Favorite free Windows toys…

Though I’m a Linux bigot, I work generally on a Windows laptop. Below is a list of my favorite free toys/tools that I use regularly. I’ve had good luck with all of them:

  • Unlocker Assistant – for unlocking pesky locked Windows files or drives.
  • I8kFanGUI – for controlling your laptop fans
  • TrueCrypt – for creating a mountable encrypted drive from a file or external media
  • CCleaner – cleans up your registry and other crap.
  • Cygwin – Unix emulation with complete Unix command set and environment for Windows
  • Malwarebytes – finds malware that most major AVs don’t.
  • TweakUI – free Microsoft tool (“PowerToy”) to tweak your system
  • Process Explorer – free system monitoring tool
  • Putty/WinSCP – great SSH tools (does telnet and FTP too)<
  • RealVNC – VNC remote desktop sessions
  • SolarWinds TFTP – standalone TFTP server useful for upgrading the IOS on a Cisco router
  • TeraTerm Pro – a much better replacement for serial Hyperterm (see UTF-8 version here for one with Windows installer). NOTE: The latest Putty now supports serial, so for basic uses that may be all you need.
  • WindDirStat – find where all your disk space is going.
  • Wireshark/WinPcap – for snooping networks
  • MBSA – Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer to find your big security holes
  • Windows Installer CleanUp Utility – Microsoft tool to remove unremovable/uninstallable program entries
  • PowerBooster 2k – Hitachi laptop disk performance tool
  • Google Earth – just a cool way to look at the world
  • MediaMonkey – one of the best MP3 player/burner/managers I’ve seen.
  • Fat32Format – format FAT32 drives of any size
  • HDD Health – monitor SMART drive output (may also want to see SpeedFan).
  • UltraISO – great for unpacking/manipulating CD ISO images
  • FastStone Image Viewer – very quick JPEG/GIF/TIFF/RAW viewer and editor (good for single images).
  • Picasa – Very nice and fast image organizer and editor (good for directories of images)
  • SyncToy – Microsoft disk-to-disk, directory-to-directory synchronizer (faster than backups). Personally I actually use the for-pay ViceVersa PRO but…

Enjoy!

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