The Windows recovery options are included on the Windows installation disc. The repair console has options to run a system recovery, restore or repair in an attempt to fix problems that the Windows operating system encounters. You may lose data when using the restore function, depending on the time that the System Restore function last took a snapshot of your computer. Live CDs can also be used as CD-based Windows tools. A live CD has an entire operating system or virtual environment usable directly from the CD. One use for live CDs is accessing hard drive data when you are unable to boot in to Windows.
Windows utilities come in many different forms, from those included in the operating system to ones that come on CDs. The CD-based tools do not need to be installed directly on the computer to work properly. Instead they can run from the disc. Some tools are designed to be accessed during boot-up, to help fix issues with the computer that prevent you from accessing the operating system.
Some anti-virus utilities have a boot CD that allows you to run the virus scanner before the computer loads in to the operating system. If the virus prevents Windows from booting properly, or it infects Windows every time you boot in to the operating system, an on-disc virus scanner prevents further damage. Adware and spyware scanners are also available as CD-based tools. A boot menu appears when the computer accesses the CD during the boot process. The tools can scan, quarantine and repair viruses and infected files.
Boot disc utilities come in many different forms, from those provided on recovery CDs for the operating system to others created by third-party companies. One example of a set of third-party boot disc utilities is Hiren's boot disc. This set of utilities includes anti-virus programs, backup software, file browsers and other helpful utilities. These utilities are accessible through the boot process or once the computer loads in to Windows.
Backup tools come in several varieties and some allow you to run a program directly from the disc. Two common types of backup programs include ones that create copies of specified files and folders, and ones that create an image of the operating system. The backup image, when used, restores all files, programs, the operating system and its settings to the state they were in when the image was created. The restoration process can run within Windows or during the boot-up process, depending on the specific program you're using.