SystemRescueCD, as the name suggests, is an excellent system rescue utility. It is actually a Linux LiveCD based on Gentoo and has most of the utilities used to recover data from a crashed hard disk or partition.
SystemRescueCD is to data recovery what BackTrack is to hacking. It gives us an array of in built tools for partition recovery as well as backup. It supports the Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, VFAT, XFS, JFS, NTFS and Btrfs file systems. I have used SystemRescueCD occasionally to take image backups of my partition.
The latest version of SystemRescueCD features the 2.6.34 release of the Linux kernel and has the latest version of the Gnome Partition Editor (GParted), version 0.6.0. This new GParted allows support for partitions with sector size greater than 512 bytes. An improved Ethernet driver has also been included for a better network support. This change log will tell us more about the new features of this version.
Follow this link to download SystemRescueCD, version 1.5.6. The Live CD is licensed under GPLv2 and is an essential system recovery software.