There’s no shortage of Windows-based portable tools for repairing, cleaning, checking the OS.
But when Windows is really unhealthy, the solution might be to use portable, Linux-based tools on a bootable flash drive.
Building a home–IT manager’s tool kit
Uncle Bob’s hard drive is so full he can’t do anything. Aunt Suzie thinks hers has a virus. Your spouse’s PC won’t even boot. And you’re beginning to worry about the noises coming out of your own computer.
Every successful job requires the right set of tools. For example, loading portable diagnostic and repair tools on a flash drive can make the task of fixing Windows problems faster and easier. And if the flash drive has the right flavor of Linux, you might be able to fix Windows when it won’t even boot. This story will step you through the process of building a bootable flash drive that includes both Linux and Windows diagnostic utilities.
Why use Linux to repair ailing Windows?
Many Windows users know Linux only as the operating system of hopeless computer geeks. That’s not completely inaccurate, but in fact Linux is widely used in all sorts of computing and dedicated-device applications.
For example, versions of live Linux can be extremely useful to anyone tackling a problematic Windows system. Also known as distros, live Linux can be booted on any Windows-compatible system — from either a CD or flash drive.
And unlike Windows, live Linux doesn’t have to go through a lengthy installation process on a particular PC in order to boot. Simply plug in the flash drive or load the CD; then, power up the system — a feature that makes Linux ideal for quick Windows troubleshooting.