How to download Hiren's BootCD

download hiren's bootcd
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Hiren’s Boot CD PE is a collection of utilities installed on a bootable USB or DVD you can use to troubleshoot issues related to problems with an existing installation of your Windows OS. Hiren’s BootCD PE runs on a version of Windows PE, which is designed to be used for troubleshooting, but can’t be used as a full installation of the OS.   

There are literally dozens of utilities in the Hiren’s BootCD package, including TeamViewer for remote access, Malwarebytes for removing malware and viruses, a number of disk and system imaging tools, and tools for recovering accidentally deleted files.

In order to use Hiren’s BootCD PE you’ll need to download the ISO file, a disk image that, once you burn it to a disk, can be used to start your computer.

Once you’ve started from the disk, you can use the built-in utilities to recover an installed OS or, barring any possible recovery, use it to copy files off the damaged computer, wipe the drive, and reinstall Windows.

Hiren’s BootCD PE is free to download, but it’s important to note that it is no longer maintained by Hiren. There have been no official updates to the original software since 2012. As the website states: "Hiren’s BootCD PE version is being developed by Hiren’s BootCD fans. It includes the least [sic], best and updated free tools used in Hiren’s BootCD. It is being developed for the new age computers."

Where to download Hiren's BootCD

You’ll find Hiren’s BootCD PE at the Hiren’s BootCD website.

Once you download the ISO file you’ll need to use the Windows Disc Image Burner, which is built in to every version of Windows from Windows 7 and later, to copy the information from the ISO to a USB drive. Yes, this is called Hiren’s BootCD PE, but booting from a DVD, which is what you’d need to install it on, is slow and often doesn’t work.

To boot to the Hiren’s BootCD PE drive you’ll need to change your boot options. On most PCs this will be the F11 key at startup, and then select the USB boot volume.

Jeffery Battersby is a writer, actor and raconteur, in addition to being an Apple certified trainer, a project manager and a specialist in smartphones, small business information technology, productivity software and office tools. He is based in the greater New York area and has contributed to Macworld as well as Tom's Guide.