Your PC\u2019s operating system crashed, and the only chance of recovery is an ISO file flashed to a USB stick.\r\n\r\nBut if you don\u2019t have a spare PC to create installation media with, don\u2019t worry. Android has you covered. Here\u2019s how to recover your PC using your phone or tablet.\r\nYour PC Is Toast: What Now?\r\nWe\u2019ve all been there: your PC won\u2019t load. Perhaps the operating system was compromised by a virus, or the hard disk is failing and needs replaced. There\u2019s data you need to recover, but you have no way to burn a recovery disk.\r\n\r\nYou may think your PC is the only device you have that is capable of downloading and burning ISO files (disk images saved as a single file). Or is it?\r\n\r\nIf you have an Android phone or tablet on hand running Android 3.1 or later, the device probably has USB On-The-Go (OTG) support. This means you can attach USB devices to your phone or tablet. That includes a mouse, a keyboard, or even a USB storage device.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThis is the path you can use to recover your PC. Download the recovery disk ISO file, connect the USB device to your\u00a0tablet\u00a0or phone, and burn the ISO file using a dedicated app.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ve probably noticed that the USB port on your Android device is smaller than the connector on your USB drive. We\u2019ll deal with that in due course.\r\nUsing Android Like a PC\r\nIf you have an Android phone or tablet nearby, as long as it has OTG support, there\u2019s a good chance you can use it to fix your PC.\r\n\r\nBut wait: have you diagnosed the problem? Before proceeding with recovery, use a search engine to check what the boot issue might be. Think about the symptoms, what your PC did before it crashed, and how long you\u2019ve had the problem. Taking this approach will help you to decide what path to take later when burning an ISO.\r\n\r\nFor instance, you might require a dedicated recovery disk, or simply a fresh version of your preferred operating system. However, if you\u2019re not sure, opt for the recovery disk. As long as your Android device has enough storage space, find a suitable disk image ISO file and download it. If you\u2019re low on space, try a tiny Linux distro.\r\n\r\nBe sure to use your home network for this, rather than mobile internet. Downloading an operating system will use several gigabytes of data, which could eat up your entire mobile allowance.\r\nCreate Bootable ISO Media With an App\r\nOnce you\u2019ve downloaded the ISO you want, you\u2019ll need a tool to burn it with. Several are available, but one of the most consistent is ISO 2 USB.\r\n\r\nTo use this, however, you\u2019ll also need an OTG adapter. This is an affordable cable that you can purchase from mobile phone retailers or online.\r\n\r\nOnce connected to your phone, the OTG adapter cable will enable you to connect a USB flash drive. You can write your downloaded ISO to this destination.\r\n\r\nBegin by connecting the USB drive via the OTG cable, then tapping the first Pick button. Choose your USB drive, then proceed to the second Pick button to choose the ISO file. Be sure to accept Android\u2019s permissions requests throughout; you\u2019ll be asked to allow access to your media files, as well as the USB drive.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWith both selected, you can then tap\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nStart to begin writing the data. It shouldn\u2019t take long to complete; once done, remove the USB device, insert it in your PC, and begin recovery. Remember to change the boot order in your computer\u2019s BIOS to enable booting from USB.\r\n\r\n \r\nTurning a Phone Into a Bootable Linux Environment\r\nIf you don\u2019t have a USB\u00a0flash\u00a0drive\u00a0or a USB to OTG cable, but do have a rooted Android device, you can try an alternative approach.\r\n\r\nDriveDroid is a useful utility that lets you boot your PC directly over a USB cable using any ISO or IMG file stored on your phone. You just need your Android smartphone or\u00a0tablet\u00a0and a suitable cable\u2014no flash drives required.\r\n\r\nDriveDroid is available in\u00a0free\u00a0and\u00a0paid\u00a0options.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s important to note that\u00a0this is only an option for rooted devices. Even then, some phones may not work as intended due to kernel peculiarities.\r\n\r\nNote also that this solution requires support for USB Mass Storage on your device. While modern versions of Android don\u2019t support USB Mass Storage,\u00a0DriveDroid\u2019s website notesthat \u201cDriveDroid has various methods of enabling Mass Storage.\u201d\r\nHow to Recover a PC Using DriveDroid\r\nAfter installing DriveDroid, head to a desktop computer and download the ISO that you plan to use for recovery.\r\n\r\nRun DriveDroid and\u00a0Grant\u00a0root permissions. Next, click the\u00a0Download\u00a0button, and select an OS to download to your phone. A massive selection is available, from Ubuntu to ZorinOS, Tiny Linux, Gentoo, Arch Linux, and other\u00a0top Linux distros.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you\u2019re trying to recover your PC, the best options are\u00a0boot-repair-disk, or\u00a0CloneZilla\u00a0if you need to clone the contents of your dying HDD.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNote that when you select an OS, you\u2019re given a version to select. This is typically a recent build, in\u00a032-bit or 64-bit flavors. Be sure to select the OS that suits the build of the PC you\u2019re attempting to recover.\r\n\r\nWith the OS selection made, wait while it downloads to your Android device. The ISO file will save in the Downloads folder, but will also appear in the main DriveDroid screen. Select the ISO, then wait while the options are displayed. Choose\u00a0standard USB storage,\u00a0read-only USB storage, or\u00a0CD-ROM. This will determine how the ISO behaves when you reboot your computer.\r\n\r\nYou can then connect the Android device to your PC, and reboot. As long as your computer\u2019s boot selection screen is configured to default to USB devices, the downloaded operating system will boot from your phone. You can then use this to recover your PC, or even install a brand-new OS.