Windows

10+ IT pros share the utilities they can't live without

One way to make your job a little easier is to find out which tools other IT pros rely on -- and then try them out for yourself. Susan Harkins extracted a list of favorite tools from 13 IT pros, whose roles range from consultant to developer to DBA.

One way to make your job a little easier is to find out which tools other IT pros rely on -- and then try them out for yourself. Susan Harkins extracted a list of favorite tools from 13 IT pros, whose roles range from consultant to developer to DBA.


IT professionals are unique, like snowflakes. Degrees, training, intelligence, creativity, and experience all matter, but they combine to craft distinctly specific skill sets. Perhaps that's one reason there are so many utilities and tools driving the support industry. In fact, there are so many that shopping for just the right tool can be overwhelming.

So I asked several IT pros to list the tools they depend on -- and I received some surprising results. Their lists are (almost) as unique as they are. Try matching the following IT pros to your job role and skills. Perhaps their lists will help you narrow your search for useful tools and utilities. The good news for all of us is that most of these tools are freeware. Note: Comments in quotes belong to the IT professional.

This article is also available as a PDF download.

#1: John Bartow, consultant

John Bartow's areas of expertise are network and PC security, which he provides via his consulting firm, WinHaven Computer Consulting Services. Because he's onsite so much, he carries the following tools with him at all times:
  • RoboForm Pro and Portable: Password manager, form filler, and password management.
  • CCleaner: File system and registry cleaner.
  • Autoruns: Startup process manager; shows programs configured to run during system bootup or login.
  • Process Explorer: Lets you see which handles and DLL processes are open.
  • Vipre: Antivirus, malware, and rootkit software.
  • Spybot S&D: Suite of PC security products.
  • SIW: Software Information for Windows; gathers and displays detailed information about system properties and settings.
  • DotNet cleanup tool (dotnetfx_cleanup_tool): Aaron Stebner's tool Automated cleanup tool for removing the .NET Framework.
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag: Hard drive defragmenting software.
  • Auslogics Registry Defrag: Registry defragmenting software.

#2: Sterling Camden, consultant

Camden Software Consulting, in Bainbridge Island, WA, specializes in migrating existing applications to new technologies. (Its owner, Sterling Camden, also hosts TechRepublic's  IT Consultant blog.) Vim and Ruby products are his favorite tools, but Camden relies on several others, which he keeps on a laptop that goes everywhere he goes:

  • Vim: "Powerful" text editor.
  • Google Chrome: Windows browser that's getting a lot of good reviews.
  • Ruby: "One of the most popular scripting languages."
  • Synergy/DE: Suite of advanced cross-platform software tools for Windows, UNIX, and OpenVMS. (Camden consults for Synergex, the vendor.)
  • PVCS Configuration Builder: Automates and accelerates software builds across multiple platforms.
  • PVCS Version Manager: Source control.
  • PuTTY: Telnet and SSH for Windows and UNIX.
  • FileZilla: Open source FTP client and server.
  • VMware: Virtualization technology products.
  • Visual Studio 2008: Suite of development tools.

#3: John W. Colby, consultant

John W. Colby specializes in business analysis, database design, and programming. He is a past president and a current board member of Database Advisors, Inc., an online technical support group. Currently living in North Carolina, Colby uses various remote access tools to provide consulting services to clients around the country:

#4: Donna Cook, applications analyst

An analyst in the medical industry, Donna Cook uses the following tools to work through the myriad projects she manages:

  • CSVed: Manipulate Excel files (.xls). "...great tool for anyone who hates Excel."
  • Copernic Desktop Search: Windows Desktop Search tool.
  • Irfanview: Fast graphic viewer/conversion tool for Windows.
  • eCleaner: Strips HTML symbols, formatting codes, and so on.
  • CoreFTP: Free, user-friendly, secure FTP application for Windows.
  • SiSoft Sandra: Gathers information about a machine.
  • Lan Monitor: Displays information about every network adapter on your computer.
  • SendToAny: Extends the Windows Send To menu to include anything on your Programs menu.

#5: Deborah Elam, consultant

Specializing in SQL and VB.NET applications, Deborah Elam recommends two administrative tools:

  • Auto FE Updater: Updates front-end applications in a multi-user environment. "It's a lifesaver!"
  • DNS source script: Creates DSNs from code. "...moving computers and new users requires much less maintenance."

#6: Steve Erbach, software development

Steve Erbach supplies custom software for the printing industry. With a lot of responsibilities, Erbach uses a lot of tools:

  • NoteTab: Award-winning text and HTML editor.
  • HardCopy: Screen capture utility. "...relaxed shareware license..." [UPDATE: Edited with new link]
  • Paint.NET: Image and photo editing software.
  • ColorPic: "Superb" pop-up color picker control for Web pages.
  • Irfanview: Fast graphic viewer for Windows.
  • Windows Grep: Graphical text search and replace tool.
  • CPU-Z: Quickly review information about system's devices.
  • FireBug: Web debugging tool. "... absolutely outstanding...nothing beats the DOM information and JavaScript debugging..."
  • SpinRite: Data recovery.
  • AutoHotKey: Automate keystrokes and mouse clicks. "...full-featured for recording mouse movements and keystrokes."
  • Process Explorer: Lets you see which handles and DLL processes are open. "Excellent and detailed information..."
  • FileMon and Process Monitor: Monitor Windows.
  • RootkitRevealer: Rootkit detection utility.
  • Belarc Advisor: Profile system -- iInstalled software, hardware, missing hotfixes, antivirus status, security benchmarks, and more.
  • WinPatrol: Improve system performance.
  • Win2PDF: Install PDF functionality as a printer.
  • XML Notepad 2007: Browse and edit XML documents.
  • MZ-Tools: Enhanced more than a million driver update files.

#7: Arthur Fuller, business analyst

Arthur Fuller specializes in MS-SQL development and doubles as a database administrator (and frequent contributor to TechRepublic). He's the author of four books on database development and numerous articles. Fuller spent most of last year working (yeah... right) in Bermuda for a hedge fund. The following utilities help him keep his clients happy:

  • NoteTab: Award-winning text and HTML editor. "Try this and you will never again load NotePad."
  • xPlorer2: Trouble-free desktop file management. "...fabulous for copying data between directories or hard disk or memory stick."

#8: Stuart McLachlan, information services

Stuart McLachlan, president of Lexacorp Ltd., in Papua New Guinea, manages the development of information systems. Since he's living in paradise, he tries not to waste time. He uses the following tools to keep him efficient:

  • Irfanview: Fast graphic viewer/conversion tool for Windows.
  • Polestar Virtual Printer: Virtual PDF and image printer.
  • Foxit Reader: "Fast" PDF reader with "neat" capabilities.
  • AutoIt: "BASIC-like" scripting language for automating Windows GUI and more.
  • PowerBASIC: A Windows compiler. "...small, fast, no dependencies..."
  • ZTree: "The best file/directory manager out there."
  • VirtualBox: Virtualization products for x86 systems. "Great for developing in one environment and then testing in others."
  • FireFTP: FTP client plug for Firefox.
  • NetSetManPro: Network settings manager. "I can go to any of my clients' sites and hook my laptop into their network without changing all sorts of settings."

#9: Karen Rosenstiel, Web developer

Karen Rosenstiel designs and develops Web sites for small businesses and nonprofit organizations, with an expertise in accessibility features.  Her list is short, but specific to her detailed work:

  • UltraEdit: "...an excellent all-around programming editor."
  • UltraCompare: Compare and merge files, directors, documents, zip archives, and so on.

#10: Francisco Tapia, database administrator

Francisco Tapia maintains and monitors 26 SQL Server systems in a manufacturing environment in California. As you can imagine, performance is a huge issue for Tapia, who likes to develop his own monitoring applications and runs security policies for system applications and products (SAP) systems. Tapia also markets a commercial product that monitors SQL Server systems. Tapia is a magician with code and currently relies on a number of Red-Gate products:

  • SQL Backup: Compresses and encrypts SQL Server backups; "... fairly inexpensive and it just works."
  • SQL Prompt: Intelligent code completion and layout for SQL Server. "Accelerates all my programming."
  • SQL Response: Tapia is currently beta testing this SQL Server monitor tool and he likes it.
  • SQL Compare: Moves SQL Server data from development to production.
  • SQL Diagnostic Manager: Monitors SQL Server.

#11: Jon Tydda, IT technician

With more than a decade of experience in first-, second-, and third-line IT support, Jon Tydda now provides his expertise to pharmaceutical research and development in the United Kingdom. He also spends an extraordinary amount of time fixing his friends' broken computers. Tydda's  "can't live without" tools are:

#12: Dan Waters, business systems

Dan Waters' company, ProMation Systems, Inc., develops business process management systems (BPMS) for companies that want to be more competitive and effective by automating their internal business processes. His tools of choice:

  • MZ-Tools: Enhanced programming tools for VB and VBA programmers.
  • Find & Replace: Add-in for Microsoft Access that lets you quickly rename design objects.
  • Access Analyzer: Provides extensive documentation and analysis of Microsoft Access databases.
  • SimplyVBA Global Error Handler: Sophisticated add-in for recording a great deal of information about errors.

#13: Drew Wutka, network administrator

Drew Wutka is a network systems administrator with database and programming skills. Currently, he provides IT skills for the defense, space, photonics, telecommunications, and medical industries. When he can't find just the right tool, Wutka often writes his own (such as MoveWindows in the list below). Here are a few of his favorites:

  • Virtual PC: Create and run virtual machines on a single computer.
  • Virtual Server: Run every Microsoft operating system from one platform.
  • Remote Administrator (radmin): "Great tool for administrating your network."
  • MoveWindows: Custom application that captures all of the open windows on your machine. "Handy for multiple monitor issues when an application gets lost."

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

63 comments
toneybarber
toneybarber

Use to use. Buggy. Non-responsive support. I now use LastPass.

MPG187
MPG187

The link that says "WinHaven Computer Consulting Services" (The first link in the article except the PDF one) is a mailto link, but links to an http address

lelandhamilton
lelandhamilton

PSPad: programmer's editor with multiple language templates including roll your own. Includes FTP file edit (retrieve, edit, save to FTP) http://www.pspad.com/en/ Comodo Internet security (free version for personal use): Virus, Firewall, and Defense+ (allows limits to what programs can do, with alerts if action not already approved). Also other Comodo utilities. http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/free-internet-security.php KDiff3: very nice visual difference utility for 2 or 3 files. Highlights different lines with alternate shading for the portion of the lines that is different. Includes merge (but haven't tried it) http://kdiff3.sourceforge.net/ SyncToy (Microsoft file sync utility) allows on demand synchronization of directories. I use it with camera, USP, Backup drive, PocketPC... http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/synctoybeta.aspx Cygwin: Unix environment on Windows. http://cygwin.com/

liam
liam

Hi, I was wondering has anyone came across a program which stores all customer's passwords for their wifi, router email, user accounts etc so when they ring up I can provide it asap. I was thinking of adapting onenote 2007 on a shared notebook but was wondering has anyone used a program designed for the task? Liam

david_bobb
david_bobb

I'd like to suggest a virtual desktop manager program much like the kind that linux desktops have built in. Just because these make multitasking so much easier. I've tried quite a few including MSVDM, Nvidia Nview, dexpot (nice, but buggy) and Virtuawin. While none of them have the desktop integration that linux DE's have I find Dexpot and Virtuawin to be the best so far. Dexpot has better eyecandy but is more buggy.

Rob C
Rob C

PicPick Screen Captures (into Tabs), that can be notated etc. Free and a must have. 'USB Safely Remove' Not expensive, and a must have if you have USB devices. Rob PS Would this site please have a large 'heads up' advising people that when they post comments, they SHOULD enter a unique Title, so that others can decide if they are worth reading. Who has time to read every comment that has the Title - Re: 10+ IT pros share the utilities they can't live without AGH! I just did it myself (forgot to enter a unique Title) Perhaps rather than a 'heads up' it would be better to blank the Title box, and force posters to enter a Title. That would make it idiot proof' (as I just demonstrated)

raviokade
raviokade

Here is my list: .NET Reflector DebugView CSDiff Fiddler ColorPic LogParser WinDbg IE8 Developer Tools WireShark SVN/Tortoise Trac

Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson

I can't believe that none of these "experts" listed imaging software. True Image, Ghost, BootIT NG ? take your pick ? one or other of them is totally indispensable to Windows users.

dprice
dprice

Does anyone know the correct link for MoveWindows?

Blackbeard2003
Blackbeard2003

Especially on a network for seeing what is hogging all your resources. http://www.jam-software.com/treesize/ My other must haves were mentioned... 1) Textpad 2) CCleaner 3) Spybot 4) Belarc Advisor 5) HiJack This! 6) Mozilla Firefox Keith S. :{)>

Sooksun
Sooksun

Granted a wiki isn't a formal utility per se, but I use it every day as a tool for me. Due to it's non-linear nature I can track meetings, work/meeting notes, command references, useful links and many built in formatting short cuts. Its a mobile active desktop to get to any of your web tools. This is all available offline so you can carry it with you on a thumb drive or have it hosted. Doesn't matter what platform you are running so long as you have a browser. Check it out. http://www.tiddlywiki.com/

NI70
NI70

Has many of the software utilities listed. UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair/restore/diagnose almost any computer problem. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows. UBCD4Win is based on Bart's PE. Bart's PE builds a Windows "pre-install" environment CD, basically Windows? booted from CD. With network support, the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc. this project includes almost everything you need to repair your system problems. There are many types of utilities included that allow you to recover and/or repair a damaged system. Please visit the "List of Tools" page for a complete list of what is included in the latest version of the project. http://ubcd4win.com/ Just need a copy of Windows XP with SP3. I believe it works with Vista now too. List of tools included with Ultimate Boot CD for Windows Anti-Spyware Tools aSquared Free 3.1.0.9 AdAware 1.06 SE AVG AntiSpyware CWShredder 2.16 EzPCFix ?? HiJackThis 2 Rootkitty ? Spy Bot 1.5.2 Super AntiSpyware WinSock Fix 1.2 AntiVirus Tools AVG Free 7.5.503 AVPersonal 7.04 Avast! Tool 1.0.211 Kaspersky VRT McAfee Stinger 2.6.0 Applications Firefox 2.0.0.11 Irfanview 3.98 NotePad++ 4.7.5 Opera 9.25 PDF Reader 1.3 B519 Popcorn 1.74 Scribe 1.87 XPSetupLauncher 1.4 CD/DVD Burning Applications DeepBurner 1.5.1.192 DVD RAM 4.2.2 Express Burn 1.08 SmallCD 1.12 Disk Tools -Backup/Cloning CopyWipe 1.14 Disk Copy N/A Disk Image 1.15 DriveImage XML 1.18 ImgMaker 1.1 RawCopy 1.0 SelfImage 1.1 -Defrag AusLogics Defrag 1.4.11.275 Defraggler 1.1.0.50 Dirms 1.2.20 Comand Line utility to defragement your entire drive -Diagnostic Bst5 5.1.4 Bart's Stuff test. Small Win32 application for long time heavily stress testing storage devices. Supports testing at file and device levels. chkdsk N/A DskChkup 1.1B1005 Disk Check 1.0.75 HDTune 2.5 WinDLG 1.02 -Partition Boot Build 1.0 MbrFix 1.0.0.5 MBRWiz 1.52 TestDisk 6.9 -Security CCleaner 2.03.543 Drive Erase 1.02 Disk Wipe 1.1 Eraser 5.7 Index.dat Suite 2.8.6 File Management -Compression IZArc 3.5 B3 7-Zip 4.57 -Explorers a43 2.45 Agent Ransack 1.73 freeCommander 2007.10a Space Monger 1.4 Tiny Hexer 1.6.0.2 WinDir Stat 1.1 xplorer2 Lite 1.3.0.2 -Recovery DBXtract 4.5 Disk Investigator 1.31 Fab's AutoBackup 1.2 File Recovery 4.0 Floppy Repair 1.0 Free Undelete 1.0 Handy Recovery 1.0 Recovery Manager 1.5 Recuva 1.10.223 Restoration 2.5.14 UnChk 3 Swiss Knife 3.21 Unstop Copier 1.9 Linux Tools Explore2fs 1.00 R-Linux 1.0 MultiBoot Tools MemTest86+ 2.0 Vista Recovery Console n/a Network Tools FileZilla 3.0.4.1 IP Sniffer 1.91.6 IPScan 2.21 LAN Monitor 1.3.5 NetStumbler 0.4 Network ConfigTool n/a NIC Speed 1.3 Bart's nwdskpe Putty .60 Real VNC Server 4.1.2 Quick 'n Easy FTP Server 3.1 Tight VNC Viewer 1.2.9 UltraVNC 1 RC18 VNC Neighborhood 1.1.9 Password Tools cmos 4.6 PasswordPro 2.4.0.2 Sala Password Renew 1.1 B Registry Tools Erunt 1.1i Fix HDC n/a Fix IDE n/a RegBrws 1.2.2 RegCleaner RegResWiz 1.0.0.4 RegShot ServicesPE Windows Registry Analyzer System Information Tools - Benchmark Tools CPU Bench 4.0.06 Dead Pixel Tester 2.30 MemTest 3.2 P95 23.8 Quick Bench StraightMark 1.2.1 -Information & Diagnostic Tools CPUz 2.44 Driver Wizard KeyFinder 1.41 Nero InfoTool 3.0 SpeedFan System Info 1.73 Unknown Devices 1.2 WinAudit 1.3 WinCPUID 3.3 WUL 1.21

IT IN SUNNY FLA
IT IN SUNNY FLA

What a great program XTREEGOLD was. It would let you do anything, delete corrupted files DOS wouldn't touch, etc.Is ZTREE still as powerful or does it just have a pretty face and let you move files around more easily? Any one know?

davidb
davidb

Anyone have any experience or thoughts about ThreatFire?

asplus
asplus

Does anyone knows of a SQL debugger that would help debug SQL SELECT scripts?

bblackmoor
bblackmoor

Notepad++ Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Thunderbird + Lightning 7-zip ArsClip DexPot WheresJames Startup Manager IrfanView KeyTweak OpenOffice Pidgin Putty WinSCP SmartDefrag Tortoise SVN

markanglin
markanglin

I have a question about Spybot S&D that is listed in section #1 and #11. Both lists show the title of Spybot S&D. But the links go to 2 different sites. I am not sure the link for the item in #1 is really the Spybot Search and Destroy that people are used to using. The download page talks about AntiSpyware BOT. Has anyone tried this file out? I am hoping it isn't that pesky malware that you have to pay the company to remove.

mwesthoff
mwesthoff

don't see much in the way of Mac utilities...I'd be interested in seeing those.

James Dahlfred
James Dahlfred

If you wish to ignore me as "that fan boy beating the Apple drum", feel free. But things like registry cleaners, anti-virus, anti-adware, and desktop search add-ons are unnecessary on a Mac (or any UNIX or Linux based OS). It's unfortunate so much software is Windows-dependent, because if productivity were really prized above all else, who wouldn't prefer an OS you don't have to fight with all day just to keep it running smoothly?

jchapman
jchapman

I feel this article is extremely helpful, because it narrows you rsearch tremendously. Can't Thank you all enough!!!

LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

I used to use NoteTab, which is mentioned in 2 or 3 of the lists and is quite capable, but then switched to Crimson Editor, which is open source, more flexible, and, I think, even easier to use. I highly recommend it.

aandruli
aandruli

Can't believe they forgot this tool -- absolutely essential to check for start-up problems or potential malware

arkan.lasida
arkan.lasida

Just thinking, and I do want to share... If you're concerned with a messy Start Menu, then use Launchy. It quickly indexes the programs in your start menu. After you launch it, type in the name of the program you want and press Enter, and then Launchy will launch it! Nice and handy, I've used it for quite some time. http://www.launchy.org

max.wanadoo
max.wanadoo

I am really surprised that in this age when data loss is rile across the World that TrueCrypt has not been mentioned. It is free and is on every PC I support, both at home and at work and also on my memory-sticks. Absolutely a No.1 item for me.

serbach
serbach

Susan, Actually, I use the Hardcopy written by Siegfried Weckmann at [http://www.gen.hardcopy.de/]. It's currently in version 17, if you can believe it. Goes back to the mid '80s. Steve Erbach Neenah, WI

WinHaven
WinHaven

Great list! I'm already checking out a couple of items I didn't know about. To Jon Tydda: Try http://live.sunbeltsoftware.com/ There is also a link at the bottom of their web site, listed as "PC Rescue". It's a command line version of Sunbelt Software's Vipre product. It has all the anti-virus, spyware and other malware capabilites of the full product but you can run on a crippled PC. (It has the latest signatures included in the download.)

mwpower
mwpower

www.textpad.com Hands-down the best text editor I've ever seen for Windows. I recently made the switch to a Mac, and this was the only program that I was choked about losing in the move. I still use it daily at work though (Network Administrator for a College)

Judah37
Judah37

It's a brilliant tool. Mine is cusomised with some other tools that I love such as ztree and I have automated the update process for the av and malware programs I use. I use it on an almost daily basis and love ezpcfix as well as the remote registry editing. I did send the guy a donation as well as it makes me money so I support him.

Dippncope
Dippncope

UBCD4WIN is a must have tool. I keep a CD and a DVD in my tool bag all the time. also keep the .iso on my flash drive.

Judah37
Judah37

Ztree is a very good program and I use it on my UBCDWIN disk as a file manager where it is especially helpfull in removing temp directories using the prune command and also temp internet files. Only time it hasn't worked was with a virus that wrote in extended ascii codes which nothing in windows would touch. A ubuntu boot disk fixed that issue though. I have paid for my copy as I believe in supporting the people who make the tools I use regularly.

PackMule64
PackMule64

Yes this is the correct link for spybot. It is from safer networking.

Narutofan
Narutofan

onyx has been of great assistance to me for mac issues

James Brown
James Brown

First, people use Windows because it is the most popular platform out there and frequently, especially in IT, you either 'do' windows or you don't have a job. Second, I'll answer to your final question, "who wouldn't prefer an OS you don't have to fight with all day just to keep it running smoothly?" That would be because we don't like fighting it all day and all night just to get something simple installed in the first place! And, we don't like fighting it when it randomly decides to not boot (or not load XWindows, etc.). And we don't like trying to find drivers or trying to figure out which of the 200+ drivers that all claim to be for the same hardware is the right one or trying to figure out how to configure that driver once we guess one. And, specifically in the case of crApple hardware, we don't like paying 5x-10x the cost for the same hardware we can get in the PC world. Look, I like Linux. I teach Linux. However, I also recognize that Linux is not what I call "grandma friendly." Unfortunately the breadth of available distros is also the downfall of Linux. There are too many choices and no specific leader to make it easy to use. When that finally happens (and it will, eventually) then Linux will really come into it's own. Just my $0.02. Asbestos suit at the ready ... flame away.

gsaluno
gsaluno

Yes, on the Windows side, I do like Crimson and Notepad++. Crimson in particular for its ability to do rectangular selections and a quick out-of-the-box way to set coloring to reverse video...you know, black background. I like Notepad++ for its scalable font feature.

HChester
HChester

Should really only need it when you take on new clients. Unlikely to be necessary once you've set them up as a User, and have router/firewall between them and the Internet, also a personal firewall like Comodo Pro(free and good), plus Virus and Spyware scanners installed and auto updates on everything possible. On the latter I find it's easier to remove any problem updates (which is occasionally necessary) than getting rid of the malware. Now TeamViewer is more likely to be of used more often for remote support, also it's free for tryout or limited/private use

zhenchyld
zhenchyld

I back that up wholeheartedly. HijackThis is the FIRST thing I do when a user gets malware. I also would like to kick a shout out (lol!) to Notepad++, I don't see how that didn't make the list either! Also TightVNCServer for picking up where Remote Desktop leaves off, Fiddler for analyzing http traffic, and WireShark for general packet sniffing. And lastly WirelessKeyView by Nirsoft for recovering WEP/WPA passwords. All free BTW (extra win!)

wahnula
wahnula

...remarkable utility for a specific problem, but there's nothing better to answer the question "What's taking up all my disk space???"

igf.lostonearth
igf.lostonearth

I use it a lot. Cant figure out where all the space has gone. Windirstat is the answer, I use it a lot. It also makes it easy to show customers exactly how hdd space is being used with the graphic view.

JodyGilbert
JodyGilbert

Hey Steve, Thanks for the clarification -- I updated the link in the post. --Jody

scottb2
scottb2

...has been dead for years. I've used it for years but it hasn't been updated for nearly as long. There are many things that should be added but won't be.

0.470221191156
0.470221191156

The ones interviewed in this article are most likely majority windows users - there's this list of very likeable applications on the go - i'm surprised not much of it is mentioned. If you asked me, these were the small but useful applications I had to let go when I switched to Linux for good.

reisen55
reisen55

Amazing utility for finding those huge directories that are eating space. Also Easy Recovery Pro Partition Manager BARTPE Windows XP boot CD (I have one with all of these and 60 other tools on it) and of course A GHOST BOOT CD at every customer location.

James Brown
James Brown

I'd like to hear what other users consider to be their top-whatever list of tools. I'll start ... (all of the following are freeware or open source) AVG Free Antivirus (free.grisoft.com) Kerio Personal Firewall Spybot Search & Destroy OpenOffice AbiWord (w/ dictionary, tools, & import/export) - better/faster than OpenOffice Writer FoxitReader or Acrobat Reader PDFCreator Firefox (with IE Tab, Adblock Plus, All-in-One Sidebar, Tab Mix Plus) Free Download Manager Password Safe Pidgin XP PowerToys DeepBurner TrueCrypt SpaceMonger Process Explorer The Guide (theguide.sourceforge.net) SpamBayes Filezilla Putty Some form of VNC (UltraVNC, TightVNC, etc.) 7Zip IZArc Audacity HardDiskOgg VLCMediaPlayer MPlayer (latest version includes many new codecs) Perl (activestate.com) GnuWin32 CoreUtils, CygUtils, plus others Win32Pad Notepad++ WinMerge / WinDiff

ezyridr
ezyridr

I am very surprised that no one uses combofix or sdfix. I have found these 2 tools worth their weight for sure. If you are going to use malwarebytes then combofix should be in your stable of software.

jimdettman
jimdettman

I like Ultra-Edit better then Text pad, although I haven't gone back and tried Text Pad in a few years. Jim.

unhappyuser
unhappyuser

Edlin or vi are MUCH better! : - ) EMD

NI70
NI70

I've tried something I found on the UBCD4Win forums, but can't be sure if it worked. I need to reburn my CD, as the CD that I recently burned didn't work. Not sure if it's because of the update I tried.

mamies
mamies

I agree that people use Windows because of the ease of use. I also agree with you the Linux is not grandma friendly but in the organisation i work for i use a linux distro to do alot of my supporting. This works with windows as well, All I have done is installed a distro of Linux onto a flash Drive and added bits and pieces like a virus scanner, recovery tools. I think that you need to have atleast a little bit of knowledge of linux to support the number one OS in the world. If you dont you are going to do it the hard way.

ezyridr
ezyridr

You are so right! How did we forget ghost boot and PE.

asjeff
asjeff

Notepad++ has to be one of the best text editors out there.

Narutofan
Narutofan

like SLAX when I have a disk crash and Windows won't boot anymore, running SLAX most of the time assists me to get the data off the crashed disk, actually unless the disk thicks the data was always recovered!

reisen55
reisen55

This may continue an interesting thought, not only the stuff we use TODAY but good stuff from ages ago. XTREE PROFESSIONAL Wonderful old DOS explore utility. MENU PROGRAMS? Remember Direct Access and Menu Works in DOS. LIST This was a small ASCII text display tool that I used (and still do) for diplaying text fast and smart. Why? HOW MUCH OF OUR LIFE IS NUMBERS? (Alot - car codes, licenses, addresses, etc). Just found the zip file I keep of this and restored it, and I like it. Here's one I cannot get rid of, a small DOS program: ROLODEX LIVE or HOLD EVERYTHING in an earlier mode. I simply have too much vital information in it and, being DOS, it has the virtue of being FAST. Remember PKZIP and related tools? Include the one that converted a ZIP to a self extracting EXE?

Snak
Snak

Excellent package for programmers

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