A CD used to be the standard for a repair kit, but I think that a USB drive may be more effective.

  • Universal USB Installer is a Live Linux USB Creator that allows you to choose from a selection of Linux Distributions to put on your USB Flash Drive. Includes Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, Clonezilla, etc. (even BackTrack). Very easy to use to create current bootable USB with alternate operating system.
  • Clonezilla is my first choice for cloning and replacing the primary boot disk (which has been failing gradually, saved only by SpinRite, over the past few months. About 6 years old). Using 1.2.8-46 stable from 5-24-2011.
  • Test Puppy Linux as a quick boot, lite OS. or

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Checking the MD5 hash on a downloaded or transferred file

Windows has a built-in utility, CertUtil, for certificate services that can be used to generate a hash string with a specified hashing algorithm.

  • CertUtil in Windows
  • command line (so needs a Command prompt box)
  • the switch -hashfile generates the hash string
  • MD5 is a common algorithm value displayed for files transferred
  • syntax: certutil -hashfile DrivePath\filename.extension MD5

Portable Apps platform for easy install on USB

  • runs on USB
  • app store will install the apps onto USB
  • automated update and installation of apps


If you don't have a good system, make sure you get good users.

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