Favorite boot/diagnostic tools

I’m finding that a lot of the old school boot discs don’t get along with all the UEFI boards nowadays. Anybody have some new favorites for pinpointing bad hardware?

UBCD and Hiren’s are both good, although nothing beats your own image.

Hiren’s has been in my arsenal for a very long time but the simple memtest can’t work on UEFI. I just found this brand new one called Sergei Strelec image that I’m about to try out.

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I’ve heard good things, but it wasn’t around back in the day when I was troubleshooting hardware, lol.

I carry a flash drive with Ventoy installed. This allows me to boot multiple ISO’s off a single flash drive. I use Hirens mostly to restore Marcium Reflect images. I also keep the Synology Active Backup restore ISO on there for restoring a workstation from the Synology. All other operating system ISO’s can be stored there as well.

I also keep a copy of the Snappy Drivers package for easy driver replacement on Windows.


For Windows it’s Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT).

Linux has recovery mode which has worked for me the few times I needed it, although admittedly I have booted from the installation media out of habit (Windows habit that is).

If you need to restore an image from something like Acronis or Macrium then hopefully you made the boot disk for that. Active@ is also neat, but not free. A lot of folks us UBCD but I haven’t used it for a long time.

If I cant fix the OS quickly it’s often faster to reimage. If it doesn’t boot to the OS it’s usually because someone changed a CMOS setting and you need to get in there and put it back so the BIOS knows where to boot.

Anyone use Synology Active Backup for Business? If you bought the right model NAS it’s included and the features sound really nice.

I use ventoy as well, but before I found that project I bought one of these and it has been awesome. Even comes in handy at times that ventoy fails.

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