I have been building computers and administrating networks for some time now (Before Windows, but only Microsoft Windows now). However, in the past several years, I have had a person to take care of most of the troubleshooting of hardware and software issues on individual workstations. I also try to help family and friends that bring me their computers or want advice and I have had him as a resource. As of a month ago, that is no longer the case. Now, I am not completely ignorant, just a bit out of practice. I used to use products like the UBCD and other collections of utilities, but those that I have are out of date and, frankly, a bit tiresome to run back to back to find a solution. Discussion group searches used to be more fruitful, and, furthermore, OS based problems have become more difficult to resolve for me.
Unfortunately, after the latest batch of Microsoft Updates, I have had 4 people bring me their computer with complaints ranging from Vista 0xa BSOD to Windows 7 unable to boot. Instead of asking for help on each case, I would rather ask for help to finding a professional grade solution to help myself (teach a guy to fish, hehe).
What I am looking for is a bootable solution that can also run in safe mode (if safe mode is reachable) that 1. Scans for hardware problems. 2. Scans for software problems (ESPECIALLY OS) and driver/program conflict issues. 3. Is easy to use with wizards and comprehensive scans instead of having to run each tool independently. 4. Hopefully has fixes or some internet based portal for repairs for OS and driver issues. 5. Does not cost an arm and a leg.
I will try to better explain my requirements as I examine your recommendations.
Thank you very much for your time.