Reg Hardware PC Week If you’ve just purchased a spanking new Windows PC, what to slap on there often leaves pause for thought. The trial bloatware that inevitably came with your machine might keep you busy for a while until the payment nag screens start. Yet those costs and curses aside, there are plenty of free apps out …
Full of suggestions!
After dowloading all suggested freeeware in the comments my computer is a mess of programs scattered all over the harddrive.
I'll get my coat and go buy that Windows Office bundle...
Just use that when setting up a PC. Makes things so much nicer.
Full disc encryption goodness
+1 for TrueCrypt which I used on my previous XP machine and now on my current (Win 7 Pro, HP Elitebook) rig.
It will do full disc encryption and can take advantage of AES hardware acceleration found in many newer Intel CPUs to help keep the performance up. Even on a Win 7 install with multiple partitions (boot, main win 7, recovery, tools) you can encrypt the main partition without any problems. Even if you don't have the shiny AES instructions available, the performance is still very respectable.
Continuing the disc related theme, a mention has to go to Clonezilla which allows you to perform bare metal backup & recovery. It will also perform deployments and can use multicasting to boost performance. I used it to transfer my Elitebook from the stock HDD to an SSD and once I'd resized the HDD partitions before cloning to the SSD, the process ran like clockwork.
What about putty, Paint.net, gimp.....
All things that go on my machine! :)
Oh and cdburnerpro, magiciso disk, chrome, virtual box....
I haven't read through all the comments, but haven't seen that anyone suggested Imgburn. Imgburn is free, powerful CD/DVD/BD recording software that is lightning fast and will burn anything from CD audio to bootable media. It even has the ability to extract a boot image from other media, such as floppies, for making a bootable disk. It's not so good with movies, but there are a lot of specialized movie making apps out there. It has dozens of tweaks and pro features that most will never understand, much less use. And it has a goofy comment every time you launch it for the first time. What's not to love?
it is a replacement for the file copy dialogue. It will queue up multiple copy/move jobs, instead of running them all at once. It has a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to work, and it can check hashes too.
VLC or not VLC...
Personally, I prefer to use Media Player Classic - Home Theatre (MPC-HT - *not* Microsoft's Media Player) with the CCCP codec pack.
It has played everything I've thrown at it, although I admit VLC is perfect as a stand-alone player on a USB stick.
What about PowerDesk?
OK, it's not free, although it is, right now, on a promotion:
You can get either version 7 or 8 -- or both. They will email you a license.
It's a file manager, a file finder, an archiver and even an FTP program.
I've used it since version 2.x on Win 3.1, and I consider it essential.
PFrank File Renamer, ImgBurn, Fast Duplicate File Finder, Picasa, Folder Size, Truecrypt
PFrank File Renamer
- Probably the most powerful and flexible Windows-based filename renamer there is and it's free. Well supported in forums. Powerful regex, derived names, generate logs of the renames, etc, undo, with built-in commonly used presets - all done from a Windows application.
Reliable CD,DVD,Blu-ray burning software, burn files direct to disk, or make image files and burn those. Very comprehensive logging, preset Wizard quick guides. Well supported in forums. Free.
Fast Duplicate File Finder
Free basic non-trial version (pro, paid for version provides extra features). Find same files with different names. Uses CRC. Exclude folders from being purged as duplicates (i.e. define the master location).
Photo image browsing across multiple folders. Define which folders get looked at by the program. Free.
Adds the missing folder size feature to Windows 7 - see how much space the contents of folders are taking up. Free basic non-trial version. Paid version provides extra reporting.
All this talk of erasing sensitive data using Eraser or CCleaner. Use truecrypt instead to encrypt the data before it gets written to the hard drive in the first place. Transparent and integrates with Windows, requires you to define a password that you enter once on boot up or if accessing an encrypted drive. Free.
Genius name for a company making fixing-Windows-cruft utilities. Blimey, Fred, it's all gone piriform!
Thanks for the apps !
Big fan of VLC player since installing that - no more codec issues for anything I want to play. Thanks for the app suggestions in the article and in the comments.
VLC is terrible!
I prefer MPC-HC. [ http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/ ]
And why no mention of uTorrent?
MS own back up - accross network - Free too
Just discovered this, for anybody who wants a free MS version of a back up utility. Don't laugh at me, somebody might like it. It has big buttons and can be scheduled. Karen's Backup runs all the time, remember, in the sys tray.
32 and 64. Runs very happily on win7 too, although it's from the XP download 'toy' page. At least that's where I originally found it.