Despite your best efforts, something has gone terribly wrong with your server. Perhaps it no longer boots correctly or is not accepting your password, even though you are sure you have the right one. Regardless of the problem, or the excuse, there are times when your dedicated server is in such a bad state that booting into the installed operating system is not an option. Nevertheless, you would like to fix it without having to reinstall everything. SystemRescueCd may be able to help.
SystemRescueCd is essentially a Linux distribution that comes with a multitude of tools designed to fix various computer problems. You can boot it from a CD-ROM, USB drive, or SD card (if your server’s hardware supports it). It is especially useful when you need to fix hard drive problems and need to stop using your system disk while you perform the fixes.
Although SystemRescueCd is a Linux rescue disk, you can use it to save Linux, BSD, Mac, or even Windows servers. It supports a wide variety of file systems, including Ext4 and NTFS. Some of the tools that come on the CD are:
- GNU Parted – partition manager, which allows you to create, move, resize, and copy partitions
- Partimage – disk imaging software
- Several file system tools for Linux and Windows
- Test-disk – check filesystems and even undelete partitions
- Rsync – backup tool for data, even on a system you do not want to rescue but only need to replace
- Network tools such as Samba, NFS, ping, nslookup, and more
- ddrescue – This software will attempt to copy a partition or disk that has physical errors
For more information about SystemRescueCd and instructions on how to use it, visit the project’s website.