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Create a bootable USB to diagnose computer problems

Monday, 18 April 2022
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In this guide I will show you how to create a bootable USB drive that you can use to diagnose computer and hardware issues.

Prerequisites

Before creating the bootable USB, you are going to need the following:

Instructions

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is download the Hiren’s BootCD PE ISO.

Hiren’s BootCD PE (Preinstallation Environment) is a restored edition of Hiren’s BootCD based on Windows 10 PE x64 that contains a variety of useful tools that can be used to fix many problems related to your computer.

Download HBCD_PE_x64.iso (2.88 GB) from the bottom of the Download page here: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/.

Step 2

After the Hiren’s BootCD download has finished, you will need to download the second tool, Ventoy.

Ventoy is an open source tool that is used to create a bootable USB drive for ISO and other disk image files.

What makes Ventoy different from other utilities is that you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO file to the USB drive, and boot it directly.

Download the Ventoy software (ventoy-x.x.xx-windows.zip, 15 MB) from their GitHub repository here: https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy/releases.

Extract/decompress the Ventoy package you just downloaded.

Step 3

Insert your USB Flash Drive into your computer.

Open the folder where you extracted Ventoy, and run Ventoy2Disk.exe

You should now be prompted with a screen from where you can install the Ventoy software:

Ventoy should auto-detect your USB Flash Drive, but if not, simply select it in the Device dropdown.

With your USB Flash Drive selected, click the Install button, and follow the prompts.

After a succesfull install, it will show that Ventoy is now installed on your USB Flash Drive:

Step 4

With Ventoy setup on your USB Flash Drive, you can now copy the Hiren’s BootCD ISO file to your Flash Drive.

Locate the HBCD_PE_x64.iso file that you downloaded, and simply copy it to your Flash Drive.

After copying it over, your USB Flash Drive should look similar to this:

Step 5

Hiren’s BootCD PE is now successfully setup on your USB Flash Drive.

Go ahead and safely eject your Flash Drive from the current machine.

Next, insert your Flash Drive into the problematic computer, and select the boot from USB option when you start up your computer, and select your Flash Drive. (The boot selection option will vary from device to device, please check your computer or laptop manual. It is usually the ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 key).

After successfully booting from your Flash Drive, you should see the Hiren’s BootCD Preinstallation Environment:

The Hiren’s BootCD PE contains an extensive list of tools that you can use to troubleshoot your problematic computer:

BCD-MBR Tools

  • BootIce v1.3.3
  • EasyBCD v2.3

Hard Disk Tools – Data Recovery

  • CheckDisk GUI v0.3.1
  • Lazesoft Data Recovery v4.0.0.1
  • Puran Data Recovery v1.2.0
  • Puran File Recovery v1.2.0
  • Recuva v1.53.0.1087
  • DMDE v3.8.0
  • ReclaiMe build 3475
  • PhotoRec v7.2
  • Unstoppable Copier v5.2

Hard Disk Tools – Defrag

  • Defraggler v2.22.33.995

Hard Disk Tools – Diagnostic

  • GSmartControl v1.1.3
  • HDDScan v4.1
  • HDTune v2.55
  • WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics v1.37
  • Crystal Disk Info v8.12.2
  • Test Disk v7.2

Hard Disk Tools – Imaging

  • Acronis TrueImage 2021 build 39216
  • AOMEI Backupper v6.5.1
  • Lazesoft Disk Image & Clone v4.0.0.1
  • Macrium Reflect PE v7.3.5925
  • Runtime DriveImage XML v2.60

Hard Disk Tools – Partition Tools

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant v9.2.1
  • Macrorit Partition Extender v1.5.0
  • Macrorit Partition Expert v5.6.1
  • DiskGenius v5.4.2.1239
  • EaseUS Partition Master v14.5

Hard Disk Tools – Security

  • HDD Low Level Format Tool v4.40
  • Eraser v6.2

Windows Recovery

  • Lazesoft Windows Recovery v4.0.0.1

Other Tools

  • FSViewer v7.5
  • Free Office rev 703
  • Sumatra PDF v3.2
  • 7-Zip v21.02
  • ExamDiff Pro v12.0.1.1
  • HxD v2.5.0
  • Notepad++ v8.1
  • WinMerge v2.16.12
  • VLC Media Player v3.0.16

Removable Drive Tools

  • CDBurnerXP v4.5.8.7128
  • Rufus v3.14.1788

Security – AntiVirus

  • ESET Online Scanner v3.5.6
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware v2.2.1.1043
  • McAfee Stinger v12.2.0.268
  • Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool

Security – KeyFinders

  • ProduKey v1.97
  • ShowKeyPlus v1.0.7060

Security – Passwords

  • Lazesoft Password Recovery v4.0.0.1
  • NT Password Edit v0.7
  • Windows Login Unlocker v1.6

System Tools

  • CPU-Z v1.96
  • GPU-Z v2.40
  • HWInfo v7.04-4480
  • Speccy v1.32.774
  • WinNTSetup v4.6.3
  • Attribute Changer v10.0
  • Change Keyboard Layout v1.0.0
  • Dependency Walker v2.2.6
  • Registry Backup v4.0.0
  • Regshot v2.0.1.70
  • SysInternals Suite
  • PowerShell Core v7.1.3

Network

  • Aero Admin v4.7
  • Acrylic Wi-Fi Home v4.5.7802
  • Chrome v91.0.4472.106
  • Mozilla Firefox Quantum ESR v78.11.0.7821
  • PENetwork v0.59.0.B12