Thursday, February 1, 2007

Free must have utility software

Here's a good selection of utilities that should help out in any crisis, large or small. Note that the first two listed need to be installed on their own bootable CD or DVD in order to run at startup. All are free or available as trialware.
  • MemTest86: This venerable RAM tester still works.
  • Hot CPU Tester: Diagnoses CPU problems with an in-depth testing procedure.
  • Restoration: Recovers accidentally deleted files from both FAT and NTFS partitions, as well as memory cards.
  • HDDlife: Monitors the hard drive to warn you if a failure is near. (It's also a good idea to install this on your PC for occasional checkups.)
  • OpenOffice.Org: Always great for reading Office files when Microsoft Office isn't working.

Also check out these premade, downloadable emergency discs, which, in many cases, pack lots of system utilities.
  • Knoppix: Use this free bootable Linux CD to access Windows directories on a hard drive.
  • Ultimate Boot CD: Contains over 100 low-level system utilities on a single disc. The download is free; a CD is $6, with shipping.
  • EBCD: This free emergency CD is designed for seriously broken PCs--and expert users.
Read story in original context at PCWorld