How to Create a ERD Commander 2009 R2 Recovery Disk

How to Create a ERD Commander 2009 R2 Recovery Disk

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Lately I have been getting asked the Question: So where can I get my hands on the latest copy of ERD Commander? To help you guys out I decided to put something together and post it on my blog.

As you know Microsoft acquired Winternals back in 2007. ERD Commander is included in Microsoft’s Desktop Optimization Pack. To get the latest’s version of ERD Commander you first need to get your hands on Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2 (MDOP).

How to get MDOP:

MDOP subscribers can download the software at Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS).

MDOP is also available for test and evaluation for MSDN* and TechNet** subscribers in accordance with MSDN and TechNet agreements.



1.    Download the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2

2.    Install the appropriate DaRT (Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset)


A.    Windows 7 and 2008 R2: x64, x86

B.    Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: x64, x86

C.   Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003: x86



Depending what Windows version of DaRT you install will determine what version of Windows ERD Commander Recovery Disk can be used on. Example: If you create a Windows 2008 R2 x64 ERD Commander Recovery Disk it will boot on a Windows 2003 x86 OS but you will not find an active partition and not all the MSDart Tools will work. It is important to create ERD Commander Recovery Disk specific for the Operating System you are wanting to triage.


3.    Optional: Download and Install Debugging Tools for Windows x64 and x86

4.    Optional: Download and extract to a folder Debug Symbols


Listed below are the Step-by-Step instructions without the screenshots. At the bottom of this post you can download my original doc with screenshots.

1.    Click on Start, Programs and launch the ERD Commander Boot Media Wizard

2.    Browse to where your Windows CD is located.

3.    This step is going to extract the files and create a temp location to build your image.

4.    Select your tools. I kept the default which is everything.

5.    On my ERD Commander Recovery Disk I wanted to add the Debugging Tools and Symbols. You must have the tools already installed on your computer before you start the ERD Commander Boot Media Wizard.

6.    System Sweeper Definition gives you the ability to triage an infected system.

7.    You need internet connectivity to download the updates.

8.    I didn’t need to add any additional drivers to my boot disk.

9.    I added the Debug Symbols to my ERD Commander Boot disk just in case I needed them in the future. This will help me if I am ever in a squeeze and I need to launch

Crash Analyzer to view a dump without being connected to the internet. All I have to do is point the Crash Analyzer Wizard to the

following path: X:\Windows\DebugSymbols and it should be able to read my symbols.



Remember the ERD Commander Boot disk has to load in memory. So whatever you dump on your ERD Commander Boot disk make sure the computer you are wanting to triage has adequate memory to support the size of your boot disk.


10.  I chose the default path to put the .ISO.

11.  This step is creating your ERD Commander Recovery Disk. Make sure you have adequate space on this drive otherwise this process will fail.

Trust me I know..

12.  Select your burning device.

13.  Burn Baby Burn…

14.  Your ERD Commander Recovery Disk is done!!

 Now go and save the world…


Attachment: Step-by-Step How To Create a ERD Commander Boot Disk.docx
  • what about support for Windows 2003 x64 a cant find any support

    Regards Ricky

  • Hi Ricky sorry but DaRT 5.0 only supports x86 Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (no x64 support and no plans to add it either) DaRT 6.0 started supporting x64. Sorry I know that was probably not the answer you were looking for.


  • 2.    Browse to the location where your setup files are located.

    This step simple but little confuse me...

    What is exactly setup files are you talking about?


  • Hi Tim in step 2 I was referring to the install files which would be the path to your Windows CD.


  • Thank you for clarifying MSDaRT installation procedure. What to do with this error:


    ERD Commander Boot Media Wizard


    Failed to apply Windows PE image.

    Error: Unknown error.




    when wizard is pointed to virtual DVD drive with mounted windows installation media and preparing files (Expanding boot image... progress message). Copying all files from DVD to a disk folder doesn't help. What is wrong?

    This situation occurs on:

    1) MSDART 6.5 x86 on Win7 x86 Ultimate RTM (installed from en_windows_7_ultimate_x86_dvd_X15-65921.iso)

    2) MSDART 6.5 x64 on Win2008 R2 x64 Enterprise RTM (installed from en_windows_server_2008_r2_standard_enterprise_datacenter_and_web_x64_dvd_x15-59754.iso)

  • Hi 2009-R2 Pack Supports Windows 2008R2 and Win7. But 2009 Pack Supports Only Vista Boot Image Creation.! i need to Create Windows 2008 Boot Image.! is there option available..!


  • Hello ,

    I ve downloded ERD 2009.. Burnt the ISO on CD .. It is booting properly but in Russian not in english..Tried booting several times..but the result is same ..

    Is ther any option while booting to change language option

    Waiting for the reply

    Arjun Dewan

  • Hello ,

    I ve downloded ERD 2009.. Burnt the ISO on CD .. It is booting properly but in Russian not in english..Tried booting several times..but the result is same ..

    Is ther any option while booting to change language option

    Waiting for the reply

    Arjun Dewan

  • Hi IL2,

    It sounds like you are having issues with your .iso. Try burning the .iso media to a DVD and pointing to your DVD drive. If that does not work then try and load a vm with your .iso media. I have personally experienced issues with .iso’s when downloading from TechNet or MSDN. You might be missing some bits.

  • Hi Ibrahim,

    Did you download my word doc Step-by-Step How To Create a ERD Commander Boot Disk.docx? The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2 allows you to create a boot disk for the following OS versions. Let me know if you have any issues.

    A. Windows 7 and 2008 R2: x64, x86

    B. Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: x64, x86

    C. Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003: x86

  • Hi Arjun,

    When you boot into a Windows 7 ERD boot disk you will get 36 different languages to choose from including Russian. It sounds like you are booting with a 2003 ERD boot disk and you are correct the Russian language is not an option. Have you tried to build a 2003 ERD boot disk on a computer OS with the Russian language?

  • dear sir

    kindly i have had erd commander 2009 and i burn it so  nice no proplem

    and i have to used to change  the adminstration password  on my compony  pc and i was use old vergin  for erd commander and go to the lock smith and change the adminsistrator password and it works fine but it seems that the IT notice that and they put another vergin of windows xp service pack 2 and i download  the erd 2009 and in the end after booting it makes me change  the admin password and when i restart it won't work so all i need to install some softwear on my compony pc

    can you help

    plz email me


    Hi Handy,


    I am having difficulty in tracking your exact issue? It sounds like your local administrator password is expired and it is prompting you for a password? Make sure the password you are specifying meets the minimum password complexity rules. HTH…




  • Hi Shane,

    Just a quick note to say THANKS for a great posting about the best method to create the ERD.  I've been fiddling around trying to find out about this for some time.  As luck would have it, I'm a volume license customer, so I was able to get the software.

    Great work and a real help!

    Thanks Bill ;)




  • Arjun,  I have the same problem.  It boots but the language is not english.  I presume you are correct when you say Russian.  I know it booted fine before 2010 when I tested it so this is really strange.

  • I have a working Win7 x64 laptop, and a broken Win7 x86 desktop.  I need to run Locksmith from DaRT on the desktop.

    MDOP 2009R2 will only let me install the x64 version on my laptop.  Fair enough, but the Boot Media Wizard asks for a Windows 7 Boot Image DVD.  I pointed it at the Windows7 Ultimate (x64 and x86) MSDN disc (Disc 4618, Nov 2009) that was used to install Win7 on the laptop (and the desktop) in the first place.

    The Boot Media Wizard fails with the message "The Windows DVD that you are using should have the matching processor architecture with your operating system".

    A) The DVD does of course contain the correct image.  How can I convince the Boot Media Wizard of this fact?

    B) I really want to make an x86 bootable disk anyway.  Am I ever going to be able to do that from an x64 MDOP installation?  I kind of thought I'd be given a choice at some point...

    Hi Tonyman108,


    Sorry for your frustration. When I created all my ERD boot dvd’s for each individual OS and architecture (x86 and x64) I created them on HYPER-V VM’s. I found this to be the easiest way. I recommend you try loading a VM with the OS and specific architecture (x86 or x64) relevant to the DaRT version and the specific architecture of your OS (x86 or x64).



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