessary, and undo them. Just don’t open them in Windows.

Point your browser to linux.die.net/man/1/clamscan for some-more on regulating ClamAV.

Other Malware-Fighting Tools

If ClamAV seems like too most of a hassle, cruise regulating one or some-more of these other unstable malware scanners.

SuperAntiSpyware PortableSuperAntiSpyware Portable Scanner: You shouldn’t keep this one–the unstable chronicle of one of a best giveaway on-demand scanners–on your peep drive. Why? The compendium is built into a file, so uninformed versions come out each day or two. Download it from a protected mechanism during a final probable moment, and save it to your peep drive. Boot your friend’s PC into Windows’ Safe Mode, and run it from there.

HijackThis: Actually, this isn’t a scanner, though a portable, Windows-based research tool. It produces an inferior news on a PC’s configuration, and that news competence enclose clues about an infection. Consult Trend Micro’s HijackThis site for a list of online forums where we can upload your news and get advice.

AVG Rescue CD: If we can’t (or won’t) run a malware indicate in Windows, here’s another live Linux distro built generally for antivirus work. You can download apart versions to bake to CD or to put on a peep drive. Either one is bootable.

Extra Tools for Your Flash Drive

Not each PC problem your friends have will need a malware indicate or an choice boot. These unstable programs simply fit on your peep drive, and can run in Windows though being installed.

Recuva PortableRecuva Portable: If any form of module should be portable, it’s an uneraser, since each time we write to your tough drive, we reduce a possibility of successfully restoring a mislaid file. You’ll never find a guaranteed file-recovery tool, though in my knowledge Piriform’s Recuva has an extraordinary lane record.

CCleaner PortableCCleaner Portable: Here’s another excellent, free, and unstable apparatus from Piriform. As a name implies, this one cleans adult your friend’s messes. It empties caches, cookies, and other Windows and focus garbage. It cleans out a Registry (do this with impassioned caution). It can also uninstall programs, nonetheless not as good as my subsequent recommendation.

Revo Uninstaller PortableRevo Uninstaller Portable: Every Windows module comes with an uninstaller, though many of them leave junk behind. Windows’ possess Uninstaller apparatus (called possibly ‘Programs and Features’ or ‘Add or Remove Programs’) isn’t any better–it usually launches a comparison program’s possess uninstaller. Revo, on a other hand, runs a program’s uninstaller, and afterwards cleans adult a remaining garbage. It isn’t perfect, though it does a reasonable job. One warning: Although a free, unstable chronicle works in 64-bit versions of Windows, it can’t mislay x64 programs.

HD TuneHD Tune: You don’t need to foot into Linux to check a drive’s status. This module will do it in Windows. This chronicle is giveaway usually for personal use; professionals will have to bombard out $35 for a more-powerful HD Tune Pro. This is not strictly a unstable program–you have to implement it on Windows. But once we do that, we can duplicate a folder to your peep drive, and use it anywhere.

Folder Size PortableFolder Size Portable: If your friend’s tough expostulate is too crowded, cleaning it out will be easier if we can brand a folders that enclose a bloat. MindGem’s apparatus will uncover we that folders, and that folders inside those folders, are holding adult lots of hoop space. Two caveats: First, a unstable chronicle is noted “Experimental,” nonetheless it works excellent for me. Second, a cool-looking, charcterised graphics work usually if your crony has Java commissioned in Internet Explorer. But don’t fret–the information is a same with or though a flattering pictures.

With collection such as these in your pocket, we can be a really renouned person.

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