Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 19, 2008
Updated • May 23, 2015

Recent versions of the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) are part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack which in turn is part of Microsoft Software Assurance.

This means that the toolset is only available to Enterprise customers and no longer provided as a 30-day evaluation version for anyone to download and try out.

It helps administrators identify and repair PCs that have become unusable by offering tools that analyze and solve these issues found. Administrators use the toolkit to analyze and diagnose PC problems, and to repair these systems faster "than the average time it takes to reimage the machine" according to Microsoft.

The most recent version of DaRT ships with 14 tools that can repair and recover machines even if they cannot be booted normally anymore.

Among the features that tools provide are file recovery for deleted files, the removal of malware on systems or the analysis of crash dumps.

A good starting point for all things DaRT is the Microsoft Technet website listing the various versions available.

A link leads to information about each version of the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset explaining improvements and new features in each version as well as release notes for those interested in them.

DaRT offers several methods to boot into the recovery environment. Administrators can use discs or USB flash drives to boot into the system locally, boot DaRT from a recovery partition on the problem computer, or boot it from a remote partition on a network instead.

The most important Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset versions as of today are:

  • Dart 8.0 for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Dart 7.0 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012
  • Dart 6.0 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Previous versions of DaRT were available as standalone programs on the Microsoft website. This is no longer the case and information about those have been removed from the article as a consequence.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. h said on August 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    good tools

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.