A boot disk is any media (often a CD or nowadays maybe even a USB disk), that loads and runs an operating system. They can assist in troubleshooting faulty machines, recovering data and reinstalling an operating system.
Useful boot media
- Ubuntu live CD - gives a full OS with lots of useful programs
- Finnix - the live CD for sysadmins
- Ultimate boot CD - a boot CD with alot of useful tools, and the ability to make a bootable Ultimatebootcd on USB
- SLAX is a very useful LiveCD based on Slackware.
Serial terminal - includes a guide to simply connect to equipment through a serial cable with a boot floppy or CD