Despite all of your preventive measures and the best-laid
plans, sometimes the worst-case scenario happens: Your primary file server
crashes right before your regularly scheduled backup window, and then the
president of the company calls to let you know that he needs the presentation
he’s been working on all day—and he needs it now. Where do you go from here?

Here’s one option that could be a real job-saver: Bart’s Preinstalled Environment (BartPE)
bootable live Windows CD/DVD
. Available for free download, BartPE helps you
create a bootable Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 CD or DVD from the original
installation/setup CD. You can then use the BartPE-created CD to potentially
boot a failed server and possibly recover important files to a network share or
some other medium, in addition to other PC maintenance tasks.

BartPE provides a simple Windows desktop, complete with an
800 x 600 VGA display as well as FAT and NTFS disk support so you can read any
disk in the server—unless you’ve encrypted it using Windows Encrypting File
System (EFS), of course. Furthermore, it also provides network support, so you
can recover any files that are still readable from the failed server.

Best of all, BartPE is free. However, it does require a
valid Windows license. In addition, you must have a CD burner in order to
create the bootable CD.

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