SystemRescueCd – a live system that rescues data and systems

Emergency Medicine

© Lead Image © Author,

© Lead Image © Author,

Article from Issue 225/2019

The SystemRescueCd live system contains numerous tools that you can use to recover deleted files or a defective system.

The SystemRescueCd live system above all offers programs with which you can reanimate defective data carriers and recover data. It includes the Firefox browser, which can also be used to search for solutions to a problem on the Internet if the permanently installed system fails to boot. Finally, SystemRescueCd provides useful tools for everyday work, such as creating or shrinking hard disk partitions. The live system relies on standard tools such as the well-known GParted for partitioning hard disks.


As the CD in the name indicates, the SystemRescueCd fit on a CD for a long time. In version 6.0.0, however, the developers replaced the existing substructure with Arch Linux. As a result, the SystemRescueCd 6.0.2 (the latest release when this article was written), occupies almost 871MB of disk space. With a little luck, you can just about burn it onto an extra length CD (100-minute CD). But in any case, SystemRescueCd can be booted from a DVD or USB stick.

On the downside, the live system now only runs on 64-bit systems with Intel or AMD processors. If you want to save an ancient system with a 32-bit processor, you first need to remove the hard disk and, for example, connect it to another system via an external hard disk enclosure. Alternatively, you can turn to the older SystemRescueCd v5.3.2, which you can still find in the project archive [1]. Furthermore, SystemRescueCd will not start on systems where the secure boot mechanism is enabled: You first need to disable this in the BIOS or UEFI settings.


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