Ultimate Boot CD is a contradiction of modern times: most people can hardly remember floppy-based programs and even if some still might have PCs equipped with a floppy drive it’s probably long forgotten. However, when facing serious PC issues, a simple solution is quite handy for users with a few technical skills and that is Ultimate Boot CD, a free collection of floppy-based diagnostic utilities addressing many computer problems.Ultimate Boot CD Menu
Installation & Requirements
Just to be clear, Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) is not a regular application with a menu and options, in fact it’s a collection of small freeware utilities bundled as a bootable CD. The downloadable kit is actually an ISO image file which you have to burn onto a CD (or even DVD) using an optical disk authoring program of your choice.
After that you just need to reboot your system to access the contents of UBCD. If your PC boots into your current OS than you’ll probably have to enter BIOS settings and choose your CDROM drive as the first bootable device. No need to worry about system requirements: UBCD runs independently of any OS and since it only contains small floppy-based applications the CD works on pretty much any computer.
Naturally, UBCD has a text-based interface just like BIOS but it’s very clearly organized so you’ll find whatever tool you need in no time. We will quickly analyze what UBCD has to offer so you’ll have a basic idea of the powerful capabilities it contains.
Under the BIOS section there are listed a few related utilities for sensitive issues like decrypting BIOS and BIOS CMOS passwords, removing BIOS passwords, save/restore BIOS settings and others. The CPU menu provides various tools that can perform CPU stress tests (very useful to test CPU heating capabilities to help you overclock it without compromising its stability) and retrieve comprehensive info about your CPU. The HDD category has everything you need to solve a large array of problems such as boot management, data recovery, device info and management, partition management, diagnosis and disk cloning/editing/wiping. From the Memory section you can access a few RAM testers to detect any present errors and the Others menu displays a file transfer utility as well as Kon-Boot a simple solution for logging into Linux systems as root user without the password or into password-protected profiles on Windows OS.
The Peripherals category has some interesting applications that can display information for ATAPI CDROM drives, generate relative performance index for CDROM drives, perform tests for TFT monitors (check for bad pixels) as well as display parallel port configuration info or perform video RAM stress test. A number of tools designed for benchmarking and retrieving system information is listed within the System menu and right below it you can access Parted Magic, a Linux-based distribution comprising a rich collection of tools categorized into partition/disk, network, antivirus and filemanagers.
The next option of the live CD is UBCD FreeDos a boot disk used to run many DOS-based applications on the UBCD. The section called User Defined is reserved for the utilities that you choose to add to this CD, a great way to customize UBCD as well as benefit from other DOS tools without having to store and run them on floppy discs. The Boot next device option is a simple way to start your OS right away or you can use the Reboot option in case you need to restart the system.
The last item from the UBCD main menu is GRUB4DOS a universal boot-loader with built-in BIOS disk emulation and ATAPI CDROM driver which extends the compatibility of UBCD for a larger array of computers.
– Great collection of freeware diagnostic utilities.
– The default CD has all the tools needed to solve a large array of computer related issues.
– The CD can be customized by adding your own floppy-based utilities.
– UBCD runs independently of the operating system so it doesn’t matter which one you are using.
– None worth mentioning.
There are a few other bootable CDs designed for troubleshooting computers but none of them are as complete as Ultimate Boot CD is. If you need to recover data then Emergency Boot CD or DiskInternals Boot CD might just do the trick but having limited capabilities, these tools definitely lack the versatility of Ultimate Boot CD which can be used for so much more, besides data recovery.
Ultimate Boot CD can’t be exactly called a friendly tool. You’ll definitely need some technical skills or at least spend some time studying the features and usage of UBCD but in the right hands this wonderful live CD can revive computers in some of the most hopeless situations.