Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes. Windows may be the most popular operating system in the world, but like any piece of software, it most certainly is not perfect. It works 95% of the time, leaving you with a considerably small fraction of situations when it simply refuses to cooperate. One of those situations, though, may happen when you are under the gun and need your computer to be reliable as a sunrise.
In such cases, it is wise to be prepared. The list we're presenting you with below contains 10 first-aid Windows programs that should come in handy in case of emergency. They can help you identify components in your machine, install various Linux distros on a flash drive (for experiment's sake), protect your data from malware, and even run sketchy programs in a sandbox to make sure they won't harm the system. Put them to good use!
Make sure to also check out – 5 Powerful Windows Tools You Need To Know About
A powerful app that allows you tweak many system features, from favourite Registry hacks to the appearance of the lock screen.
Want to know what's eating up space on the hard drive? Launch WinDirStat to scan your disks and get a visual overview of the file system.
Sandboxie is a separate runtime for applications. If a program you'd downloaded looks suspicious, but you've decided to run it anyway, use Sandboxie. The app will execute it independent of the rest of the system, allowing you to protect your data from possible harm.
When Windows Task Manager no longer suffices, get Process Explorer. It's a smart program that can show you a lot of detailed information about apps running in the background. Moreover, it can tell you, which programs use certain components and devices (a webcam, for example) as well as display those that are using up the most resources.
There's something wrong with your computer and you've been hanging on the phone for hours trying to reach a technician. When he (or she) finally answers the phone, he (or she) asks what components sit inside your machine. With Speccy, you won't need to hang up in horror. This simple app will scan and identify every single part your computer, be it a microphone or a video card.
Whatever you do, use protection. Internet is full of unpleasant surprises, which come to those who are not careful. It is easy to download an infected file that will put your computer and data in danger. To prevent that, after you install an anti-virus program, download MalwareBytes. This simple app works on-demand, which means that you can use it to quickly scan a certain file or folder before opening it.
A handy tool designed to identify your computer's network components. It can show you a list of all computers connected to your network, display your machine's IP and MAC addresses, and help troubleshoot possible problems. Despite the name, WNW works over the wire, too.
YUMI is a simple and easy to use program that allows you to create multiboot USB drives. In other words, you can burn images of several Linux distros at once - which is all you've ever dreamed of, isn't it?
Prime95 might've been built with overclockers with mind, but even those who have never played with their computers' burning guts will appreciate how detailed view on a machine's CPU it gives. This wonderful little app can be used to figure out possible problems with the processor and memory.
Lost a product-key to your favourite game? Don't worry, KeyFinder has your back. This neat program will extract product keys from various apps and games installed on your computer.