Usefull apps for an IT pro

Posted: 18th April 2011 by Seth Killey in Apps

This kinda piggybacks off an article on good, lightweight apps found here http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/small_powerful_30_useful_apps_under_2mb.  Of these apps, I’ll second the following:

SpaceSniffer – Use this to track down a folder of file that is draining free space on your hard drive.  On Windows 7, I also use Windows Search with the parameter size:gigantic to quickly track down big files.
CPU-Z – This little tool proved immeasurably helpful when doing custom PC builds.  Especially when overclocking RAM or CPU this can help you identify when overclocking is overheating your system so you can determine proper settings or decide if further cooling measures are needed.
Darik’s Boot and Nuke – Easy way to destroy data on your hard drive so you can safely recycle or sell an old hard drive.
CCleaner – Every once in awhile I’ll have someone drop off a PC bloated with software and mind numbingly slow.  Now I’d rather just format the drive and start over, but more often than not the person no longer has disks for all the software they’ve paid for and I don’t want to rely on someone remembering where all their critical information is saved and then take the fall when I blow away something important.  CCleaner is a nice compromise that more often than not provides real, noticeable speed improvement.
Prime 95 – Another useful tool for PC builders to test CPU performance
Memtest – Great way to determine if you have bad RAM

Personal favorites of my own:

Bluescreenview – I talked about this before, but great at diagnosing blue screen errors
inSSIDer – Great WiFi tool as an alternative to Netstumbler which doesn’t work on Windows 7
Yamipod – Born out of my absolute hatred for iTunes, I use this tool to manage files on my iPod.  Admittedly a little buggy, but it sure beats forced iTunes and QuickTime updates every other day
FileZilla – My favorite FTP client and FTP server software
WinSCP – I basically use this to transfer config files from Linux servers to my Windows desktop
WinFF – Great video converter utility.  I use this in conjunction with keepvid.com to download YouTube videos and then convert them into a Windows DVD Maker compatible file format
Gparted – My preferred disk partition editor
Microsoft Security Essentials – I can’t believe I’m writing this, but my favorite free, lightweight virus scanner is produced by Microsoft.  I don’t think it’s the absolute best at detecting viruses, but I’ll give a little in that area if the product doesn’t cripple my system when running scans.  If I’m looking to remove a virus I use Malwarebytes

On a somewhat related note, I also love portable apps.  Great way to use some of your favorite apps like Firefox, 7-Zip, ClamWin, Chrome, etc without actually installing.  I like to keep my registry clean.