It’s always good to have a boot disk handy. If you ever get into a situation where your computer simply won’t boot – and you haven’t followed our instructions and created a full image back up (and we know some of haven’t) – there’s no time like right now to make a boot CD/DVD or USB. to start and repair your computer if you can’t boot it normally. If you think it can’t happen to you, we’ll bet you will – someday.
You should only use a disk to boot up if you’ve tried all other options. Sometimes the easiest and fastest way to get your computer back to normal is to try booting into a limited mode of Windows like Safe Mode / Command Prompt. There’s a real good chance you can boot into that mode and run RSTRUI.EXE (system restore). To boot into safe mode, make sure the power to your computer is off, press the power button, and keep tapping the F8 key until you see the black screen of Windows Safe Mode. Chose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. At the C:\ prompt type RSTRUI.EXE and wait for about five minutes. The System Restore dialog will appear. Choose a restore point prior to the date you started having problems.
If all else fails, you can boot with a boot disk. Microsoft has created a free program that will help you create a boot USB, DVD, or CD quickly and easily. When you’re done, you’ll have a disk or USB you can boot your computer with should you have serious problem. Not only can you boot your computer with it, you can clean malware, rootkits, viruses, spyware and other malicious files from your computer with it.
With all that being said…here’s what Microsoft has to say:
“…Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta is not a replacement for a full antivirus solution providing ongoing protection; it is meant to be used in situations where you cannot start your PC due to a virus or other malware infection. For no-cost, real-time protection that helps guard your home or small business PCs against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, download Microsoft Security Essentials*.
To get started, please make sure that you have a blank CD, DVD, or USB drive with at least 250 MB of space. Next, download and run the tool – the tool will help you to create the bootable media required to run the software on your PC….
Ordinarily, the bootable media is created on a computer that is not infected. The architecture of Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper does not have to be the same as the Windows operating system of the computer used to create the bootable media. It does need to be the same architecture (32-bit or the 64-bit) as the Windows operating system of the computer infected with a virus or malware…”
Microsoft offers this tool for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 – in both 32bit and 64bit flavors. If you’re not sure which you have, right-click on My Computer (in XP) or on Computer in Vista/7 and choose “Properties”. Your operating system and architecture will be displayed for you.