Originally Posted by Dirty Harry
Up through XP, Microsoft would still let you go through a long and tedious "registration" via their telephone system. I had to do it with 12 machines on a secure site last year... then there were the battles with the software vendors who'd sworn blue that their products didn't need internet access, and then the software wouldn't even install unless it could contact the mothership... "what part of 'no internet' do they not understand?"
For general utility work, I use Puppy Linux 4.3.1. It boots from a liveCD or USB key. It will mount the usual Linux filesystems plus ntfs and hfs.