The 33 Essential Free Utilities for Every New PC

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MRedu

CCleaner is a very useful app, it definitely deserves to be in the top 3 on this list

Refurbished Laptops

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maricartridge

Those are absolutely great utilities you have. But I guess you failed to mention other basic utilities necessary for everyone's PC. That includes mozilla firefox, google toolbar, spybot search, AVG, zip utility...and others. Found them on this cool list of free utilities for PC

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OvenMaster

CCleaner right out of the box (so to speak) can overdo the "cleaning up" schtick and cause a lot of trouble later on. A few weeks after I installed CCleaner, I started getting error messages when trying to uninstall other software: Windows (XP) could not find .msi installer packages. I had to download and install Windows Install Cleanup and get rid of CCleaner.

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Mikeytron

I have found the auslogic defragger to be pretty poor. I have tried Defraggler which seems to work really well on Xp or Vista. Auslogics is better than the worthless defragger that takes forever on Vista and does very little. Defraggler takes a while the first time. In fact I ran Auslogics on a Vista P.C. It took like 10 minutes max. and had run before on that machine . Performance increase was sub par. Then I ran Defraggler and it took a long time (only the first time) and the performance increase was noticed.

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tiredoldman

From Glenn,,A moderator at Cobian fourms:
"Cobian is not designed to backup and restore system files, so I would restrict your backup to just your most critical user data files that cannot be replaced otherwise."
Okay,,now I'm confused..Why back it up if you can't restore it ??
Did I miss something here ??
On the subject of VLC , I have used VLC for a long time,,but,,somethings are better played by Windows Media Center. Best of both worlds.
Just as I have both Windows Vista Pro and XP Pro,as well as some Linux rigs.
It all works fine,,and which OS is based on what I need done.Again,,best of both worlds.
Keep up the great work Murph ,Doing good..For a Geek !lol

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pastorbob

SYSTEM FILES. In other words your registry and all the files required to run the OS. You can backup and restore all other types of files such as documents, executables etc.

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tomastaz

You guys like 7-zip, I use Winrar. Is 7-zip better or is there a difference?

 

All your base are belong to us!

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johnnymegabyte

AVStoDVD. Wizard based DVD burning. Easy to use and handles all sorts of video input formats.

VideoLAN VLC (bye bye Windows Media Player and more)

Jdownloader (queue them up and walk away)

Vdownloader (Youtube and more to your PC)

DrumTrack (drum machine, MIDI file input / output and WAV output. create beats, loops, jam along)

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aziobron

from the makers of CCleaner, Defraggler is also a very nice defragger i use.  it includes the functionality to defrag an entire drive as well as individual files and folders.

also from the makers of CCleaner, in it's beta stage now, Speccy gives you information about your OS and all of your hardware components, as deep as CPU-Z and GPU-Z, but for many more things.

and come on guys, no VLC Media Player? 

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Sparx10

Sweet app list! I've have about 10 of these, but have used about 20 of them. Just downloaded Cobian Backup yesterday; and its awesome. CCleaner is like my favorite app ever, had it since like beta days. AutoHotkey I just got a week ago, and its AMAZING all the things you can do with it (almost anything you can imagine, and its pretty much a software creating tool, seeing as you can create .exe's from scripts you make). But I'd have to go with WinZip over 7-Zip, I just really like WinZip's GUI better (pathetic reason for favoring it, I know), and their new .zipx format is pretty good.

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nekollx

 Id probably also recomend as a bonus DriverMax, sure they gutted the free version but with PCI and DriverMax (paid version or lots of patience with the free one) you prety much cover everything, Apps and Drivers.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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V-mateika

don't get me wrong, but these lists are quite great despite the fact that they are numerous. For us people who have been with maxpc for a long time, or even just a year, these lists are a little worthless, I hate sifting through them to find few apps that they never added before. For the new reader however, or someone new to the world of geeks (we all were at one time), these are a very good source of information. Keep up the good work maxpc! Who gives a crap if maxpc is being endorsed or not by companies? Anyone who assumes that may be right but they are only people looking to blow off steam by saying assuming things just to sh*t on the hard work of others. Endorsements are irrelevant. What matters is the content provided by those hard working editors:)  

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JohnP

 Roboform, Truelaunchbar, TuneUp Utilities, RegSupremePro, and Directory Opus 9 will handle just about all of these apps. They have a great interface, will do multiple things, and are easy to use. I donno why "free" or should I say limited apps should be given peference over a good paid utility. $150 bucks for a $2 Grand machine is a good investment.

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Olmec

You missed foobar 2000. It does play almost any music codec arround(loosy and loosless), highly customizable user interface, small system footprint. If you have an album with a cue sheet it can handle it, it has a lot of dsp and output plugins (like asio, kernel streaming(XP), wasapi (vista-win7), It can handle huge music libraries (mine is about 250 ALBUMS)

....so you missed it.

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lunchbox73

Kudos on adding Cobian. I've been using it for a long time and I love it.

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nekollx

YEs! Yes! Oh god Yes! I love me my Cobian...

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Perplexing Man

Here's an idea stop posting these must have apps. Please I am tired of seeing the same apps being hyped time and time again through numerous postings on here with the only difference being that a handful of new apps might make it on the list.

CCleaner, WinDirStat, 7-zip, Speedfan, Imgburn, Fraps, Truecrypt, Keepass, RevoUnistaller, CPU-Z, GPU-Z, SuperAntispyware, Auslogics Disk Defrag, UD Pixel, all of these programs have been hyped dozens of times over the past couple of years. Don't get me wrong I do use some of these programs and have for years now but I seriously doubt there are many who are devoted MaxPC fans that do not already know of these programs (due to heavy endorsement.... one might think there is some sort of kick back for hyping them so much)

Here is an idea take each program and compare it to other "free" programs similiar to them if any and lets see how many are still standing. I mean seriously I can't be the only one who has noticed this. Sorry for being rude that is not my intent I am just tired of feeling ripped off so to say of course that's time ( the time it takes to read these articles when I could be learning about the latest technology for my PC that I may buy at some point.) I mean I stopped wasting money on the magazine because of this very issue.

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TheMurph

Perplexing Man,

Do you ever check out the weekly freeware roundups?  I really try to toss super-new or super-unfamiliar freeware/open-source apps and games in those.  Maybe that might be more to your liking?

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pastorbob

the magazine suscriber list is a constant. Nobody new ever subscribes. Not to mention that the people accessing this website are the always same ones. Sounds rather egocentric to me.

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pastorbob

That was intended to be addressed to Perplexing Man

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ThunderBolt

My tray would be 2 miles long.  I already use CCleaner, Recuva, Hamachi, Malwarebytes (full version).  I will install some additional apps, but nothing that would be auto-starting and just sitting there.

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DrMD

Some of these apps CPU-Z , SpeedFan, and GPU-Z, I already have but Input Director looks like a winner and it also comes in linux.

Here's a real useful app and one I'm definitely going to try. After having the clutter of 2 mice/keyboards 1 monitor and switching between 2 boxes. 

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Sina

Revo Uninstaller (now Revo Uninstaller Pro) is not free anymore. ($39.25)

 

Lots of guides, apps... you'll blow your system if you install all those apps. (mediocre articles)

Max PC, could you please focus on reviewing laptop accessories like: mouse, speakers, earphones, USB DVB receivers, USB flash drives, portable backup drives?

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TheMurph

You're kidding, right?  You did go to the download page, I take it.

http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html

Still looks free to me!

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Sina

compare free with pro version:

http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html

 

well at least they didn't drop the free version.

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Cy-Kill

The problem with Revo is they won't say when thy are bringing out the 2.0 for the free version of the app, the Pro version -- which is 2.0 -- will install a native x64 app, the free version is still x32.

Cy-Kill

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TheMurph

fwiw, check out this week's Murphy's Law column for a comparison of Revo Free versus Revo Pro -- is it really worth the cost?

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Sina

yes, that's right, crisis of x64 apps.

the pro version will fail, i'm sure: $39.25 for just an uninstaller?

 

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ETNPNYS

Alex... Norm... Are you guys recommending that all this crap gets put onto a fresh install? Jeez... I can't even imagine what my tray would look like with all of this madness going on. ...Heck, I'd need CCLeaner and Revo Uninstaller just to address what the rest of this article recommends! 

<><

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Sina

yes, for me too:

revo for somewhat complete  uninstallation.

ccleaner for fast & easy cleaning.

& plus: reg organizer for advanced reg-editing/cleaning.

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DogPatch1149

You can't be serious...even the built-in defragmenter in Windows has a more efficient algorithm than Auslogics' product.  MyDefrag (formerly JKDefrag) kicks Auslogics to the curb.

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lunchbox73

Agreed. Mydefrag is great.

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Catalyst

I've kind of been waiting for an actual review by MaxPC on the new MS Security Essentials. I've been using Avast! for several years now and not had any infections issues, but they did screw up recently with a bad signature update that incorrectly flagged a bunch of files as bad. Has anyone actually given Security Essentials for a spin? I see it protects against viruses/spyware/malware, but does it scan emails as well?

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JohnP

MS Security Essentials seems to get the job done. I had a very bad infection when I downloaded a trojan torrent. MS program pretty much got rid of it and I finished it off by using MalwareBytes Anti-malware and Regsupremepro to delete the registry additions.

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majorsuave

I've been using Sysinternals' Process explorer for years (probably since the first time I saw it mentioned in Max PC). How good does Process Hacker compares to it?

 

A thing I like about Process Explorer is that it can work portably (just copy its folder to a portable drive - I have it in my portable apps folder-  can  Process HAcker be used the same?

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nsk chaos

quick questions:

does ccleaner clean out all the registry crap and etc? if it does can it overwrite it? 

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majorsuave

I don't think it overwrite with something you would tell it to if that is what you mean. It does clean the left over strings from apps that have been uninstalled and the strings leading nowhere. 

 It scans through temp folders, internet cache and such and cleans dead weight too.

Take your time the first time you use it because it might clean up preferences for useful apps as well.

All in all, it is well worth it 

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Pentium 0

yeh it cleans the registry if you want. Im not sure what you mean by overwrite though. If you mean by accident, it lets you create a backup beforehand.

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reutnes

All of these utilities are great.  I also reccomend 'Recuva' for when you accidentally delete something.  It's made by the same people behind CCleaner.

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