I've seen a few questions in serverfault and superuser asking for software to perform hardware testing. I'm familiar with Hiren BootCD, which can be extremely useful when troubleshooting, but along with free software it also contains at least one illegal software copy. I was wondering if I should be recommending this to people in these boards.

4 Answers 4


If it's merely possible that your suggestion may infringe copyright, I don't see any problem with it.

If it's definite that your suggestion does infringe copyright, then no, it is not appropriate.

If in your judgment you perceive that your suggestion will most likely be used to infringe copyright, then you may elect to withhold your suggestion. That's a judgment call based on your personal ethical standards and your understanding of the situation.


In general, no this should not be recommended.



The spanish version had more information, but I'm not in the mood for translating:

Hiren's BootCD is a live CD containing various diagnostic programs such as partitioning agents, system performance benchmarks, disk cloning and imaging tools, data recovery tools, MBR tools, BIOS tools, and many others for fixing various computer problems.2 As it is a bootable CD, it can be useful even if the primary operating system cannot be booted. Hiren's Boot CD has an extensive list of software. Utilities with similar functionality on the CD are grouped together and seem redundant; however, they present choices through different UIs and options in what they can do.

While this collection of tools can be very useful, potential users should note that many of the tools are commercial applications that have not been legally licensed for redistribution, and so download/use/sharing of Hiren's BootCD may be illegal (depending on your legal jurisdiction).

Even when it has free software and abandonware, it also has copyrighted DOS programs, so you have to this has to be had into account when using it you could be infringing intelectual right laws. This makes the disc illegal in some countries.

Spanish wikipedia (appearently I'm in the mood after all)

I'd recomend it, putting a


IANAL, but if you had a licence to all the software included, then you wouldn't be infringing. Right? Right?


Did I mention IANAL?

Anyway, I'd recommend System Rescue CD, the same thing, completely free software/open source. ;)


I do not know this CD, but what is "illegal software copy" in that context? It it a copy of a commercial tool? In that case I think that it should not be recommended.

But if it is stuff that is not Warez but rather in the grey area (like "Password recovery tools" or anything in the same gray legal area that DeCSS is) then i'd say "It depends".

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