Using ddrescue on Windows Machines – Tutorial

October 14th, 2012 → 6:06 pm @

What is ddrescue?

Ddrescue is a recovery tool for rescuing data from drives that have suffered damaged blocks or sectors. Ddrescue is used to create an image of a failing hard drive. Normal disk imaging tools stop when they reach a corrupt portion of a hard drive. Ddrescue, on the other hand, will try multiple times to read the damaged area and then continue on regardless of whether or not it successfully read the damaged portion.

Ddrescue and Windows

Ddrescue only runs in the Linux environment, however, this will not likely prohibit you from using it to image a Windows computer. In order to image a drive, you must not be relying on the operating system found on it. The easiest way to image a drive is via a live CD. Live CD’s are similar to boot disks (remember those?) Live CD’s do not rely on a computer’s hard drive, but instead run off of the operating system found on the CD.

To image a Windows computer, all you need to do is boot the computer from a Linux Live CD and run ddrescue. Later on in this post I will discus how to access the image file that you create from inside Windows.

Ddrescue Tutorials

Using ddrescue can be difficult for those who are new to Linux. Linux gives paths to drives in a much different way than Windows does. In Windows drives are give a letter, such as C: or D:; in Linux they are found at a path, such as /dev/sda. If this lingo is new to you, you may want to follow one of these tutorials.

BootMed Plus Tutorial

BootMed Plus is premium live CD that automates drive imaging, making it a matter of pointing and clicking. BootMed Plus also comes with built in video tutorials. Just click here to see the BootMed Plus video about drive imaging.

BootMed Tutorial

If you are brave and would like to type out a command in the command line interface, BootMed can guide you through it. BootMed comes with online text based tutorials and step by step instructions. Click here to see how to image a drive with BootMed.

Open the ddrescue Image in Windows

Once you have created an image with ddrescue you can open it in Windows and (hopefully) recover files from it. The video below will show you how to connect to the image and access it as if it were a physical hard drive. From there you should be able to access the files on it. To follow the video tutorial, you will need OSFMount, a free tool that mounts raw drive images.



How to Scan for Viruses – Tutorial

October 14th, 2012 → 4:31 pm @

How to Scan for Viruses

Viruses can cause a myriad of computer problems and can be difficult to remove. This post will show you how to scan for viruses and then how to remove them, whether you can get Windows to start or not.

Scanning if Windows Boots

I suggest using House Call by Trend Micro. House Call is free and easy to install and use.

Download House Call

First you will need to download House Call’s small installation file. To do so go to:

Next you will need to select either the 32 bit or 64 bit version. Its all right if you do not know what this means. Selecting the wrong version will not harm your computer. If you are not sure which one to download, try the 32 bit version first.

To download it, click on the link and then in the window that opens click on the link on the left side that is similar to “Get the 64 bit Version.”

Install House Call

Once it has downloaded, just double click on the file to run it. If it is not the correct version for your computer you will get an error similar to the one the below when you run the program you downloaded. Just go back to and download the other version.

When you run the installation file you downloaded, it will install and update House Call, this may take a few minutes depending on your connection speed. Once it is installed you will be ready to scan for viruses.

Scanning for Viruses

Once House Call is installed, you will see a window with a Scan Now button like the one below. Before you start scanning, click the Settings… link below the scan button.

In the window that opens, select Full system scan, as shown in the image below. Click OK. This will configure House Call to scan everything, which will take longer than the Quick scan, but will also check your computer more thoroughly.

Next, click the Scan Now button. House Call will now start scanning your computer for viruses. This may take a few hours.

Removing Viruses

Once the scanning is complete a window will appear showing the results of the scan. Here is what my results looked like:

As you can see, a file on my computer is infected with the Crackin virus. If any viruses were found on your computer, just click the Fix Now button to remove them.

In the next window you will see the results of the virus removal. As you can see, House Call successfully removed the virus on my computer. If House Call was not able to remove the viruses on your computer, try using one of these antivirus programs:

Avast Free Antivirus

AVG Antivirus Free

Scanning when Windows won’t Boot

Even ff viruses are stopping your computer from booting, there are still ways to scan and remove them without re-installing Windows. You can use a live CD to boot up your computer and scan it for viruses. Live CD’s are basically boot disks (remember those?) on CD’s. A live CD boots up to a operating system on the CD, completely independent of Windows.

BootMed Plus

BootMed Plus is a premium live CD that comes with built in video tutorials that guide you through the virus removal process. Just watch the video below to see how to remove viruses with BootMed Plus. BootMed Plus can also help you with other recovery tasks, just in case your problem is not virus related.


BootMed is a free live CD that comes with online text based tutorials. BootMed can guide you through the virus removal process and help you get your computer up and running again.

Check out this virus scan tutorial to see how to scan for viruses from a live CD.


Two New BootMed Tutorials Have Been Added!

September 21st, 2012 → 3:29 pm @

Two new BootMed tutorials have been added:

How to Perform a S.M.A.R.T. Test 

The first tutorial shows how to perform a S.M.A.R.T. test on a hard drive.  SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology.  Many hard disks come with SMART technology built into them.  As the name suggests, SMART keeps track of any problems it detects and can report them when requested.  BootMed comes with GSmartControl, a program that can retrieve the SMART  data and help you understand the report.

The SMART report is one of the first things you should check when troubleshooting boot problems.  A bad SMART report could indicate that the problems are related to imminent corruption problems.

How to Recover a Windows 7/Vista Registry 

Viruses, mal-ware, hardware problems and many other things can cause serious problems in the Windows Registry and make a computer unable to boot.  Windows 7 and Vista make regular backups of the Windows registry and put them in the Windows/system32/config/regback folder.  This second tutorial shows you how to first create a backup of your current registry and then recover your registry from the regback folder.

Be sure to check out the Tutorial page for more BootMed tutorials or head over the the Getting Started page to begin using BootMed.  Also check out BootMed Plus, which automates recovery tasks and comes with built in video walk through’s.


BootMed (Free) 1.1 has been Released!

September 8th, 2012 → 7:20 pm @

BootMed 1.1 comes with many improvements.  Go to the download page to get a copy!

  • Smaller Size – BootMed is now only 538 megabytes!  (vs 700+ MBs for 1.0 64 bit)
  • Better Antivirus – BootMed now uses ClamTK, a native Linux app for scanning viruses.  You no longer need to configure WINE to scan for viruses and updating the definitions is easy.
  • Auto Mounting – BootMed will now automatically mount NTFS partitions at boot, as well as auto mounting USB storage devices as they are connected.
  • Better performance – BootMed runs Xfce Desktop Environment, a light weight GUI that starts up quicker and uses less resources.
  • Improved Look – Improved asthetics, personalized background, etc.
 The BootMed 1.0 pages have been archived here:  Just in case you need to access them.