How to Create a ERD Commander 2009 R2 Recovery Disk

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…


Step-by-Step How To Create a ERD Commander Boot Disk.docx

Comments (33)
  1. hypothesis says:

    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)

  2. ShaneC33 says:

    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

  3. ShaneC33 says:

    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?

  4. ShaneC33 says:

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


  5. ShaneC33 says:

    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.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what about support for Windows 2003 x64 a cant find any support

    Regards Ricky

  7. Arjun says:

    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

  8. ShaneC33 says:

    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.


  9. Anonymous says:

    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…



    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).



  10. Tim says:

    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?


  11. ibulut says:

    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..!


  12. Arjun Dewan says:

    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

  13. hany says:

    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




    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…




  14. Bill Case says:

    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!

    Bill 😉




  15. Peter says:

    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.

  16. Jesse Steinberg says:

    How do you change where the ERD gets the windows installation files from. I have removed and re-installed but it still does not ask me for the Windows install CD.

  17. sherjul says:

    i was wondering if someone could tell me how to install "Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2010"

    and give tell some details.

    i am new at this, it will be grateful if someone could explain to me in step by step,  how to burn Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2010 in to a DVD. by the way do i have to add any other software to burn or just this Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2010.

    can i use Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2010

    with XP, VISA and win7 or i have to use different tools.

    I mean to changed the password and recover the data and etc.

  18. Help says:

    i was wondering if someone could help me with this problem

    i made one ERD COMMANDER for my window 7 using you step

    but when i start ERD and try to use locksmith  it says locksmith"Tools require a offline support OS"

    please help me

  19. james says:

    i was wondering if u could hlpe me with my problem, i am having problem with erd commander when i start  erd commander and try to reset my password it says LOCKSMITH "tools  require a supported offline OS" i am using dart 6.5 and ERD commander 2010

    is there any way u could help me with this problem

  20. AKS says:

    I recovered data through ERD commander but the files of MS office are not opeing….

    If someone had faced & resolved this problem – Please post reply….


  21. Lord Iuly says:

    I don’t know about you guys… but for me worked perfectly (without the debugger). I want to know if with this created cd can i use the locksmith on others OS like mine (Windows 7 x64) or this cd must be made on every PC on the network ?


  22. Sal Vitale, Desktop Services Supervisor says:

    >>>but when i start ERD and try to use locksmith  it says locksmith"Tools require a offline support OS" <<<

    I have seen this exact problem, but with Vista Home Premium.  I am using DaRT6.0 32-bit, installed on a Home Premium machine.  Went through all the steps as expected.  However, when I tested the CD, it (1) did not see an operating system, and (2) had many tools disabled including Locksmith.

    I have done exactly the same thing on Windows Vista Business, Windows XPSP3, and both work exactly as expected.  Did I miss something?

    Also, which debugging tools are you referring to?  I selected "find on machine" for the Vista Business (basic load) and XP (also basic load) and it seems to work fine.

    ****For the individual who asked about ERD working on multiple operating systems, I have found the ERD for Vista Business WILL NOT work on Vista Home Premium, so I guess you have to make a machine/CD for EACH version you need access to.****

  23. Frank O says:

    Hi.. so i have ERD 6.5 x86. When i start DaRT’s Lcoksmith i am asked to a password, i retype it, and finish, close and restart.

    When the OS boots it does not accept the password that i specify in Locksmith (this is a Windows 2008 R1 Enterprise Server).

    What can i do now? Thanks for any help!

  24. Leonard Shelby says:

    Seems very much to me that Microsoft have taken the one product that everyone relies upon to fix serious Microsoft OS failures, and wrapped a load of licensing, cost and complexity around it.

    I can see the masses opting for one of two options; Linux, Piracy.

    Well done Microsoft.

  25. paul says:

    Must agree with Leonard Shelby.  After carefully following the recipe required to create an ERDC65.iso, then burning it to DVD and booting the locked-out system, I get the "Tool requires a supported offline os" message.  Um, what? Why?  Nothing about it in ERDC's Help, and Googling that phrase gets zero hits.

    In the first place, why do you only get two choices on ERDC bootup and have to pretend to go through the "restore my system" path to finally get to the ERDC tools?  Even though the system in question has no problem booting, I tried the other choice–"repair startup problems"–and after 5 minutes I'm still looking at "Attempting repairs…" (and "The current operation cannot be cancelled").  Really Microsoft, at long last, WTF?

  26. Bob Hyatt says:

    is it possible to include IE8 somehow into the ERD image??

  27. ralph says:

    I have been unable to create the ERD Boot Wizard since it fails when getting toward the end of the process after it is copying the Windows boot files it fails with an unable to delete…setup.exe message.  When I browse to the usersappdatatemperdc1234 folder I also cannot delete the temp files by hand.

    Dell Vostro 7 64bit PC.

  28. Dan_IT says:

    Hey I forgot my password to my computer so i got a system recovry disk.

    When i Go to System Recovry, i go into MSDaRT tools, and go to locksmith, but the locksmith says

    "tool requires a supported offline OS" <— whats that? and how do i fix it to go into Locksmith so i can change my password and make a new one.

  29. RasRaven says:

    How do I boot MSDaT ERD Commander form USB or how do I create a boot-able USB ERD

  30. sinister1 says:

    Check this out; no need to go through the building process, I have made one for you that is very easy to use. And Dan, this one has a password reset tool that works for xp vista and 7. Enjoy. . It's a 100% free to download and edit.

  31. prasant says:

    i just download erd bootable commander n m trying 2 hack the win xp password  but i cnt hack it so please could u please help how m i going 2 hack i mean i just want 2 learn hack so. n tel me which version erd m i going 2 downloald

  32. Frank says:

    How can i create ONE DVD with ALL Dart-Versions (x86/64) for all Operating Systems?

  33. amritansu says:

    Password Brack

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