Boot Disk Review
September 4 2013, Henry Schwartz
To continue the train of reviews on software developed by LSoft Technologies Inc., I'll be reviewing one of their core products: Active@ Boot Disk. What this software proves itself to be is a powerful disk utility tool that allows the user to create a portable, working bootable disk that can be used to start up any computer, even without an operating system or drivers installed.
Picture: Boot Disk's main start up screen
What is it?
In case terms like "bootable disk" sound strange and foreign to you, I'll quickly explain what this software does. Basically, you can load a full, functioning operating system with basic drivers, software and functionality onto any sort of portable media, such as an external hard drive, CD/DVD/Blu-ray disk or USB.
This means that you can boot up any computer with that "boot disk", instead of whatever hard drive it usually loads off of.
You can then do whatever you want to your computer, fix problems your computer is having, recover any lost files that you have trouble accessing, or even back up your computer and carry all of the data on your hard drive over onto a new one if your current hard drive is having problems. Because of its' ability to create an "emergency device", Active@ Boot Disk complements Active@ Disk Image (another software I will be reviewing very soon) very well.
As you can see by the image of the start-up screen above, the steps to using this software are clearly outlined and are fairly straightforward. You connect your storage device of choice to the computer you are running Active@ Boot Disk on, and then follow the instructions to create an emergency "bootable disk". In the course of several minutes, the software is loaded onto your CD, USB or whatever you choose to use and it's ready to go.
What's also cool is that you can select any drivers that you want the boot disk to have, meaning you can have the boot disk ready to go for anything you want.
When actually trying to use the bootable disk, however, you have to be careful to make sure that your computer loads from the storage device, rather than its' default setting, which is loading from your main hard drive. Generally, when starting your computer, hit the F1-F12 keys and you should be able to figure it out from the BIOS screen there. For me it's f8, but I know it really depends on the computer.
From there it's simple; your computer loads what appears to be some sort of version of Windows with a slightly different look to it. There you can do basically anything you can do in Windows. There is even an internet browser that comes pre-installed in case you want to browse the internet. It doesn't have any of the programs you have installed on your computer, but you can access them by browsing your computers' the hard drive.
This is a great program that can be used in conjunction with other software to fix computer problems. Sort of like restarting in "Safe Mode", where everything works and you can do anything you want to your computer. With a ton of handy uses, I would recommend Active@ Boot Disk to anyone who may find it useful. I use it when I'm backing up my computer and I'm very pleased with it. I'll get to that in my next review of Active@ Disk Image.
Can You Save Your System? With the Right Boot Disk, There's Still Hope…
June 18 2013,
a writer, data recovery specialist
Computer problems have a habit of spiraling out of control sometimes. If you've been unfortunate enough to experience a major hardware or software issue, and you've tried to fix it yourself, then you'll be well aware of how dependent the whole system is on its capability to boot up and load the operating system successfully.
It's very difficult to do any kind of repair, reinstall or recovery when the operating system won't even load. It's like trying to fix something with both hands tied behind your back.
If things have broken down to the point that you can't even boot your computer, then you'll be understandably anxious. It feels like a hopeless situation, perhaps one that might require expensive and time-consuming repair fees, or in the worst case, leave you a system that is good for nothing but scrap.
Your Saving Grace – An Effective Boot Disk
All is not lost, however. If you can just get your system to boot, then you can make changes – be they recovery, repair or changing drive partitions.
You might have been told how important it is to make a boot disk when you bought your system, and if you're anything like 99% of computer users, you put it off and never got around to it. Don't worry though – there are still options. Active@ Boot Disk is an all-in-one solution that allows you to boot your computer with an instance of Microsoft XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 operating systems.
So how does it match up to the competition? Before we built our Boot Disk, we looked long and hard at existing solutions. After all, we didn't want to build just another also-ran product – we only enter a market if we know we can offer something uniquely valuable.
And although there were some decent pieces of software out there, we didn't find one boot disk that really had it all. There were bare-bones functional boot disks, such as BartPE, which allow you to load Windows and access your hard disk without much hassle, but really didn't offer much in the way of repair or recovery software.
At the other end of the spectrum, there were complex tools that offered all the utilities you could possibly need – yet were something of a struggle to create and then later use.
With Active@ Boot Disk, we strived to create something that is both functionally complete and user-friendly for customers without a technical background.
We deliberately included a wide range of utilities, because we know you need to use your boot disk to get your system up and running, whatever the situation.
Active@ Boot Disk comes with utilities for data recovery, partition management, a secure data erasure protocol, and support for all file systems and Windows clients. We've also made sure that it can be loaded from a variety of formats – CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and USB.
Users frequently report that Active@ Boot Disk is refreshingly easy to use compared to other options on the market, with a simple interface and swift backup/restore procedure.
Creating and using a boot disk should be a smooth, painless process that gives you piece of mind and allows you to configure and repair your system as needed. We honestly feel Active@ Boot Disk is the best tool for the job, and we invite you to try our free ten day trial package.
An emergency disk — boot disk
August 7 2012,
a small business owner in the GTA
Active@ Boot Disk is software that is designed to help start up a computer, whether the operating system on it is working or not. With that, this software comes with a variety of disk utilities to help fix computer problems, back up, restore or delete data. The way it's put on the start-up screen "Active@ Boot Disk is an emergency disk that can be used to start up your computer".
This software uses almost any kind of bootable media to serve its purpose. Any USB, CD or other device can be used, even floppy disks. Using only about 150MB of space, this software installs itself into the computer memory, with a small operating system and a set of disk utility software that make it possible to start up your machine and repair it without needing to load up the OS on the actual machine.
This is critical when fixing machines that have been dealt a critical amount of damage (either physical or logical) from things such as power failures or an unexpected shut down of the computer.
Despite the machine sustaining enough damage to prevent it from starting up, Active@ Boot Disk allows for a user to still start up his computer from a different operating system and still have access to all the data on the computer. At this point, the software offers its' disk utilities to help fix whatever is wrong. Active@ Partition Recovery is utility software they provide with Boot Disk to help deal with the system problems mentioned above.
In the worst case, if the computer has sustained enough physical damage to make the computer unsalvageable, Boot Disk also comes loaded with Active@ Disk Image to make a copy of the disk, so at least the data on the computer is saved. Apart from the two utilities I mentioned, there are many more; those are just the few that I have tried and they helped me out a lot.
I found Active@ Boot Disk myself when I was going through a similar computer crisis to what I mentioned above. Something unexplainable happened and my computer stopped working completely. It would give me strange error screens that I've never seen in my life, not allowing my operating system to start up.
I had some finished work that I needed submitted that afternoon: you can imagine the panic. Using Active@ Boot Disk, I was able to start up my computer, recover the files and get all my work in on time. It was after this that I realized the other potential uses of this software, and it helped me recover the computer I am using now to an acceptable state.
I was actually very happy with how quickly I was able to install, set up and implement this software; it is definitely great crisis-management software when you need to save your computer or data, and not waste time in the process. I can say that from the time I started installing it, it was ready within 15 minutes. It's a relatively smaller program (in comparison to a regular Windows operating system), so it's really quick to download and implement.
In conclusion, Active@ Boot Disk definitely deserves a good review for helping me out tremendously and offering much more than I thought I needed. It's a great little emergency software to let you stay calm when you, like me and everyone else that has even owned a computer, find yourself in a computer crisis. Big thanks to the developers for doing such a good job on this software!