The Winternals' ERD Commander 2005 boot process appears similar to that used by Windows XPThis gallery is also available as a TechRepublic article.
Rescue boot CDs are plentiful. Numerous ISO images populate the Internet. From Hiren'sBootCD to a BartPE disk, numerous options exist for rescuing failed systems quickly. Not all are legal, and some are outright flaky.
If you work within a larger enterprise you'd be well served to take a look at Winternals Software's ERD Commander 2005. A core component of Winternals' $1,439 Administrator's Pak, ERD Commander 2005 isn't cheap. But with the investment comes a collection of powerful utilities you can use with confidence to repair failed systems. Best of all, it's completely legal.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.