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Hiren’s Boot CD is an all-in-one bootable CD solution that contains a load of useful tools you can make use of in a variety of situations. I am talking about hard drive failure, virus infections, partitioning, password recovery and data recovery. HBCD (as Hiren’s Boot CD is called) is a God-send in situations like these. It has a multitude of tools divided into a number of categories like partitioning tools, backup, recovery and BIOS/CMOS tools to name a few.

Each of these categories have a number of tools listed under them. To use Hiren’s Boot CD, you have to download and then burn the downloaded ISO file onto a CD. Put the CD in the drive and restart your computer. Make sure that the BIOS settings check for the optical drive before the hard disk for bootable media.

If all that is set well, you will see a screen like below (I am using the older version here):

hirens boot cd

You can now choose to boot from the hard drive, which will boot your computer as if you had not inserted the CD, you can choose Start BootCD to access all the tools included on the CD. You can also run a mini Windows XP mode or run memory diagnostics from this main menu. I will be choosing the “Start BootCD” option to show you around. As soon as you do so, you are presented with the Hiren’s Boot CD menu like so:

hirens boot cd


Here, you can choose the category of tools you want to use by either entering the numeric code listed, or by using the arrow keys and then hitting enter to select the highlighted category. You are then presented with all the tools in that particular category. Invoke any of them in a similar fashion and you will be able to use them normally just like if you had installed them on your hard drive.

hirens boot cd

Perform any operation that you might want/need and when you are done and have quit the application, you can simply hit Ctrl + Alt + Del or type reboot and hit Enter to reboot the computer (or type M and then press Enter to return to the main menu). This time, you can choose to boot from the hard drive to see if the changes you just made have taken effect or not.

Let’s just look at some of the included tools and the wide possibilities that you can use this CD with. It includes antivirus and antispyware tools like MalwareBytes, Spybot Search & Destroy; that you can use to scan your computer for viruses/spyware. Of course the definitions can become outdated after some time, still the tools can be indispensable if a virus attack has left you with an unbootable computer.

Next up in line are the partitioning tools. If you performed such a task before, you might know that partitioning, resizing and formatting are best done if you don’t actually have an operating system running from the hard disk. So HBCD’s partitioning tools are a perfect fit. Similarly you can use the backup tools with ease, fix MBR problems, run diagnostics and get detailed system information without requiring a functional operating system. Heck, you can even browse files and listen to songs using the multimedia tools.

You can also create a bootable USB drive with all the awesomeness minus the CD burning part! Here are complete instructions on how to do that.

All in all, HBCD is a truly indispensable resource to have around you. It can save you a lot of trouble and hard work when dealing with or troubleshooting computer problems. Do you have any favorite LiveCD you use for such purposes as above? We would love to hear about it.

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  1. Bob
    February 28, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Nice article, bit short but as for partitioning have you tried easeus partition manager which is free and has done several god jobs on my computers (running xp) with no problems at all

  2. lol
    February 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

    you pay licenses ? ^^

  3. bluecon
    February 28, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Great article. Thank you.

  4. Dr Phil Good
    February 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Another amazing boot CD is Tiny XP Revision 09.
    It contains Hirens boot CD, Damn Small Linux, and 8 different ways to install XP unattended. Ranging from a full install with outlook, IE, WMP and driverpacks. To a lite install that takes up about 1.2 gigs when installed.
    I have also heard its kind of legal ...if you already have a license.

  5. Mark
    February 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I've been a big fan of for some time. This seems like a nice companion.

  6. Mark
    February 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I've been a big fan of for some time. This seems like a nice companion.

  7. Marc Couture
    February 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    While this article is useful, it is important to note that this tool contains several commercial applications. It may be interpreted as advocating piracy under certain jurisdictions. Just saying!