NTRecover accesses dead NT systems via serial connections

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

www.winternals.com have released commercial utility NTRecover which makes it possible for system administrators to access and modify drives on dead NT systems using a serial connection to another NT machine. Salvage data using native NT commands and utilities, add, delete or rename drivers or other OS files, or even run chkdsk on the dead system's drives. Useful to Windows NT admin.

NTRecover consists of host and client software, where the host software runs on a "good" NT 3.51 or 4.0 system, and the client software executes on a "dead" system in need of repair. The "dead" system is booted off a floppy disk directly to the NTRecover program, so repair is possible even when basic startup code in NT, such as NTLDR, fails. The host and client machines are connected with a standard null-modem serial cable.

The NTRecover host software creates virtual disk drives on the host machine that represent the drives present on the client computer. When native NT file systems, such as NTFS and FAT, access the drives, NTRecover manages communications over the serial cable to the client software to transfer disk data back and forth between the two machines. As far as Windows NT on the host machine is concerned, the drives created by NTRecover are indistinguishable from the local drives present on the host, and so they can be manipulated with Windows NT disk utilties, including high-level tools like the Windows NT Explorer, and low-level tools such as chkdsk.

Be sure to check out Remote Recover, which provides you all the capabilities of NTRecover except that it works over TCP/IP LAN/WANs instead of a serial cable. Remote Recover is ideal for high-speed backup/restore/repair, especially when large amounts of data are involved.

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