Knoppix - Rescue Disk and a Lot More
Link : Knoppix
Requirements: A CD or DVD Burner and software that can burn a CD image like Nero.
If you are a typical computer user, you use a PC. On it you have some type of Windows.
Every once in a while, your computer has a problem. Maybe you haven't listened to your friends at RLAGeek and a virus has eaten key parts of your Windows registry. Here's hoping you have a backup regime (see previous postings)!
PC failure can happen at the most inconvenient times. You may need to finish that essay, or check for an important email, or get some essential info off the web, or even more likely, get a machine breathing enough to copy/burn off all of your irreplaceable files.
At such times, it's great to have a copy of KNOPPIX standing by. Knoppix is a complete operating system pre-loaded with OpenOffice, Firefox internet browser, email and full networking support. The best thing about it is, you put in the disk, turn on your PC, it comes up in Knoppix. You take out the disk, reboot, and poof it goes back into Windows or whatever your normal operating system is.
Knoppix doesn't even touch your hard drive. I know this for sure because a good friend brought over a laptop with a completely non-functioning hard drive. It booted Knoppix perfectly, and he was able to use that laptop for internet and office functions without any problem. Amazing!
Knoppix also gives you a great opportunity to play with a linux-based open source operating system completely risk free and then boot straight back into Windows. If you do want to change things in Knoppix, like save settings, bookmarks, and other Internet customization you can save your custom Knoppix Settings to a USB stick.
I highly recommend you burn yourself a CD and/or DVD copy of Knoppix if for no other reason then there may come a day when you have a PC that won't start up, that you need to start up!