Back in June, I wrote a column about the problems inherent with
the ubiquitous Windows rescue CDs that seem to come with most
name-brand PCs these days... This week, I thought it would be
useful to discuss some tools that can rescue a Linux system.
"Before dealing with the tools, let's consider the reasons for
rescuing a Linux system. You don't normally 'reload' Linux
software. Why? There is no reason to do so. As with the BSDs, Linux
does not tend to corrupt itself. Nor does installing software
corrupt the system, thanks to package managers, such as RPM and
dpkg, which keep new software from damaging existing programs. No,
you generally rescue a Linux system when a piece of hardware, such
as a disk drive, has failed.
"In a typical Windows rescue, the offending hardware is
replaced, the hard drive is wiped clean, and the software
reinstalled. The result is a perfectly usable system--but one
devoid of the data and documents that matter to you..."