Archive for March, 2011

What do other ppl use for emergency pc repair?

March 31, 2011

I found this while stumbling and thought it was so useful that I simply had to post it here;


So, here is my list:

Note: feel free to add your tools to my list. If it’s an alternative, please don’t replace mine, add a sub-list started by “alt:” and say why do you prefer this one.

Boot-cd/usb key

Ubcd4win create a (custom) live cd that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem.
alt: Microsoft Emergency Repair Disk: a system rescue disk PE environment with advanced recovery tools like resetting passwords, hard drive repair, offline registry editing, file explorer, command prompt, etc. Only available to Software Assurance and MSDN subscribers, as part of the Desktop Optimization Pack. If you’re a student, may be available to you through MSDNAA.
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor reset windows password
alt: Ophcrack (sort-of) brute-force windows password (if they are EFS encrypted files)
CloneZilla disk imaging backup
GParted partition editor
Stresslinux minimal linux with tools to monitoring hardware health: stress, cpuburn, hddtemp, lm_sensors, memtest86+, …
alt: Memtest86+ RAM tester (don’t need command line)
Hard Drive Manufacturers diagnostic tools: fujitsu / hitachi / samsung / western digital / seagate (maxtor)
Spinrite low level hard disk recovery (89$)
alt: HDD Regenerator (40$)

Sysinternals suite (1=included in this suite) a great set of tools by Sysinternals (so great that MS bought them)
NirLauncher (2=included in this suite) another great set of tools by NirSoft integrated in a launcher (that could be used easily with sysinternals suite too)
GnuWin32 port of the most important GNU utilities to Windows (command-line)
Remote control

Teamviewer all-in-one solution for remote access and support over the Internet. Easy (don’t have to open ports on firewall/router), secure, and full featured.
alt: UltraVNC: less convenient but open source and free even in a professional environment

Avira (use rescue disk or the one included in ubcd4win) and/or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool
alt: Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware / SpyBot – Search & Destroy / DrWeb Cure It / AVZ / a-Squared Emergency USB Stick
Microsoft Security Essentials or Avira (a little bit better but contains nag screen) -to install
alt: Avast / AVG
alt not freeware: Norton Internet Security (70$/year) / Kaspersky Internet Security (60$/year) / Eset Smart Security (48€/year) / PC Tools Internet Security (50€/year)
System Explorer lists processes, startups, services, drivers… Check them with it’s own database, VirusTotal or Jotti services. Snapshots before/after for registry/disk changes
RootkitRevealer(1) anti-rootkit
alt: Gmer more powerfull (but harder to use) anti-rootkit
Virus Effect Remover Repair/Fix damaged items like TaskManager, RegEditor, Folder Options, Windows AutoUpdate.
Startup Tools

Autoruns(1) the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor
alt: RunAlyzer edit an external registry hive (used easily from a boot cd)
Process Tools

Process Explorer(1) detailed process, handles & dll informations
Process Monitor(1) real-time file system, registry and process/thread activity
Svchost analyzer lists all svchost instances and checks the services they contain
Registry Tools

Registrar registry manager (lite) advanced registry manager
alt: Reg
Eusing free registry defrag
Backup Tools

DriveImage XML disk imaging (shadow copy)
Cobian Backup automated backup -to install
Toucan on-demand backup
ERUNT registry backup
Netprofiles save & restore network profiles
SoftKey Revealer licence keys backup
All Nirsoft password tools(2) passwords backup
File Tools

Everything quick searching
alt: AstroGrep for non-ntfs drive
Recuva recover delete files
RichCopy advanced copy tool
alt Unstoppable Copier copy files from broken hd
FileASSASSIN advanced delete (remove handle or delete at reboot)
alt: Delete Doctor delete with short DOS name or UNC name
alt: DelinvFiles same as delete doctor, but can scan the drive for invalid file names and from my experience it was successful where delete doctor wasn’t. But it’s a shareware: 26.95$
WinDirStat: graphical view of hardrive space usage
alt: SpaceSniffer nicer interface
alt: SequoiaView
WinMerge folders/files comparison
Hashcalc md5,sha,crc32 checksum
TrIDnet file identifier
Disk Tools

Drive Manager
MyDefragPowerGUI featured (& free) defragmenter
Easeus Partition Master (home edition) partition manager
HDTune hd scan & S.M.A.R.T. info
alt: Active@ HD Monitor freeware more featured, but not portable
TestDisk designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again
ddrescue copies data from one file or block device (hard disc, cdrom, etc) to another, trying hard to rescue data in case of read errors.
Hardware Tools

IntelBurnTest test cpu
FurMark test gpu
Eizo Monitor Test fine-tune your monitor
Pixel Doctor locate and fix LCD screens dead pixels
Drivers Tools

DoubleDriver backup/restore drivers
DPC Latency Checker real-time drop-outs graph
DeviceRemover (very) advanced device manager
Cleaning Tools

RevoUninstaller uninstaller that help to remove leftovers (without the need of monitoring install)
CCleaner remove unused and temporary files
PC Decrapifier remove or uninstall a specific list of unwanted software
JavaRa removes old and redundant versions of the Java Runtime Environment
Network Tools

NetWorx bandwidth meter
alt: NetMeter the live graph looks better but is a little less featured and have some instabilities on w7
NetResView(2) lists all network resources (computers, disk shares, and printer shares) on your LAN
CurrPorts(2) lists all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports and the processes that opened them
AS3 Personal Firewall portable firewall
eToolz gui for NS-Lookup, Ping, TraceRoute and Whois
Performance Pinging graph ping
Wireshark network protocol analyzer
Secunia PSI vulnerability scanning
SG TCP Optimizer (XP) (re)set & optimize tcp parameters

System Info for Windows (aka SIW) gives a ton of information about the system, including installed software, hardware configuration, license keys, and network info. Free for non-commercial use; $70 for “technician’s license”.
SUMo software updater tool
BlueScreenView(2) crash dump analysis
ShellExView(2) shell extensions manager
Whyreboot lists reboot “pending file operations”
XP Quick Fix Plus 40 common Windows XP problems fixes
7 Quick Fix 21 common Windows 7 problems fixes fix tools: FixWin (50 common 7/vista annoyances), Fix IE (internet explorer), Fix MSE (ms security essential), Fix WU (windows update), Fix WMP (windows media player), File Association Fixer
GodMode creator (7/Vista) create easy shortcuts to almost every settings & informations (CLSID folders)
Print Service Manager easily kill stucked print jobs
Filmerit directshow filter manager
And some other essential tools, but not directly related, like notepad++, autohotkey, firefox (and its bookmarks)…

Most of these tools are portable and free (at least for personal use) and yes it’s only the essentials one 😉

And if you want more security related software: Gizmo’s Best Free Security List (by Antti Koponen)


Can’t get Gmail to install on iPhone!

March 18, 2011

How weird is that? I can load up gmail on the browser on the same phone but can’t add it as an email account.

The fix? I had to go here – and login with the account.
Once I had “unlocked” the account it worked just fine.

Me tinks der’s some joojoo goin’ on ‘der mon.