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Old 2011-07-19, 01:23 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Effective
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PC Tools you should have


Since TRx's forums are going down shortly, I figured I'd share a nice resource Jaguar set up for us.

A list of excellent programs/tools that are extremely helpful. I think it goes in this area of the forums. Free apps will be listed in this colour.

Anti Virus / Anti Spyware
  • Avast (Free) - Avast! Free Antivirus is the minimum protection you should have — it provides great protection against viruses and spyware. Now the world's most popular antivirus program period (over 100 million users). Provides excellent antivirus and anti malware/spyware protection. Minimal system overhead, does not slow your system down like AVG, Norton or McAfee.
  • Avast! Internet Security - Avast!'s security suite: anti virus, anti spyware, anti spam, lets you run suspicious files or websites in a contained environment, blocks hacker attempts, 100% game friendly. The best commercial anti virus program out there (and I've bought many and ran many in large enterprise environments). Cost is 55 (US) bucks for 1 year, but right now you get 2 years for the price of one. Does NOT slow your system down like McAfee or Norton.

Disk Management/Maintenance
  • defraggler - Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files - unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems. [Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000. 32-bit & 64-bit versions]
  • Smart Defrag 1.5 - Along with quick analysis and scans, SmartDefrag boasts an automated defragger that continually defrags the files that you use the most, and does it without becoming a persistent drag on your system resources. When running in the background, the program only eats up 14MB of RAM, so it's possible to run it smoothly on older machines. [Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/NT]
  • Diskkeeper 2010 - Provides essential performance and efficiency increases that all business desktops and laptops demand. Includes: IntelliWrite fragmentation prevention technology, I-FAAST® file optimization technology. Professional grade, worth every cent in a business environment or for the serious user. (Can download a 30 day trial of any version). Pro costs $59.95
  • Paragon Total Defrag - Total Defrag 2010 is a new comprehensive product for total file system defragmentation and optimization. Built on original Paragon technologies, it performs complete low-level defragmentation that provides almost zero fragmentation level. For serious gamers/home users this is what I recommend purchasing. It does as good a job as diskkeeper for twenty bucks less. Paragon makes EXCELLENT software; regardless what product, you get very good value for what you get.

System Maintenance / Performance
  • ccleaner - Hands down the best free registry & system cleaner there is. ccleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download.
  • PCTools Registry Mechanic - One of the best commercial registry repair/cleaner/defraggers out there. If ccleaner doesn't work for you, this is your best alternate option.
  • SG TCP OPtimizer - The TCP Optimizer is a free, easy Windows program that provides an intuitive interface for tuning and optimizing your Internet connection. There is no installation required, just download and run. The program can aid both the novice and the advanced user in tweaking related TCP/IP parameters in the Windows Registry, making it easy to tune your system to the type of Internet connection used. The tool uses advanced algorithms, and the bandwidth*delay product to find the best TCP Window for your specific connection speed. It provides for easy tuning of all related TCP/IP parameters, such as MTU, RWIN, and even advanced ones like QoS and ToS/Diffserv prioritization. The program works with all current versions of Windows, and includes additional tools, such as testing average latency over multiple hosts, and finding the largest possible packet size (MTU)

System Information
  • CPU-Z - CPU-Z is a freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system
  • Speccy - Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC. Very similar to CPU-Z with some better (and some worse) features. It is best to have both of these on-hand or installed.

Misc Apps You Should Have Installed
  • Recuva - Accidentally deleted an important file? Lost something important when your computer crashed? No problem! Recuva recovers files deleted from your Windows computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera card, or MP3 player. And it's free!
  • MagicDISC - (By MagicISO) MagicDisc is freeware. It is very helpful utility designed for creating and managing virtual CD drives and CD/DVD discs. For anyone who deals with CD-based programs – it is a MUST. MagicDisc allows you to use almost all CD/DVD image without burning them onto CD or DVD in order to easily access your favorite games, music, or software programs ---- It works like a real CD/DVD-ROM: You can run programs, play games, or listen to music from your virtual CD-ROM. Allowing you to run your game images at over 200x faster than from a conventional CD/DVD-ROM.
  • VLC Media Player - It plays everything. The media player that fills all your needs. It can handle DVDs, (S)VCDs, Audio CDs, web streams, TV cards and much more. You don't need to keep track of a dozen codec packs you need to have installed. VLC has all codecs built-in. It comes with support for nearly all codec there is. And what is more it can even play back the file or media if it is damaged! Missing or broken pieces are no stop to VLC, it plays all the video and audio information that's still intact.
  • AVC Free - Any Video Converter Free version is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality. It allows you to effortlessly convert video files between every format! It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to MPEG-I, MPEG-I, DVD NTSC, DVD PAL, Flash for Video (FLV), AVI Video and Customized WMV movie formats. It also supports any user defined video file formats as the output. It has an unmatchable speed and high quality.
  • Notepad++ - a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment. (I couldn't get through a day without notepad++ installed on whatever system I am using.)
  • Lingoes - the little sister of Babylon is a dictionary and translation freeware. So what’s so special about this app that makes it a “must have” tool? With Lingoes you can: lookup dictionaries, do full text translation, cursor translation, zoned word translation and pronunciation of words in over 80 languages. It also contains some of the most popular and reliable thesaurus dictionaries such as: Cambridge, Longman, Collins, MacMillian…and few more.
  • Revo Uninstaller - this tool does more than its name says and it does it good. The uninstaller is just an amazing tool. With few clicks it will not only uninstall your apps, but it will also do a deep registry key scan and find the dead file paths or leftovers giving you the opportunity to actually do clean removals. The other tools included: junk file cleaner, autorun manager, windows tools, evidence remover, unrecoverable undelete….and few more. (30 day fully functional trial)
  • Process Explorer 12.xx - You can think of Process Explorer as Task Manager on steroid. It provides system information, a hierarchical view of all running processes (including services), and an overwhelming number of technical details about how each process uses CPU and memory. It all runs in real time, making it an ideal troubleshooting tool. It's from a couple of the core developers (fellows) at Microsoft, it's free and it's available for all Windows versions above and including XP.
  • XFire - Most of you will be aware of of what this is, it's a chat program for gamers. It tracks and shows how many hours you've played a game, and also allows you to talk to other gamers without tabbing out. It also comes with video recording and broadcasting features.
  • dBpoweramp - This is a set of free 21 day trial audio ripping, conversion software, and other audio software (the conversion stuff still works after 21 days). I personally use the conversion software to turn my FLAC audio files into Apple Lossless for my IPOD, very handy tool for those of you who have an appreciation for high quality music.
  • The Godfather - If you have lots of disorganized audio files and want to keep everything uniform this is the easiest way to do it. Batch tagging from file names, or batch file naming from tags. Plus a ton of other stuff.

Hardware Testing: Apps & Utilities
  • Memtest86+ - A robust and comprehensive memory tester that works very well. (Downloadable ISO image, boot disk, etc available on their site). Not sure if you have a bad stick or RAM? This will tell you for sure.
  • Video Memory Stress Test - This utility allows to thoroughly test your video RAM for errors and faults. Video Memory Stress Test includes more than 40 tests, doesn't change your current video mode, has a lot of test options and a logging feature.
  • Monitor Test - PassMark MonitorTestâ„¢ is a tool that allows users to investigate the quality and performance of their computer monitor or LCD flat panel screens. With more people spending more time in front of computer monitors it is important to purchase a quality monitor that will provide crisp, bright images, while reducing the strain on your eyes. The MonitorTest software generates test patterns on the screen at a variety of different resolutions and color depths to test for optimum visual performance. Each of 25 different test screens have been created to test a particular aspect of the monitors performance. (Free 30 day trial)
  • Performace Test - Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest â„¢ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers. Twenty-eight standard benchmark tests are available in six test suites plus there are seven advanced testing windows for custom benchmarking. (Free for 30 days, $24 to register)
  • Speed Fan - This is a nifty little program, which monitors temperatures inside your computer, as well as fan speeds. If you're having computer issues this could help you discover what's wrong.

Last edited by Effective; 2011-07-25 at 01:26 PM.
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