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Langa Letter: The Perfect Rescue Tool

Fred Langa explains how to make a custom, bootable CD containing the right tools to fix just about any system trouble
Some additional tool lists, links, and resources:

Win98 diagnostics:
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/library/1998/
1001/fea0045g.htm#free

General DOS diagnostics
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics

DOS Boot Setup:
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/columns/explorer/1999/1011.htm

DOS Tools and More:
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/columns/explorer/2000/15.htm
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/columns/explorer/2000/16.htm
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/columns/explorer/2000/17.htm
http://content.techweb.com/winmag/columns/explorer/2000/21.htm

Memory (RAM) Tests
http://www.memtest86.com/
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+memory+ram+test

Drive Diagnostics:
http://support.wdc.com/download/
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/powermax.htm
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/

Modem Tests
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+modem

Network/NIC Tests
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+nic

CD/DVD Tests
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+cd
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+dvd

Motherboard
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+motherboard

CPU
http://www.google.com/search?q=dos+diagnostics+cpu

Part Two, Coming Soon!
In the next column, we'll discuss how to use your custom bootable floppy as the heart of a nearly universal boot CD; and then to add as many additional tools as you wish to the CD, up to its full capacity. When you're done, you'll have an immensely useful tool that can help you dig out of just about any system problem!

But for now, let's pool our knowledge to assemble a killer list of low-level tools and DOS utilities. What diagnostic and repair tools do you use? Which have you found to be most useful, and which are better avoided? If you had to pick just one or two low-level tools, what would they be? Join in InformationWeek.com's Listening Post discussion!


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.