A Computer Repair Utility Kit You Can Run From a Thumb Drive

Technibble, the Australian site for aspiring computer techies, recently released the second version of its popular Computer Repair Utility Kit, a collection of 57 hand picked tools to help you diagnose and repair your Windows machine.

While all of the utilities are freely available online, this all-in-one kit saves you the trouble of searching for and downloading them individually. Most of the applications don’t require installation and the kit can be run directly from your thumb drive.

Although the kit is extremely useful as it offers all of the tools in one neat package, we thought it might be useful to describe each application and rate it based on the level of experience required for use. We’ve used the following rating system:

Beginner: Basic computer skills
Intermediate: Need to be familiar with some computer jargon
Expert: Must be comfortable changing system settings

File Management

CCleaner

CCleaner gives your PC a tune-up by removing unnecessary files and registry information, freeing up valuable disk space and making your machine run faster.

Installation required: No – Level: Beginner

JkDefragGUI

JkDefrag reorganizes files on your PC to improve performance.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

DriveimageXML

DriveimageXML allows you to backup your entire PC contents, so it can used in emergencies or for recovery of individual files.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Explore2fs

Explore2fs allows you to access files on Unix partitions or within Unix image files without having to load Unix.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Double Killer

Double Killer helps you find and easily remove duplicate files which are using unnecessary disk space.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

Deep Burner

Deep Burner makes it easy to backup information to a CD or DVD

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

7-Zip Portable

7 Zip lets you create and extract from most of the popular archive file formats

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

PC-Decrapifier

The PC Decrapifier uninstalls many of the common trialware and annoyances found on PCs when you bring them home from the store. A list of software that it can detect and remove can be found here. PC Decrapifier displays a list of software it detects and then lets you choose what you want removed.

Level: Basic – Installation required: No

Information

Process Explorer

Process Explorer is Task Manager on steroids. Find out what files, registry keys and other objects applications have open, even which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each application.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

System Information

System Information gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings, and then displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

ProduKey

ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of MS-Office, Windows, Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: Yes

Autoruns

Autoruns provides information about all applications which are automatically started by Windows at boot time or when you log in.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

HWMonitor

HWMonitor lets you easily see temperatures of the main components of your PC.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

GPU-Z

GPU-Z lets you view information about the graphics component of your PC.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

WirelessKeyView

WirelessKeyView retrieves the type and value of previously used wireless network keys/passwords stored in your computer, then lets you easily save all the information to a text/html/xml file.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

TreeSize Free

TreeSize Free allows you to view the amount of disk space used by any folder on your PC. Because scanning is done in a thread, you can see results as the application is running.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Game Key Revealer

Game Key Revealer retrieves the CD-Key and serial numbers for all installed games on your computer allowing you to easily.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

USBDView

USBDView allows you to review the software which has been installed on the PC to manage hardware (MP3 players, external disk drives, cameras etc) connected to any of the USB ports.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

TrID

TrID allows the type of file (Word, Excel, PDF) to be determined by looking inside the file. Useful when Windows cannot determine the type of file due to the extension being changed or removed.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Codec Installer

CodecInstaller displays the video codecs currently installed on your PC. Additionally, if you are unsure which codecs you need for a specific file, CodeInstaller will show you.

Level: Expert – Installation required: Yes

Unknown Devices

Unknown Devices helps you determine what those unknown devices in Device Manager really are if Windows can’t figure it out by itself.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

GSpot

GSpot analyzes video files to determine the video and audio codecs required and offers solutions if necessary.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Repair Tools

Norton Removal Tool

Norton Removal Tools lets you easily remove specific Symantec products.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: Yes

McAfee Removal Tool

McAfee Removal Tool lets you easily remove McAfee consumer products.
Note: Does not prompt for confirmation when run.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: Yes

LSPFix

LSPFix restores Internet access caused by faulty Layered Service Provider software.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Dial-a-Fix

Dial-a-fix is an advanced utility for 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows that repairs Windows files and registries; fixing common problems easily.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Recovery

Recuva

Recuva recovers files which have been deleted from your computer, including files emptied from the recycle bin as well as files deleted from memory cards or MP3 players.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Restoration

Restoration recovers files which have been deleted from your PC, memory cards or MP3 players. It also works with FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Photorec

PhotoRec recovers files which have been deleted or damaged from memory cards. It works by ignoring the filesystem and going after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s filesystem has been severely damaged or re-formatted.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

DBXTract

DBXTract recovers e-mails from damaged Microsoft Outlook Express data files.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Network Tools

Wireshark

Wireshark allows network packets to be viewed and helps diagnose network problems.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No, but starts WinCAP installer which can be cancelled.

Note: Can be used on Mac and Linux

Network Scanner

Network Scanner lists which type of resources are available on the network.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

PuTTY

PuTTY is a SSH and Telnet client that allows you to login to Unix computers or devices (such as the iPhone).

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Network Stumbler

Network Stumbler is a wireless network scanner that lets you see network availability and signal strength.

Level: Expert – Installation required: Yes

Virus and Malware Removal Tools

ClamWin Antivirus

ClamWin scans your PC for viruses and helps remove them.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Note: ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.

Rootkit Revealer

RootkitRevealer is an advanced rootkit detection utility that outputs a list of Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Combofix

ComboFix is a specialized cleaning tool that allows the manual removal of spyware infections.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

SmitFraudFix

SmitFraudFix is a command prompt tool which removes “Desktop Hijack malware.”

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

RogueFix

Roguefix detects and cleans Windows XP computers that are infected with fake security warnings and fake ‘Blue screens of death.’

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

HijackThis

HijackThis scans your computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs.

A separate application called HijackReader reads the log files create by HijackThis and provides advice on what to do.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

SUPERAntiSpyware

SUPERAntiSpyware will detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, trojans, keyloggers, dialers, and worms.

Note: It does not include real-time blocking or scheduled scanning.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: Yes – But it can be cancelled and the app will still run.

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes will search and destroy malware, but this free version does not include realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: Yes

Miscellaneous

Mozilla Firefox Portable Web browser

Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition is a standalone application you can run from a self-contained folder on your desktop or your portable drive.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

JavaRa

JavaRa removes old and redundant versions of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

Monitor Tester

Monitor Tester helps you adjust the settings of your monitor to get the best picture.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Dead Pixel Tester

Helps you find any pixels on your LCD screen which are “stuck” or “dead”

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

ChkFlsh

Checks any flash drive for errors and displays their actual capacity.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Note: English translation via Google Translate

Double Driver

Double Driver allows the device drivers that came with your PC when you bought it to be backed up. Useful when the Windows Operating System has to be reinstalled which in turn requires the device drivers to be reinstalled.

Level: Expert – Installation required: No

SumatraPDF

Allows PDF documents to be viewed without having to reinstall Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Level: Beginner – Installation required: No

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller helps you easily remove unwanted programs installed on your computer even if you have had problems uninstalling them from “Windows Add/ Remove Programs.”

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Tweaks

TweakUI

TweakUI is part of Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP and lets you change various settings that are not exposed in the default user interface.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

VistaTweaker

VistaTweaker is a complete tweaking utility designed for Windows Vista allowing you to change settings that can not be changed by using Control Panel.

Level: Intermediate – Installation required: No

Scripts

These scripts do not need to be installed however, they will take immediate effect once they are run, so make sure you really want them before clicking.

Quickly Make a System Restore Point

A VBScript file which creates a Windows restore point called “Technicians Quick Restore Point”. This allows the Windows system to be easily restored should any changes you make when fixing problems make them worse.

Reset Network

A Windows batch file which will invoke the Windows IP configuration utility, ipconfig and does the following:

Obtain a new IP address from your DHCP server (your home router or modem). – Flushes the local DNS cache – Re-registers DNS names.

Clear Print Spooler

This stops the spooler service, deletes the contents of the spoolprinters folder within the Windows system folder, and restarts the spooler service.

Stop Automatic Updates

Stops the “Automatic Updates” service thereby preventing any software updates to be installed from Microsoft whilst you are diagnosing PC problems.

Start Automatic Updates

Starts the “Automatic Updates” service so necessary updates from Microsoft can be downloaded and installed.

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