Yesterday I felt the strong desire to have a bootable Windows Recovery CD. There was a nagging feeling for the past years that I better had one, but another nagging feeling told me that it would probably take around 4 hours to make one. Until yesterday, the second nagging feeling always took precedence over the first one.
This suddenly changed when my computer went for a quick reboot and never came back. As far as I am concerned, this was without any reason since we did not have an argument previously. So I was caught by surprise and needed to get my files from my HDD before attempting any repair using disk images.
First, I tried Reatogo (German Domain) but it complained that I was trying to build a bootable XP CD from a Windows7 environment. This was when my second nagging feeling told me “See?”.
Which it was. But when I saw the huge download (200+ Mbyte) I heard the “See?” again. Downloading and installing took some time because the installer calculated checksums to verify every file after installation. But essentially, it boils down to:
- Download UBCD4Win
- While waiting for the download, copy the contents of your Win XP CD (that’s right, also the hidden and system files) to a directory of your choice WITHOUT blanks in it
- Install UBCD4Win, again into a path WITHOUT blanks in it
- Let the installer verify all the files when it asks you to
- Run UBCD4Win and point the first browser dialog to your copied XP files
- Optionally tweak the plugins to get latest virus databases and install Firefox as your browser of choice
- Run it
Things I’ve learned:
- Creating a bootable CD is not that hard thanks to the guys who put a lot of work into making it easy. Much appreciate.
- Once you have all the prerequisites (a tool like UBCD4Win, your XP CD) most of the work is waiting, actually.
- UBCD4Win can talk to external USB drives, provided you plug them in prior to booting.
- UBCD4Win only talks about Win XP SP1 and SP2, but it worked perfectly with SP3 as well.