Good day to all,
See below some neat utilities that I have come across over time.
Please take one minute to leave a comment and let us know about YOUR preferred tool.
RESCUE DISKS / PASSWORD RESET AND RECOVERY
TRINITY RESCUE KIT
This is an amazing boot disk that can reset passwords and get you back into your system. Do not pay hundreds of $$$ to get back into your own system, do it yourself.
Trinity Rescue Kit or TRK is a free live Linux distribution that aims specifically at recovery and repair operations on Windows machines, but is equally usable for Linux recovery issues. Since version 3.4 it has an easy to use scrollable text menu that allows anyone who masters a keyboard and some English to perform maintenance and repair on a computer, ranging from password resetting over disk cleanup to virus scanning
It is possible to boot TRK in three different ways:
-as a bootable CD which you can burn yourself from a downloadable isofile or a self burning Windows executable
-from a USB stick/disk (optionally also a fixed disk), installable from Windows or from the bootable TRK cd (which is easier and safer)
-from network over PXE: you start 1 TRK from CD or USB and you run all other computers from that one over the network without modifying anything to you local network.
Ever since version 3.4, TRK has received an easy to use textmenu but has equally kept the commandline.
Here 's a sumup of some of the most important features, new and old:
-easily reset windows passwords with the improved winpass tool
-simple and easy menu interface
-5 different virusscan products integrated in a single uniform commandline with online update capability
-full ntfs write support thanks to ntfs-3g
-winclean, a utility that cleans up all sorts of unnecessary temporary files on your computer.
-clone computers over the network via multicast.
-wide range of hardware support (kernel 2.6.35 )
-contributed backup utility called "pi", to automate local machine backups
-easy script to find and mount all local filesystems
-self update capability to include and update all virusscanners + local changes you made to TRK.
-full proxyserver support.
-run a samba fileserver (windows like filesharing)
-run a ssh server
-recovery and undeletion of files with utilities and procedures
-recovery of lost partitions
-evacuation of dying disks
-full read/write and rpm support
-UTF-8 international character support (select keyboard language from the scrollable textmenu at startup)
-2 rootkit detection uitilities
-most software updated to recent versions
-literally thousands of changes and bugfixes since version 3.3
-elaborated documentation, including manpages for all commands (also TRK 's own)
SYSTEM RESCUE CD
SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers. This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).
Rescatux is a GNU/Linux rescue cd (and eventually also Windows) but it is not like other rescue disks. Rescatux comes with Rescapp. Rescapp is a nice wizard that will guide you through your rescue tasks.
See the video below for a quick tutorial.
- Restore GRUB and GRUB2
- (>=0.31 beta 4) Update any GRUB2 menues
- Update Debian/Ubuntu grub menues
- Restore Windows MBR (BETA)
- Clear Windows passwords
- (>=0.31 beta 4) Promote a Windows user to Administrator role
- (>=0.31 beta 4) Unlock Windows user
- Change Gnu/Linux Password
- Regenerate sudoers file
- Clear Windows passwords
FILE RECOVERY / FORENSICS
Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP. Including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, but not RT tablet editions.
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!
PhotoRec runs under
- DOS/Windows 9x
- Windows NT 4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7
- FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD
- Sun Solaris
- Mac OS X
- and can be compiled on almost every Unix system.
PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
PhotoRec is free - this open source multi-platform application is distributed under GNU General Public License (GPLV v2+). PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, an application for recovering lost partitions on a wide variety of file systems and making non-bootable disks bootable again. You can download them from this link.
ERASE DRIVE OR FILES PERMANENTLY
Disk Wipe is Free, portable Windows application for permanent volume data destruction. With Disk Wipe you can erase all disk data and prevent recovery of those data. Formatting a hard drive with regular method leaves an open possibility to recover the data back. Many companies and users who just dumped their old hard drives in rubbish had found this the hard way. Disk Wipe solves this problem efficiently, using a powerful algorithms which fill the volume with useless rubbish binary data multiple times. The possibility of recovering information from drive formatted with Disk Wipe is almost non existent.
Eraser is an advanced security tool for Windows which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Eraser is currently supported under Windows XP (with Service Pack 3), Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2), Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
With File Shredder you can remove files from your hard drive without fear they could be recovered. There are quite a few software tools today for retrieval of deleted files under Windows OS. Those tools, often referred to as "file recovery" software, are taking advantage of shortcoming of WIndows "delete" command that we all use regularly to delete files. Actually, the "delete" operation in Windows only removes bits of information from files so they appear deleted in OS. It is easy to retrieve those files using aforementioned specialized file recovery software.
In order to remove, or shred files permanently from your system you have to use a program that is capable of rewriting the files with random series of binary data multiple times. This process is often called shredding. That way, the actual content of the file has been overwritten and the possibilities to recover such a shredded file are mostly theoretical.
File Shredder has been developed as fast, safe and reliable tool to shred company files. The author of this program released it free under GNU licence and you are welcome to download File Shredder and use it without any restrictions. File Shredder is simple but powerful program that surpasses manu commercial file shredders out there. The Author believes that such a utility should be available to anyone for free and that permanent and safe removal of confidential documents is a matter of basic right to privacy.
Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.
The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.
The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.
AUTORUNS FOR WINDOWS V12.02
This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.
Autoruns' Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download package is a command-line equivalent that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.
You'll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!
Find out what is chewing your disk space visually in a few minutes.
SpaceSniffer is a freeWare (donations are welcome) and portable tool application that lets you understand how folders and files are structured on your disks. By using a Treemap visualization layout, you have immediate perception of where big folders and files are placed on your devices. Treemap concept was invented by Prof. Ben Shneiderman, who kindly permitted the use of his concept into this tool.
Start a scan process and see the overall situation. Bigger are the elements on the view, bigger are folders and files on your disk. You need more detail on a big folder? Just single click on it. The selected element will be detailed with its content.
Need more and more detail? Keep selecting elements and they'll discover their secrets to you. Need a larger view of a small folder? Then double click on it, and it'll zoom to the full extent of the view.
VIDEO CONVERSION / EDITING TOOLS
HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Convert from many common multimedia file formats, including unprotected DVD or BluRay sources to a handful of modern output file formats.
- Multi-platform, Multi-threaded Video Transcoder
- Video Encoding to several popular formats (H.264, Mpeg-4, Mpeg-2, Theora)
- File Formats (MP4 and MKV)
- Audio Encoding (and passthru) - AAC, MP3, FLAC, AC3, DTS, DTSHD etc
- Subtitle Support (SRT, SSA, VOBSub, Closed Captions)
- Filters (DeInterlace, DeTelecine, Deblocking, Cropping, Scaling)
- Presets for common use-cases
UNINSTALL TOOLS / JUNK REMOVER
The Uninstaller tool lists the installed programs and components for all and current user. With a choice of views, as well as a context menu, information on program components is available: program properties, their registry entries and links to manufacturer's web site, for a start. The "Search" option finds installed applications just by typing the first few letters of their name. Revo Uninstaller Pro scans for leftovers with even more advanced algorithms that are so precise, fast and very effective in search for leftovers of Windows Services, Drivers, File associations, Shell Extensions, COM components, Windows Installer components, program settings and more!
THE PC DECRAPIFIER
Is your PC running slowly? Even brand new PCs often come with LOTS of pre-installed software that can cause that new machine to come to a crawl. Not to mention all of the annoying pop-ups! Others may have a PC that's a couple years old and we're the ones that installed a bunch of junk! It happens to the best of us. We try a bunch of programs over time and forget to remove them.
The PC Decrapifier is here to help! It's a free tool for you to use that helps remove programs, unnecessary startup items and icons that can slow down your PC. It takes you step by step, giving you recommendations on what to remove, many of which can be removed unattended. Head over to the download page to get started!
HARDWARE DIAGNOSTIC / INFORMATION
In-depth Hardware Information
From a quick overview unfolding into the depth of all hardware components. Always up-to date supporting latest technologies and standards.
Real-Time System Monitoring
Accurate monitoring of all system components for actual status and failure prediction. Customizable interface with variety of options.
Multiple types of reports, status logging and interfacing with other tools or add-ons.
TORRENT FILES DOWNLOAD TOOLS
Tixati is one of the most advanced and flexible BitTorrent clients available. And unlike many other clients, Tixati contains NO SPYWARE, NO ADS, and NO GIMMICKS.
Tixati has the following features:
- detailed views of all aspects of the swarm, including peers, pieces, files, and trackers
- support for magnet links, so no need to download .torrent files if a simple magnet-link is available
- super-efficient peer choking/unchoking algorithms ensure the fastest downloads
- peer connection encryption for added security
- full DHT (Distributed Hash Table) implementation for trackerless torrents, including detailed message traffic graphs and customizable event logging
- advanced bandwidth charting of overall traffic and per-transfer traffic, with separate classification of protocol and file bytes, and with separate classification of outbound traffic for trading and seeding
- highly flexible bandwidth throttling, including trading/seeding proportion adjustment and adjustable priority for individual transfers and peers
- bitfield graphs that show the completeness of all downloaded files, what pieces other peers have available, and the health of the overall swarm
- customizable event logging for each download, and individual event logs for all peers within the swarm
- expert local file management functions which allow you to move files to a different partition even while downloading is still in progress
- 100% compatible with the BitTorrent protocol
- Windows and Linux-GTK native versions available