Windows

Five good apps to kick off a new Windows desktop

ISO image mounter/Virtual optical drive (Daemon Tools)

Given the amount of software testing I do, I download software all the time. A lot of what I need comes in the form of ISO files. So one of the first tools I install on my new Windows systems is an ISO image mounter called Daemon Tools Lite. Although Daemon Tools can do a bunch of other stuff, I use it just to mount ISO images on virtual CD/DVD drives that the software creates. This allows me to load an ISO as if I were inserting a disc into a CD drive.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

34 comments
bart001fr
bart001fr

Unfortunately, Hypersnap is not free anymore.

seggsyuk
seggsyuk

I always install the following. MagicDisc for mounting ISOs PDF Creator for creating PDFs from any app as long as you can select a printer. PDF Split and Merge. Great for removing blank pages from double side scans. Printscreen. Great screen grabber 7-Zip. Excellent archive util WinDirStat. Great for seeking out issues with full HDDs

chroswalt
chroswalt

I prefer Virtual Box to VMWare. I find the snapshot tree very useful especially when using it for virtualizing software using App-V or Symantec Workspace Virtualization. I'm not sure if you pass the virtual extensions into it, but if you can't, I bet they will become available soon.

Normanium
Normanium

I always help friends by installing an antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials), disk cleanup (Piriform CCleaner), defrag tool (recently switched from Defraggler to Smart Defrag), PDF viewer (adobe reader), office docs (OpenOffice), and better browser (Chrome).

callyn
callyn

I support Senior Citizens primarily. Their needs are a little different. While I agree with everyone and their choices, for the older frugal folks the top give are: MS Security Essentials, Firefox, FoxIt PDF Reader, Primrose CCleaner, Primrose Deflagger, and Open Office. Of course, screenings.to be configured for no fuss. OO set to Word and Excel defaults, MSE, CCleaner, and Deflagger set to run auto and all Win updates install auto.There's more, but that's a start.

NicholasMMDonovan
NicholasMMDonovan

Granted, it's no surprise that a ZD-Net publication is heralding the arrival of windows8. ZD-Net has been a Microsoft shill for as long as I can remember. The brutally honest truth is that real CIO, CTO etc. etc. other technology managers are not going to be rushing to adopt it. It simply too expensive to implement, retrain and attempt to convert existing applications and infrastructures to meet yet another Microsoft Hack on top of hack on top of hack.

gak
gak

Most of these programs are superseded by Windows 8 native tools. I cannot decide if it good or bad.

vpv
vpv

For virtual drives I like Virtual Clone Drive For working with ISO files the old ISO Recorder powertoy is hard to beat The built-in Snipping Tool (Vista and above) works great for screen capture

ralphdb
ralphdb

I like everything about Chrome , Speed ECT.

blarman
blarman

1. Firefox with AdBlock and several other favorite extensions (Firebug, etc.) 2. Open Office. Free. No ribbon. Compatible. 3. Acrobat Reader, Flash. 4. Antivirus/Malware. Choose from Clamwin (nice light footprint), AVG, etc. Also Ad-Aware, Spybot, and (my favorite) Malware Bytes. 5. Notepad2. Free text editor with nice find/replace, indenting, and syntax highlighting for everything from HTML to SQL. Optionally: Filezilla (or FireFTP extension for Firefox), Thunderbird, Chrome, Opera.

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

My first install on all new windows systems is process explorer, although Windows 8 task manager may make it that I don't need Process Explorer, not sure yet. And I use a different iso mounter, virtual clonedrive and I have been using Microsofts virtual machine, Virtual PC for most systems but use use VMWare for some VMs. (VMWare can import a Virtual PC virtual machine if you need to upgrade.)

thomascwhitfield
thomascwhitfield

I use Daemon Tools Pro and happen to need some of those extras... Anyway, my list of the first apps I install on a fresh desktop is as follows: 1. Daemon Tools 2. MS Security Essentials 3. Firefox (not a utility but a definite must!) 4. GIMP / Paint.NET (yeah its no photoshop, but its free) 5. uTorrent 6. MS Office (duh!) 7. WinRAR 8. Media Player Classic

gpachello
gpachello

So, here is my list: 1 - UltraISO (mount, create ISO images) 2 - Notepad++ (Powerfull Text Editor) 3 - MS Security Essentials (AntiVirus Client) 4 - FileZilla (FTP Client) 5 - JDownloader (Download Manager based on JAVA) Regards.

lmarks
lmarks

Why would you install Daemon Tools Virtual Optical Drive with all the extras you will never use when you can install the free Virtual CD that comes from Microsoft? It's a tiny chunk of code, tiny runtime footprint, and it's free.

dave the IT guy
dave the IT guy

We are currently removing almost all of the Hypersnap licences in our Enterprise because of the Windows 7 Snipping Tool. It's FREE, built into the OS, and for 99% of our users does the job. For me as an IT Pro, if Snipping Tool doesn't do what I need, I also use PSR.exe for screen shots related to creating documentation.

jleslie48
jleslie48

you know, like words. what is this nonsense. OK. I clicked on the "BLOG" version. that's at least an article. All but useless software, but at least an article. How about a real filemanager that respects file extensions and lists files neatly and consisely? Actually remembers my default viewing preferences and doesn't change them for CD's, or DVD's, You also don't have CATHY a database of all your DVD's and backups. or a real movie music player like VLC.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Sounds like HyperSnap has caught the ribbon interface disease. Why any software company would deliberately use up a significant amount of screen area with an interface which makes accessing frequently used features more difficult beats me. It's a similar situation with laptops' glossy screens - all the laptop manufacturers seemed to get the gloss screen bug and it's only recently that a few, Samsung and Acer in particular, have started producing matte screen laptops. I don't deny that some people prefer the ribbon interface and some people prefer gloss screens but PLEASE, PLEASE, GIVE US A CHOICE. Don't just change for the sake of change and foist it on us whether we like it or not.

woomera
woomera

Oh Apps? now I get it, he installs some software applications.

dAVErSF
dAVErSF

So where are the links to get these tools, and with which versions of Windows will they function properly? Which are free and what do the others cost? You folks with six-figure incomes don't seem to worry about shareware or payware fees of $20 or more, but some of us out here have budgets and those add up fast!

bart001fr
bart001fr

Give Nitro PDF a try. Just google it.

bart001fr
bart001fr

I suggest you give Nitro PDF a serious try. It's very powerful. I've been using OO since it was Star Office and haven't looked back. But I leave it in native mode, even though I sometimes send stuff I have to send out in Word format.

denzcam
denzcam

MSSE I agree (no frills no fluff set and forget) but I would also think about Chrome, a gmail account with Google Docs access. It might be better to not only read PDF's but become accustomed to an online environment. When working offline the operating system is enough of a challenge for Seniors. If you can successfully get them to negotiate WordPad, cut and paste, make and add simple shapes using Paint for a simple single fold Birthday Card for their Grand Kids they'll listen to every word coming out of your mouth. Doing this with Open Office is I believe far too challenging for those who just want to stay in touch with what the younger members of the family are doing. I start every course by asking what they expect to learn from a course called Computing For Seniors. They are adults with set opinions and an Adult Educator needs to wok in with their choices.

NicholasMMDonovan
NicholasMMDonovan

I would say Notepad++ (for a great free development editor). I agree especially with the OpenOffice/LibreOffice choice. No ridiculous ribbon interface means productivity is increased and I can convert any document to MS-Docs, excel etc. or even PDF at no cost.

bart001fr
bart001fr

06 - 7zip ; free fast archiver 07 - IrfanView image viewing software, also does some manipulation 08 - PowerDesk Pro (not free but replaces windows explorer handily) 09 - Jarte great text handler does rtf's and handles pictures in text easily 10 - Nitro PDF handles pdf files works great with Jarte 11 - VLC plays almost all movie files 12 - Media Monkey great for handling all audio files including flacs 13 - Firefox works much better than IE especially with add-ons 14 - Avast free antivirus 15 - Calibre great for reading ebooks 16 - FreeArc ; another archiver 17 - TeraCopy great file copying tool that verifies before wiping the moved file 18 - uTorrent torrent client 19 -

andy
andy

I did a search for "Microsoft Virtual CD", which took me to a Microsoft page talking about Virtual CD from H+H Software. It's also not free. Maybe there is another one with the same name from Microsoft that is free?

joegriffitts
joegriffitts

According to the feature release notes for version 7, you have the option to use the old style and don't have to use the ribbon. Here is the direct wording taken from the first enhancement feature listed: "New user interface, using Ribbon instead of menu and toolbars. However you can still switch to the old menu/toolbars interface if you want. We recommend that you give try to the new UI though, as some features are not available or more difficult to access with the old interface." Looks like they gave us a choice has been left to the user. Nice addition HyperSnap.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys moderator

i had a six figure income... :|

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

Goodness me, someone is sharing their favourite tools with an audience, he's not doing a full review of each one. Try googling and doing your own research instead of complaining :)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

The first picture of every item has a Link in the Text below it. The Blue Text under the first Picture of the Item is the Link to the software. From what I can see most are Freeware with maybe the exception of the first and last entrees. Also the last entry doesn't have a Link to the software. ;) Col