Tip of the Trade: Recovery Is Possible
Recovery is Possible (RIP) sounds like a 12-step program, or some kind of self-help regime. RIP is (yet another) specialized Linux rescue distribution. RIP comes in a number of bootable images: CD/DVD, USB key, Compact Flash, PXE netboot, and even a tiny FreeBSD-based image. You can get a version with X windows, or one without. No, it's not a 12-step program. It is a specialized Linux rescue distro for the seasoned admin with basic needs. The extremely useful assortment of rescue tools for Linux, Unix and Windows sets it apart from the crowd.
RIP is for experienced admins who do not need a lot of handholding, or all the bells and whistles of a Jabba-sized live CD Linux, like Knoppix. For its compact size, it comes with an extremely useful assortment of rescue tools for Linux, Unix and Windows.
RIP supports IDE, SATA and SCSI drives, as well as LVM1/2 and RAID. It contains all the userland utilities for both Linux and Windows filesystems: ext2/3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, FAT 16/32, and NTFS. With ntfsprogs you can resize, backup, restore, and even run chkdsk on NTFS partitions. TestDisk and PhotoRec recover lost partitions and files.The X-enabled version runs the excellent GParted, for partition management, and comes with the Firefox Web browser and MPlayer. Because you never know when you'll need to do a bit of Googling or have some amusement while waiting for a job to run.
You also get chntpw, for resetting Windows passwords, and cmospwd, for recovering BIOS passwords. RIP comes with a complete set of network, remote administration, file transfer, and CD/DVD writing utilities. ddrescue is a nice dd wrapper that automates copying and includes logging. It even comes with the blesstivo utility, for managing drives and partitions on Tivo boxes.
Visit RIP for downloads and howtos.