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Microsoft Releases Beta of DaRT 7 Recovery Tool

Microsoft today released a beta of its new Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 7 (DaRT 7) support tool that can help IT pros remotely fix unbootable PCs.

The remote deployment and recovery capabilities enabled by this tool for Windows-based PCs constitute the big improvements to be found with this beta release. The previous version of DaRT required a visit to the user's PC by a technician to diagnose Windows boot-up problems, according to Microsoft's announcement.

The new beta of DaRT 7 can be downloaded at the Microsoft Connect Web portal here (requires a Windows Live ID and completion of a survey).

Microsoft's tool works by allowing a PC user to boot into DaRT 7, which will hand over the PC's control to help desk personnel. IT pros can then perform diagnostic work and make any needed repairs on the machine without having to be on premises.

Microsoft enhanced the DaRT 7 beta by enabling it to boot from a USB drive, in addition to booting from a CD or DVD drive. IT pros also can deploy it via a "preboot execution environment" (PXE) or it can be deployed to the PC's local hard drive. IT pros can also deploy the DaRT 7 beta through System Center Configuration Manager, according to Microsoft's announcement.

DaRT 7 will be part of the next release of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), which is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year. That MDOP release also will include a final version of the Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) tool, which helps manage the BitLocker and BitLocker To Go drive encryption capabilities available with the Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate editions. Microsoft announced the availability of a beta release of MBAM last month.

MDOP is a suite of six tools available to organizations that purchase Microsoft's Software Assurance annuity licensing option. Software Assurance provides educational support and no-cost product upgrades within a specific contract period.

Microsoft earlier announced MDOP 2011, which included two upgraded tools: App-V 4.6 for application virtualization and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization 2.0. Other tools in the MDOP suite include Advanced Group Policy Management, Desktop Error Monitoring and the Asset Inventory Service.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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