SystemRescueCD Dual Boot with Windows

SystemRescueCD Dual Boot

SystemRescueCD is an incredibly usefulful tool for data recovery.

I run a Windows laptop and continually use Easy2Boot for my ISO booting USB stick. It works well with most ISOs, including SystemRescueCD. However my laptop only has two USB plugs.

USB Port Limits

USB 1 – Mounted external HDD

USB 2 – USB Boot Stick

USB … – Target USBHDD to copy data to. No third plug.


Old, Ineffective Solutions

Well drat! This means I need to boot SystemRescueCD off hard-disk, rather than a USB port. After much scrounging on the SystemRescueCD forums, I found some very old, outdated, complicated articles to get dual-boot working.

Old Link 1 –

Old Link 2 –

Old Link 3 –

They involve making a directory, extracting files from the ISO, and editing the BCD bootloader to ham out a rickity boot process. In short —  a nightmare!


IT Dual-Boot Bag of Tricks

I got pretty lucky in figuring out a MUCH easier solution.

Configure EasyBCD to boot the ISO, and extract “sysrcd.dat”, the actual chunk of the ISO that matters, to C:\.


Step 1 – Install EasyBCD, just snag the free version if it is for personal use.

Step 2 – Download the SystemRescueCD ISO. If the download is going to take a long time (1 hour), try another mirror (1-3 minutes).

Step 3 – Copy your ISO to root C:\

Step 4 – Add a boot entry in EasyBCD for portable media, and point it to the ISO, C:\systemrescuecd-x86.iso

**Note** If you were to boot at this point, you would successfully boot to the SystemRescueCD menus, but wouldn’t be able to fully load the Live OS. It would continually search \dev\sda, \dev\sdb, \dev\sdc, etc for the sysrcd.dat, which it is looking for in a mounted CD drive.

Step 5 – Extra the file “sysrcd.dat” from the root of the ISO into root C:\


Upon rebooting you should have another option and be good to go! Woohoo!

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