AutoFormat for Windows

A few years ago while working on another boot-related project, I had need of a scripted method of formatting a drive, silently and without user intervention (don’t ask).

After mucking around with the various IOCTL in the disk and volume management WIN32 APIs, I realized there was a much easier method. Windows has always shipped with a command-line format utility (aptly named “format”) that could technically be coerced err convinced to do the job.

The only problem with format.com is its (understandable) reluctance to actually wipe a disk without the user explicitly OKing it. At the same time, there are quite a few developers out there doing low-level work that does not involve viruses or other malicious intent that are in need of a scripted format run. And, of course, the expectation is that the developer will obtain the user’s permission beforehand.

However when all is said and done, there’s no clean way of formatting a disk behind the scenes. Enter AutoFormat for Windows.

Continue reading

Star Trek DS9 and the Color Kindle

I’ve been watching Star Trek reruns (thank you, Netflix!) for a while now, and something that caught my eye once I finished TNG and moved on to DS9 was the prevalence of “eBook readers” that have an uncanny resemblance to Amazon’s Kindle.

The devices in DS9 appear to undergo both heavy and subtle changes each time they make an appearance, but one edition of the eBook reader in Star Trek DS9: Profit and Loss bore an incredible resemblance to the (previous gen) Kindle Touch, down to the same gray polymer material, rounded edges, almost exactly the same thickness and dimensions – with the exception of being in color.

Continue reading

Windows Server 2008 and 2012 Recovery Discs Download

Download disk for Windows Server

Windows XP Recovery Disk

Windows Server 2008 LogoA new EasyRE for Windows is here, and it’s better than ever. With support for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and now Server 2003, 2008, and 2012, we have you covered. No matter what OS you’re running, no matter what problems you’re running into, our recovery CDs for Windows will help you get back on your feet.

Easy Recovery Essentials remains the first and only Windows 8-ready system recovery disk, and now we’re making this powerful product available to system admins everywhere. The next time an update or poor program takes your servers offline, EasyRE will be there to lend a hand.

In other exciting news, the new EasyRE Professional Edition features a full-fledged virus scanner – sometimes it’s not enough to just set things right, you also need to stop them from going wrong again!

Continue reading

SystemDiscs.com Cyber Monday Sale

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be joining in the Cyber Monday fun: this year, all our system recovery and repair CDs at SystemDiscs.com are 15% off for Cyber Monday!

This one-day only sale is your chance to grab a copy of a system recovery CD and prepare for a rainy day. Protect against future damage with our powerful repair and recovery CDs, and burn a copy of Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows to keep handy for the next time your system won’t boot because of a virus, failed Windows update, or other unfortunate incident.

Continue reading

Tools to help manage and recover your new Windows 8 installation

Today’s the big day: Windows 8 has hit the shelves and customers are flocking to buy the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. In the back of everyone’s mind is the big question: what do I do to properly set up my Windows 8 installation, and in the (hopefully unlikely) situation of disaster, if I can no longer get into my Windows 8 PC, what can I do about it?

All of NeoSmart Technologies products are 100% Windows 8 ready. They’ve all been vetted and heavily tested against the latest version of the Windows OS and have been updated with all the features you require for peace of mind. They’ll help you get your system working the way you want it, and then God forbid something bad happen, get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Continue reading

A most-miserable Apple TV unboxing experience

Yesterday, while at the Apple Store for a free replacement clamshell/LCD for my 15″ MacBook Pro Retina (sudden-onset ghosting issues, to use a medical term), I caved-in and got an Apple TV. It’s something I’d given plenty of thought to in the past, but was never really sold on. In the end, the $99 price tag and my growing frustration at streaming Netflix shows and movies from my desktop to my plasma HDTV won me over.

The initial experience was pretty much par for the course: beautifully packaged, incredible attention to detail, sexy product, and gorgeous cabling. I made sure to tuck the box away somewhere safe, because Apple boxes are too beautiful to throw away.

But that was where the bliss ended and the agony began. Because of the sheer tinyness of the Apple TV compared to all my other media products, and because lag is not a primary concern as it would be with a gaming device, this was the first time that I decided to connect one of my media products via wifi instead of over ethernet (XBox, HDTV, printers, and more – all connected to a gigabit router).

Continue reading

Windows 8 Recovery Disk and Repair Disc Download

Download our recovery and repair disk for Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (also for Windows Vista, 7, XP or Server editions) that can be used to access system recovery tools, giving you options of using an antivirus, System Restore, document and picture backup and recovery, automated system repair, and a command-line prompt for manual advanced recovery.

Download recovery disk for Windows 8/8.1

Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows 8

Our recovery disk is compatible with desktops, workstations, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, ultrabooks and servers from Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Samsung, Lenovo, IBM, Toshiba, Compaq, Gateway or eMachines that have Windows 8 or 8.1 installed.

The disk is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. It supports x86 and x64 platforms.

Easy Recovery Essentials – or EasyRE – is a 50 to 135 MB ISO image that you can download and burn to any CD, DVD or USB drives.

With Easy Recovery Essentials you can recover and repair your computer.

About our recovery and repair disk

Windows 8 LogoIt has become harder and harder to get recovery or installation disks for your computer as major PC manufacturers no longer distribute a recovery or repair CD/DVD with your purchase.

A Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 installation DVD can be used to recover your computer. You can use it to access many recovery options, use System Restore and automatically fix boot errors or blue screens.

But instead of giving customers real recovery CDs and DVDs with their purchase of a computer (like notebooks, laptops, desktop computers etc.), PC manufacturers (like Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and others) usually require you to make the recovery media by yourself.

If you can’t boot into Windows or your PC isn’t working, only a bootable recovery and repair CD/DVD/USB can save you.

Our recovery disk, called Easy Recovery Essentials, is an ISO image that you can download today and burn to any CDs, DVDs or USB drives.

You can boot from our disk to recover or repair your broken computer.

We provided instructions on how to do this below, see Burn to CDs, DVDs or USB drives.

With Easy Recovery Essentials you can:

  • Find and fix errors automatically with Automated Repair
  • Recover your PC from infections with the built-in antivirus
  • Restore your PC to a working state
  • Access and backup your most important data (like documents, pictures, music, videos and so on)

Easy Recovery Essentials is used by computer technicians and IT experts for its many features:

  • Fully-featured visual partition editor
  • Scriptable command line
  • Advanced recovery options
  • Web browser

Read more about EasyRE for computer repair professionals here.

Download recovery disk for Windows 8 and 8.1

Our recovery and repair disk uses a non-destructive repair process that can recover your PC without formatting your hard drive or reinstalling Windows.

Easy Recovery Essentials comes with:

  • Powerful Automated Repair feature
  • Antivirus scanner built-in
  • Ability to access System Restore
  • Web browser to browser the Internet
  • Ability to backup your most important files (documents, videos, pictures, music and so on)
  • Memory diagnostics and a command-line tools for advanced options

Update: Please note that this disk is no longer free, due to licensing restrictions imposed upon us.

Download Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Our recovery disk supports x86 and x64 platforms and all Microsoft Windows 8 editions:

  • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit editions)

Our disk is in ISO image format. You can burn the image to any CDs, DVDs or USB drives and then use it as a bootable recovery media.

You cannot use a recovery or repair disk to install or reinstall Windows 8.

Burn to CDs, DVDs or USB drives

We published a guide on how to burn an ISO image to CD or DVD. Our recovery ISO image can be burnt to any CDs or DVDs and USB drives.

You can burn it with your favorite burning program. We published step-by-step instructions and guides on how to do this for any CDs or DVDs:

You can opt for a recovery USB instead: follow our guide on how to make a EasyRE recovery USB drive here.

Compatibility

Our recovery and repair disk works with any desktop computers, workstations, laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, netbooks or servers computers from all major PC manufacturers:

  • Dell
  • HP
  • Asus
  • Acer
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung
  • Toshiba

It’s also compatible with older or no longer available PC brands, such as:

  • IBM
  • Compaq
  • Gateway Computers
  • eMachines

If your computer runs Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you can download Easy Recovery Essentials.

Dell

Our recovery disk is compatible with Dell computers:

  • Dell Adamo
  • Dell Inspiron
  • Dell Studio
  • Dell Vostro
  • Dell XPS
  • Dell Latitude

Do you have a Dell computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Dell.

HP

Easy Recovery Essentials work with your HP computer. It’s compatible with the following series of HP PCs:

  • HP ENVY
  • HP EliteBook
  • HP Essential Home
  • HP Pavilion
  • HP x2 models

Do you have a HP computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for HP.

Asus

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with Asus computers.

Do you have an Asus computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Asus.

Acer

Our recovery disk can be downloaded by Acer customers. The disk is compatible with all Acer series and models:

  • Aspire M and T, Aspire X and Predator G
  • Aspire R, Aspire V3 and Aspire E
  • Aspire S7, Aspire S5, Aspire S3, Aspire P, Aspire M, Aspire V7, Aspire V5
  • Aspire One

Do you have an Acer computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Acer.

Lenovo

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with Lenovo computers:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad
  • Lenovo IdeaPad
  • Lenovo Thinkcentre
  • Lenovo Ideacentre

Do you have a Lenovo computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Lenovo.

Samsung

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with any Samsung laptops or desktops:

  • Samsung ATIV Book, Gaming and Business PC series for laptops
  • Samsung ATIV One for All-in-One desktops

Toshiba

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with all Toshiba series and models:

  • Toshiba Satellite
  • Toshiba Qosmio
  • Toshiba Portege
  • Toshiba Tecra
  • Toshiba Kira family series
  • Toshiba All-in-One desktop series

Do you have a Toshiba computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Toshiba.

IBM, Compaq, Gateway, eMachines

These PC manufacturers were either acquired by another company or they are no longer on the market. Our recovery disk is compatible with these PCs, if your computer runs the supported Windows versions:

  • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2012

IBM

Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer division in 2005.

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with IBM computers and laptops (like the ThinkPad series) and Lenovo computers (see Lenovo).

Compaq

HP acquired Compaq in 2002.

Easy Recovery Essentials is compatible with Compaq desktops and laptops (including the Presario series) and HP computers (see HP).

Gateway and eMachines

eMachines was acquired by Gateway Computers in 2007. In 2007, Gateway Computers was acquired by Acer. The eMachines brand was used until 2012.

Easy Recovery Esssentials is compatible with Gateway computers:

  • Series SX, DX and One ZX
  • NE and NV series
  • LT series

Do you have a Gateway computer running Windows 8? Read our recovery and restore guide for Gateway.

Easy Recovery Esssentials is compatible with eMachines PCs and Acer computers (see Acer).

Disk for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Server editions

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials for other versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or the Windows Server editions.

Windows 7

Read more about our recovery disk for Windows 7.

Our recovery disk supports Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) and its editions: Ultimate, Enterprise, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic and Starter.

Download the disk for Windows 7.

Windows Vista

Read more about our recovery disk for Windows Vista.

Easy Recovery Essentials supports Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) and its editions: Ultimate, Enterprise, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic and Starter.

Download the disk for Windows Vista.

Windows XP or Server editions

If your computer runs Windows XP or Windows Server, you can download Easy Recovery Essentials.

Our disk supports Microsoft Windows XP, including the Service Pack updates:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)

Download the disk for Windows XP.

You can download the disk for any of the following Windows Server editions:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2012

Download the disk for Windows Server.

Support

Please don’t ask for help below, it’ll get real cluttered real soon!

Open a support thread at https://neosmart.net/forums/ and we’ll help you resolve your problem ASAP.

Windows Recovery Essentials Officially Released!

SystemDiscs logoEasy Recovery Essentials for Windows, the ultimate and easiest-ever Windows system repair CD that automatically finds and fixes problems with your Windows PC, has been officially released!

Back in April, we first announced the beta of Windows Recovery Essentials: our software to automatically detect, diagnose, and repair a multitude of common and uncommon issues that could prevent Windows from running or cause a BSOD on boot. It’s been a little longer than we originally anticipated, but over the months the Windows Recovery Essentials has been renamed to Easy Recovery Essentials (EasyRE for short), graduated out of beta going to a soft release, and is now being officially announced as grown up and ready to help everyone out of a tight spot!

EasyRE is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, for all editions and platforms. We are working hard on making a Windows 8 version available ASAP – we are expecting to see that version released sometime in the next week or two.

Continue reading

Announcing EasyBCD 2.2: Windows 8 dual-booting and more!

New EasyBCD logoQuick: what takes 5 years, two failed attempts, and thirteen contributors? Answer: EasyBCD with multilanguage support!

Who knew it would be this hard to release a version of EasyBCD that supports languages from English to Arabic and from Korean to Russian? We certainly had no idea it would take this long and this much work back in June of 2007 when we first attempted this gargantuan task! It turns out it’s not such an easy thing to organize and manage the translation of a medium-sized software project – and that no good tools existed to make it possible.

We were expecting to find (this late into the game) a plethora of .NET localization tools and resources that would make the job ridiculously easy, but it turns out all the existing solutions were terrible for one reason or another: too hard for non-developers to grasp, no versioning support, no on-the-fly deployment (i.e. requires recompilation), no unicode support, text-only interfaces, and the list goes on and on. We had to develop our own complete end-to-end translation and globalization framework and associated utilities (xml-based, text-editable, translation interface, versioning support, unicode support, on-the-fly deploy, string aliasing, derivable strings, language cleanup, outdated/missing string search, and more!), which we’ve open sourced to save others the trouble in the future.

Now that we have the excuses out of the way, let us introduce EasyBCD 2.2, complete with 13 languages from around the globe. With much thanks to the following people, we have been able to provide these languages out-of-the-box with EasyBCD 2.2:

Continue reading

Windows XP Recovery and Repair Disk

Download our recovery and repair disk for Microsoft Windows XP that can be used to access system recovery tools, giving you options of using an antivirus, System Restore, document and picture backup and recovery, automated system repair, and a command-line prompt for manual advanced recovery.

Download recovery disk for Windows XP

Windows XP recovery disk screenshot

Windows XP LogoIt’s our pleasure to announce that our system repair and recovery CDs that have been immensely popular for Windows Vista and Windows 7 are now available for Windows XP as well!

While the XP edition of our recovery disk has been available for download for a while now, we’re officially releasing it today as it now meets and exceeds all our requirements for reliability, performance, and stability.

Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows XP, our recovery and repair disk, can help repair and recovery your non-booting or non-working Windows XP installation into a working condition, whether you are suffering from boot-related problems such as NTLDR is missing, NTDETECT failed, or boot.ini not found; or if you have a boot virus, registry corruption, improperly applied system updates, bad drivers, or more.

Our recovery & repair CDs will automatically scan for, detect, diagnose, and repair problems with your PC, repairing it and saving you from having to take it in to the shop or needing to format and reinstall, all while saving you a hefty amount of money in the process.

Continue reading