Use the information in this section when you plan the deployment and operation of Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 7 in your enterprise.

Planning to Install DaRT 7

Consider the following when you plan your DaRT 7 installation:

  • When you install DaRT, you can either install all functionality on an IT administrator computer where you will perform all the tasks associated with running DaRT. Or you can install only the DaRT functionality that creates the recovery image on the IT administrator computer. Then, install the functionality used to run DaRT, such as the DaRT Remote Connection Viewer and Crash Analyzer, on a helpdesk agent computer.

  • Make sure that your production environment meets the minimum system requirements. For more information, see System Requirements for DaRT 7.

  • To be able to run DaRT remotely, make sure that the helpdesk agent computer and all computers that you might be troubleshooting remotely are on the same network. For more information, see Run DaRT 7 by Using Remote Connection.

  • Before you roll out DaRT into production, you can first build a lab environment for testing. A test lab should include a minimum of two computers, one to act as the IT administrator/helpdesk agent computer and one to act as an end-user computer. Or, you can use three computers in your lab if you want to separate the IT administrator responsibilities from those of the helpdesk agent.

Planning to Create the DaRT 7 Recovery Image

When you create the DaRT recovery image, you have to decide which tools to include on the image. When you make that decision, remember that end users might have access occasionally to the various DaRT tools. For more information about the DaRT tools, see Run the Diagnostic and Recovery Tools in DaRT 7 and Overview of the Tools in DaRT 7. For more information about how to help create a secure recovery image, see Security and Protection for DaRT 7.

When you create the DaRT recovery image, you will also specify whether you want to include additional drivers or files. Determine the locations of any additional drivers or files that you want to include on the DaRT recovery image.


The following items are required or recommended for creating the DaRT recovery image:

  • Windows 7 source files

    You must provide the path of a Windows 7 DVD or of Windows 7 source files. Windows 7 source files are required to create the DaRT recovery image.

  • Windows Debugging Tools for your platform

    Windows Debugging Tools are required when you run Crash Analyzer to determine the cause of a computer crash. We recommend that you specify the path of the Windows Debugging Tools at the time that you create the DaRT recovery image. If it is necessary, you can download the Windows Debugging Tools here: Download and Install Debugging Tools for Windows.

  • Optional: Standalone System Sweeper definitions

    The latest definitions for the Standalone System Sweeper are required when you run this tool. Although you can download the definitions when you run Standalone System Sweeper, we recommend that you download the latest definitions at the time you create the DaRT recovery image. In this manner, you can still run the tool with the latest definitions even if the problem computer does not have network connectivity.

  • Optional: Windows symbols files for use with Crash Analyzer

    Typically, debugging information is stored in a symbol file that is separate from the executable. You must have access to the symbol information when you debug an application that has stopped responding, for example if it crashed. For more information, see Use the Crash Analyzer for DaRT 7.

Planning How to Save and Deploy the DaRT Recovery Image

You can save and deploy the DaRT recovery image by using the following methods. When you are determining the method that you will use, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Also, consider how you want to use DaRT in your enterprise.

You might want to use more than one method in your organization. For example, you can boot into DaRT from a remote partition for most situations and have a USB flash drive available in case the end-user computer cannot connect to the network.

The following table shows some advantages and disadvantages of each method of using DaRT in your organization.

Method to Boot into DaRT Advantages Disadvantages

From a CD or DVD

Supports scenarios in which the master boot record (MBR) is corrupted and you cannot access the hard disk. Also supports cases in which there is no network connection.

This is most familiar to users of earlier versions of DaRT, and a CD or DVD can be burned directly from the DaRT Recovery Image Wizard.

Requires that someone with access to the CD or DVD is physically at the end-user computer to boot into DaRT.

From a USB flash drive (UFD)

Provides same advantages as booting from a CD or DVD and also provides support to computers that have no CD or DVD drive.

Requires you to format the UFD before you can use it to boot into DaRT. Also requires that someone with access to the UFD is physically at the end-user computer to boot into DaRT.

From a remote (network) partition

Lets you boot into DaRT without needing a CD, DVD, or UFD. Also allows for easy upgrades of DaRT because there is only one file location to update.

Does not work if the end-user computer is not connected to the network.

Widely available to end users and might require additional security considerations when you are creating the recovery image.

From a recovery partition

Lets you boot into DaRT without needing a CD, DVD, or UFD that includes instances in which there is no network connectivity.

Also, can be implemented and managed as part of your standard Windows image process by using automated distribution tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager.

When updating DaRT, requires you to update all computers in your enterprise instead of just one partition (on the network) or device (CD, DVD, or UFD).

See Also