What would you do if your PC suddenly failed to boot? What happens if you can’t access any of the onboard recovery or repair options? Assuming your PC is still physically functioning, the solution lies in having a bootable rescue CD or USB flash drive to hand, ready to step into action should the worst happen.

Free recovery media isn’t too hard to find, but AOMEI’s solution will appeal to anyone who’s either a fan of the company or who’s looking for a friendly recovery environment not to dissimilar to Windows itself.

AOMEI PE Builder Free uses Windows’ own Windows PE recovery environment as its basic bootable operating system, then provides you with two AOMEI utilities, its Backupper and Partition Assistant tools for recovering readable data and examining partitions, along with a number of useful extras.

The builder program itself requires Windows 7 or 8/ 8.1 to run, but the bootable media it creates can then be used on other versions of Windows too, including XP, Vista and 8.1.

Once launched, you’ll be stepped through a wizard putting the components together. A number of portable apps are provided – such as Recuva for file recovery – but you can also add your own portable apps here too. Advanced users can also add drivers too.

Once done, you’ll be prompted to burn a CD, save to USB drive or create an ISO file, and your bootable recovery tool is ready to go on standby. And should the worst happen and your PC fails to boot, you’ll find it takes you to a Windows-like desktop, similar to Safe mode. You’ll have access to the Control Panel, Windows system tools, the command prompt, Internet Explorer and all the tools you’ve integrated into your disc, giving you a great opportunity to troubleshoot your problem, hopefully find a Windows repair or at least recover critical data before taking the next step.

Version 1.5 (Changelog):
    - Added more universal drivers into Windows PE, such as USB, SCSI adapter, HDC, NET drivers, etc.

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A handy way to build a powerful and easy to use recovery tool.