FREE Portable Software To Help Solve PC Problems

TTC Shelbyville recently served up a post titled Fix your computer with IOBit’s Toolbox Portable that caught my attention and caused me to explore further.

Being a geekster I am always looking for that ultimate tool that I can slap on my flash drive;  that will serve as my personal assistant for solving PC problems or maintaining my own PC. Oftentimes, I end up with so many utilities on my flash drive, that when I do need them it actually becomes a counterproductive situation. I keep telling myself, go back to my roots and use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).  Trust me, it works.

If you are looking to reduce the payload of troubleshooting utilities on your flash drive and want to get back to the K.I.S.S. principle, then take a look at the IOBit Toolbox.

IObit Toolbox

Obit Toolbox is FREE portable software that system administrators and computer geeks will take along to solve PC problems anytime and anywhere. With more than 20 dedicated tools,IObit Toolbox allows you to display/diagnose PC information, enhance PC security, optimize PC performance and repair PC problems.

Folks, I was quite impressed with, not only the attractiveness of the interface (especially for a portable app), but was impressed with the actual selection and performance of the tools. There are more than 20 dedicated tools in this package and is a good application to have on any PC (or Flash Drive). The only negative I could come up with is that one of the tool selections is a prompt that takes you the IObit website to look at one of their Security apps called IObit Security 360. If you make that selection you will be directed to a site where you will be informed that IObit no longer is developing that application; otherwise the IOBit Toolbox is a great portable suite of troubleshooting, maintenance and optimization tools.

List of Tools Available in IOBit’s Toolbox:

Disk Cleaner: Analyzes unnecessary files in hard disk and cleans them up to enlarge available disk space.

Registry Cleaner: Registry Cleaner will clean up your registry database and free your system of unneeded ballast.

Privacy Sweeper: Erase your activity history and surfing traces.

Uninstaller: Helps you to uninstall programs in your computer.

File Shredder: File Shredder makes sure that no data thief can get his hands on your sensitive data.

Smart RAM: Monitors and Optimizes memory usage to increase available physical memory.

Registry Defrag: Registry Defrag determines how heavily fragmented the registry is and whether an optimization is necessary.

Internet Booster: Analyzes your internet and optimizes it.

Startup Manager: Optimize startups to accelerate your PC startup and improve your system performance.

WinFix: Analyzes your windows operation system and helps you to fix problems.

Disk Check: Disk Check performs analysis of your disks and their file systems.

Shortcut Fixer: Searches your system for non-effective shortcuts and references and fixes them.

Undelete: Undelete will restore deleted files after you have emptied the Recycle Bin.

IE Helper: Manages Internet Explorer add-ons, system context menu, and restores hijacked settings.

Process Manager: Manages running processes and displays the performance of your system.

Security Holes Scanner: Scans and fixes security holes automatically.

Cloned Files Scanner: Searches for cloned files in your system which may waste your disk space.

Empty Folder Scanner: Helps you to find empty folders in your computer and deletes them.

Disk Explorer: Analyzes your drives to show disk usage of your files and folders.

System Information: Collects and displays detail information of your system.

System Control: Helps you to change operation system settings.



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FREE Time Tracking Tool Shows Times Your PC Has Been Active (for the past 3 weeks)

Did you know that the Windows OS tracks logon and logoff/standby times (working hours) by default?  But how do you tap into this information and what could you use this information for?

An easy way to tap into this information is to use the small portable application called PC On/Off Time. No installation is required and no running in the background is required.  Simply download and run.

PC On/Off Time graphically displays the usage time for your computer for the last 3 weeks without having to start any logging (uses Win 7/Vista/XP/2000/2008 built-in feature). It displays the hours of operation, in a simple overview, so you can see at what times the computer was on or off. You can also connect to a network PC and create the report.

PC On/Off

What this graphic display will tell you is this:


A grey fade-out indicates that the computer switches into standby mode. (Windows 7/Vista or higher)


A red bar indicates that the computer was shut down unexpectedly (Windows event ID: 6008) with a following reboot.

In answer to the second part of the question; “What could you use this information for?

PC On/Off  Time could be used as a troubleshooting tool.  For example, I recently experienced an issue where my PC would abruptly shut down. This tool would have been helpful to determine the number of times this occurred and the date/time.

PC On/Off Time could be used to monitor the usage time that your children are on the the computer.

PC On/Off Time could be used to monitor computers on a network you are managing.  For example, you may have a rogue user who is showing up at work after hours to use a PC for personal gain.

PC On/Off Time could be used a a timesheet tool to document time spent on a special project.

PC On/Off Time could be used as a forensics tool to generate a graphical report, as supporting documentation in a criminal case.

Can you think of any other uses for this tool?  I would love to hear your comments.



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Add Up To 10 Configurable Caption Buttons to Your Windows

At the top right corner of any window in MS-Windows are three standard buttons that allow you to minimize, maximize (or restore down) and close the window. These three buttons are called caption buttons.

Min, Max, Close

I often thought that there is a lot of space in that top right corner where additional caption buttons could be added that could serve some purpose.  Today, I found that this thought is no longer a thought.

If you want to add some additional functionality to your windows, then check out eXtraButtons .


eXtraButtons provides up to 10 additional buttons that can be placed in the captions of all windows that will extend the functionality of the Windows operating system and look the same as the standard system buttons. Altogether, there are 10 fully configurable buttons that can be added (or removed) that will perform the following:

Always on top — places window on the top of the other windows, so that be always visible whether or not it has the focus.

Send to back — places window under others, so it will not bother you.

Copy window — starts a copy of the application in the new window.

Roll-up/Unroll — minimizes window to its caption, so you can see only caption line with the title of the window.

Minimize to Box — minimizes window and places its icon on the Desktop in adjusted arrangement.

Transparency — makes the window transparent according to adjusted level. You may adjust any default transparency level.

Percentage transparency — makes the window transparent according to percents from pop-upTransparency Menu.

Minimize to Tray — minimizes window and places its icon to System Tray.

Minimize to Tray Menu — minimizes window and places its icon to System Tray Menu.

Move to Another Monitor — places the window on another monitor.

On my system I configured eXtraButtons to show buttons for Roll/Unroll, Transparency, and Minimize to Tray.  eXtraButtons is a nice concept that will definitely help you optimize your workspace and will work on any Windows OS from Windows 98 and up.


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An Enhanced Windows Explorer Replacement

We currently have available on Windows based computers a built in file management utility called Windows Explorer. This utility, which is a major component of the operating system, provides you with a graphical user interface to browse (and view) the file system on your computer. For the life of me I never could understand why Microsoft never implemented tabbed browsing in Windows Explorer. Maybe Microsoft felt that a great majority of computer users are intimidated by Windows Explorer and it was best to keep it simple.

Anyhow, if you are into file management and you want a Windows Explorer that offers a tabbed browser experience, then I recommend taking a look at Explorerplusplus (Explorer++) .


The beauty of tabbed browsing is that you can manage multiple instances of files and folders in one window. I actually have come to prefer the tabbed browsing interface over multiple pane interfaces. As a matter of fact, here of late, I have been testing numerous types of these file management utilities (even wrote about a few here on the blog) and Explorer++ is in the running as my “go to” file manager.


What I like?

It has a clean appearance (not cluttered or bloated) and is very similar to the Windows Explorer, as we know it.

It is fast and smooth running…  I currently have Explorer++ pinned to my Windows 7 taskbar. It definitely loads faster than Windows Explorer and performs file management operations faster. For example, I can right mouse click on a file or folder and the standard Explorer context menu loads quickly with minimal lag time.

I like the idea of my drives being available on a toolbar where I can quickly access their contents.  Lay your mouse pointer on a drive letter and immediately see the size of the drive and the free space available.

There is an option on the menu of Explorer++ called “Actions” that provides you the ability to merge, split and destroy files. When destroying a file you can do a one or three pass overwrite to make the file nearly impossible to undelete.

You can double click on the tab bar to open/close tabs.

You can lock tabs to the bar.

You can open to the Command Prompt from any folder you are working from.

You have option of bookmarking your favorite folders.

You can save a directory (or folder) listing to a text file.

Explorer ++ can be  run from your flash drive (as a portable app).

In the end, I am finding that the developer has went to great strides to make Explorer++ an user friendly experience; and,  it is my hope that the development cycle continues with this program.


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An Easy Way to Backup the Windows Registry

Ah yes, the Windows Registry… In comparison to the human body where our brain is the data storage component that controls our thoughts and bodily processes; the Windows registry is similar in this fashion. Just like the brain, if injury or damage occurs to the registry, the impact can be great and ultimately result in a crash of your computer.

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It contains settings for low-level operating system components as well as the applications running on the platform: the kernel, device drivers, services, SAM, user interface and third party applications all make use of the Registry. The registry also provides a means to access counters for profiling system performance. – [Source: Wikipedia]

Now the good to this is that the Windows registry can be backed up (even sections of it) and the backups can be used to restore or heal the registry. I am a big advocate of backing up my registry on my computer; especially when installing or testing software. These backups are also especially helpful in the event of a malware infection where malware will hook into the registry unbeknownst to the user and will ultimately cause havoc.

Backing up and/or restoring the Windows registry is a process that is not an easy process. I know of many techs that even get the jitters when you even talk about the registry.  The Windows Restore function, does try to perform backups of registry changes so that the user can try to recover from a mishap; however, in my opinion this is not the most reliable option.

If you want an easy way to backup your Windows’ Registry, I suggest using ERUNTgui .

ERUNTgui is a graphic user interface for the popular registry backup and restore program “ERUNT” created by Lars Hederer.

ERUNT – current versions 1.1j are still compatible with Windows 7, but as in Vista, they will only work correctly if you turn off User Account Control in Windows’ Control Panel (move the slider to the lowest position).

This utility is pretty easy to use. Simply select, “Backup The Registry” and you will be prompted for a location to save your backup. Once the backup is saved, you can also use ERUNTgui to perform a restore in the event your registry becomes corrupted. There is also an “Optimize the Registry” button; however, if you do try this, make a backup of the registry first.  See, I even get the jitters when I know I am messing with the registry.

ERUNT.gui can also be used as a portable app on your flash drive. I currently have this utility in my tech toolbox and will often use it to make a registry backup on other computers that I know I will be getting down and dirty with.




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The Ultimate FREE System Protection Tool

If you are someone that tests software; OR manages computers where there are numerous users (such as at a kisosk, classroom, library or at home with the kids); OR, you are simply are looking for the ultimate in computer protection, then look no further. The solution is a virtualization application called  Wondershare Time Freeze.

Recently Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts brought Wondershare Time Freeze to our attention (see “For Added Internet Protection – Virtualize Your System with Free Wondershare Time Freeze” ). Since I have been following various virtualization apps, for quite sometime; I decided, following Bill’s review, to give Time Freeze a try.

Wondershare Time Freeze

Before I go any further there are a couple of important points to make here.

One, with any system altering utility, it is important that you have a backup image of your computer. A good FREE solution for that is Macrium Reflect.

Two, Wondershare Time Freeze comes in a FREE version and a PAID version that has additional features.

Click Here for Comparison

Time Freeze Comparison

After testing and using Wondershare Time Freeze, I would not hesitate in buying this software.

What is Wondershare Time Freeze?

Wondershare Time Freeze is what is known as a virtualization application. To the everyday computer user, do not let these big words give the illusion this is difficult software to use. It is not… The reason virtualization apps are not commonly used is because most people do not understand them and are afraid to try something that is completely out of the norm. To me, virtualization apps, if used properly, are the answer to ultimately protecting our PC’s from viruses, malware, dumb mistakes, etc…

How does Wondershare Time Freeze work?

In a nutshell, you install Wondershare Time Freeze on your PC, start it up, move the slider, with your mouse, from “OFF” to “ON”.  At this point you will be asked “Do you want to enable system protection?”. Click on “Yes”,  and be patient (a slight 10 – 15 second delay will occur while the PC is being switched from “real” mode to “virtual” mode.).

Time Freeze Slider

Once your PC is in virtual mode, you are protected. Your PC at this point is basically impenetrable. If you mess up anywhere on your PC (get a virus, malware, accidentally delete a file), simply reboot your computer. After reboot, your computer will return to the state it was in prior to going into virtual mode.  To see how this works, click on the video demo below.

Time Freeze Video Demo

I currently use Wondershare Time Freeze to test software that I review for What’s On My PC. I will put the PC into a virtual mode with Time Freeze and then install the software I intend to test. When I am finished, I simply reboot the computer to return to the state that it was in prior to my testing. I also use Time Freeze on my netbook, all of the time, to keep it in a time frozen state. The only time I do not run the netbook in virtual mode is when I perform routine software maintenance updates (such as antivirus definition updates, windows updates, etc.).

Now keep in mind and this is very important. While you are in virtual mode, any files you save or download to your main drive volume (usually the “C” Drive) will be lost when you reboot. A workaround that I use is that I save files I download (or work on) to one of my external drives.

To me, virtualization apps, such as Time Freeze are ideal in settings where multiple people use a PC (such as in a library, student lab, children at home, etc…). Simply run the PC in virtual mode and when the student or child finishes with the PC, reboot back into real mode and to the state it was in prior to going into virtual mode. Wondershare Time Freeze is great way to keep the configuration changes on a PC from being changed or altered.

Key Features of Wondershare Time Freeze

Wondershare Time Freeze is system protection software. It works easy and effective to create a free virtual system environment to keep your computer safe from all types of viruses and other malicious attacks. It provides the following advantages:

Virtual system as the shadow of the actual system: prevent threats of any viruses, malware, spyware and Trojans.

Simply reboot computer to return to the original state. Eliminates cost for system maintenance.

Surf internet safely, and play around with computer with NO trace left.

Prevent access to protected files and folders. Protect your privacy effectively

Manage the program with a custom password setting and keep inexperienced users from making change to your settings and configures

Compatible with Windows 7/XP/Vista/2000.


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Check the Integrity of Your Hard Disks with CheckDrive

Looking for and writing content for a blog is a job, especially when you are on the run; however, in my email this morning a company called  Abelssoft dropped me a line about a new FREE hard disk utility called CheckDrive 2011 that saved the day and possibly my hard disks.


From my early testing of this utility, it is like using chkdsk (checkdisk) with a very nice GUI (graphical user interface). As with chkdsk, if errors are found on any of your drives, repairing of those errors can take some time. Failure to identify and repair errors on your hard disks  (in the file system) can result in data corruption; thus, the importance of an utility such as CheckDrive. As always, maintain backups of your data prior to running any maintenance utility. This type of utility I usually run on a monthly basis to check the integrity of my disks.

If you are not familiar with chkdsk (checkdisk)…

Chkdsk (Checkdisk) is a command on computers running DOS, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows operating systems that displays the file system integrity status of hard disks and floppy disk and can fix logical file system errors. It is similar to the fsck command in Unix.

On computers running NT-based versions of Windows, CHKDSK can also check the disk surface for physical errors or bad sectors, a task previously done bySCANDISK. This version of CHKDSK can also handle some physical errors and recover data that is still readable. — Wikipedia


CheckDrive offers you an easy way to check your hard drives for errors. CheckDrive may detect and fix hard drive errors that might appear on system crashes or when switching off your PC without a proper Windows shutdown. If you ever had a system crash then CheckDrive is for you. CheckDrive is completely free! Download it today to check your system for hard drive errors.

CheckDrive – Features

Check Hard Disks for Errors

CheckDrive offers you an easy way of checking your PCs hard drives for errors. Those errors can be fixed immediately if you like.

Shows Drive Information

CheckDrive shows info about your drives and determins if your hard drive needs to be cleaned or defragmented.

Detects current fragmentation of your hard drives

Shows the amount of garbage on your disks


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Get WinUtilities Pro for FREE (while it lasts)

I was combing the web site of YL Software, the developers of the popular utility suite, WinUtilities and came across a page where you can acquire the license and registration code for the professional version of WinUtilites for FREE [ link ] . Typically this software is priced at $49.99 and is currently being offered for FREE through Softpedia. If interested, take advantage of this FREE offer as soon as possible, before it disappears.


When you visit the download site, I suggest you scroll down the page to where you see “Step 2”.  At this point, write down the license and registration information. After you have accomplished that task, scroll back up to “Step 1” and click on the “Softpedia” download button to be redirected to the Softpedia download location. After you install Winutilities you will reach a point where you will enter the license & registration information to make the software fully functional.

What is WinUtilities?

WinUtilities Pro is an award winning collection of tools to optimize and speedup your system performance. this suite contains utilities to clean registry, temporary files on your disks, erase your application and internet browser history, cache and cookies. it also supports to defragment your disk drives and improve computer performance and stability. built-in StartUp Cleaner allows you to control startup programs that load automatically with windows, find duplicate files, fix broken shortcuts and uninstall unneeded software. other features include secure file deletion, recycle bin shredding, system maintenance tasks scheduling and undelete deleted files.

WinUtilities Pro

The “cool factor” to this software is that there is a “1 Click Maintenance” function built in that enables you to perform typical maintenance on your PC.  There are also rescue (restore) options  built into the various modules in the event something inadvertently goes bump in the night.


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Recover Picture Files On Your Digital Camera Card

When I draft an article here at What’s On My PC, I try to reflect on personal “real life” computer experiences to demonstrate what can happen and what you can do to make things right. In many instances, do not give up until you have explored the options. To give an example, I recently experienced an issue with file corruption that gave me that sick in the gut feeling where I started crying out for help!


I currently serve as the Multimedia Director at my Church, which entails graphic editing skills; operating the computer, projection system and sound system (which I am learning); and taking digital photographs of events (which my wife assists). Recently we were tasked with taking photos of a very important 30 year celebration event.

All went well until I transferred the (couple hundred) photos from the camera to the computer. When I transferred the photos, I totally removed them (using the Windows cut/copy operation) from the camera’s media card. Every picture file I removed and transferred appeared corrupted in my graphic viewer. I could pull the picture files up using my graphic viewer; however, the pictures were really messed up and scrambled; and totally unusable. That is when the “sick in the gut” feeling hit.

RecuvaAfter a few minutes of thinking I decided to try something by using the FREE file recovery program called Recuva. My only concern at this point was that file recovery software is touted for recovering files that have been “deleted” from a media source; not “cut” from a media source (as in my case).

The first step I performed was to remove the media card from the camera and placed it in my media card reader. I then started Recuva and used the built in wizard that walked me, step-by-step, through the recovery process.


During the process I opted to perform a “deep scan” of the media card (which was 1GB in size). Keep in mind, the deep scan option, is a much longer scanning process; especially if you are dealing with a very large drive (like the hard drive in your PC). Also, I should probably mention that you should always limit read/write activity to the media that you are working with to ensure better results.


I continued to follow the Recuva wizard… Recuva went to work in scanning the media card in an attempt to recover or detect any files. Now, keep in mind, I never “deleted” the pictures files from the media card; I “cut” them from the card and pasted into a folder on my PC.  Therefore, I was unsure if this would work or not.


Fingers Crossed!  Using the “deep scan” option in Recuva, I was able to recover several hundred picture files; including, what appeared to be the pictures that were taken at the Church event. The deep scan option is an option that is more time consuming; however, in my case I was desperate.


Let the party begin! I moved the recovered files to my PC and found that every single picture that we had taken was now intact with no signs of corruption. The only thing I could figure is that the file corruption I initially experienced, when I “cut” the pictures from the media card and “pasted” them into a folder, the corruption occurred as a result of the transfer process to the PC.

I have tested and tried numerous file recovery products and most are very good; however, the first option that came to mind, in my moment of desperation, was Recuva. I attribute that to the fact that Piriform, the makers of Recuva, CCleaner, Speccy and Defraggler, are commonly known for their great FREE products.


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Quality Sound Recording Software for FREE!

Here is a software application, called Free Sound Recorder, that may be very useful in the event you need (for example) to save a cassette tape to a CD or a LP to a CD (or to your computer).

Free Sound Recorder Screenshot

Here is how it works: Any sound that you can pass through your sound card, Free Sound Recorder can capture it and convert it (to MP3, WMA or WAV format). In my testing I took a voice recorder (with sound already recorded on it); connected a 3.5 mm  male-to-male cable to the earphone jack on the voice recorder and to the line-in jack on the computer and used Free Sound Recorder to capture the audio. The end result was quite impressive. You may need a different type of cable in the event you are capturing audio from a different type of device (e.g. cassette player, LP player, etc…).

Free Sound Recorder is a perfect audio recorder to record your own voice, music or any other sound by working directly with your sound card. It supports the record input/source from a microphone, streaming audio from the Internet, external input devices (e.g. CDs, LP, music cassettes, phone line etc.) as well as other applications like Winamp, Media Player, etc. With built-in advanced audio record engine, the recorder produces high quality recordings.

Main Features of Free Sound Recorder
Dot Allows you to record audio into MP3, WMA or WAV format directly.
Dot Allows you to pre-define audio recording qualities to help quickly set and manage recording parameters.
Dot Built-in advanced audio record engine to produce high quality recording.
Dot Allows you to preset/preview your audio recording device before starting record.
Dot Build-in WMA WAV MP3 decoder.


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Comodo Time Machine – A Powerful System Restore Utility

Comodo Time MachineIf you are looking for an utility that will literally save your PC’s butt, then Comodo Time Machine may be the answer you are looking for. What this innovative utility does is take snapshots of your PC and archives those snapshots so that if you experience a computer problem (like a malware or virus attack), you simply revert back in time to one of the snapshots you had previously taken. In other words, if you mess up your PC and you have the Comodo Time Machine software installed, you can go back in time to restore your PC to a previous good state.


Comodo Time Machine (CTM) is a powerful system rollback utility that allows users to quickly restore their computers to an earlier point in time. CTM ‘snapshots’ are a complete record of your entire system (including the registry, critical operating system files and user created documents).  As part of a layered security strategy, users can schedule automatic snapshots to be taken at regular intervals then roll back to the last known working state in the event of virus attacks or crashes. It is also recommended practice to take snapshots of your computer before large installations or system maintenance like installing a Windows service pack, security updates or new drivers. Software Developers and testers can easily restore test systems to the default configuration after each deployment  without the need to manually uninstall each application. Home users can even let the kids run amok on the family PC for an afternoon and be safe in the knowledge that any damage can be instantly undone and all files recovered.

Comodo Time Machine is an excellent replacement for the “System Restoration” function that is built into Windows.  As a matter of fact, on my main PC, I turned “off” the Windows Restore utility, to reclaim disk space, and started using Comodo Time Machine as my main PC restore (rollback) utility.  Comodo Time Machine is a much more capable restore utility than the restoration function that is built into Windows; AND, what I find amazing is that there is no excessive disk usage bloat (like with Windows Restore).  This utility, when properly managed, could be a lifesaver to you.  I am now using Comodo Time Machine, on my main PC, as a layer of protection in conjunction with my disk imaging and backup software.

Layered Security

  • Schedule automatic snapshots to be taken at regular intervals
  • Roll back to the last known working state in the event of virus attacks or crashes
  • Take snapshots of your computer before large installations or system maintenance

It also comes in very handy when I am testing software. I simply install/test the software; then, instead of uninstalling the software, I revert back in time, using the Comodo Time Machine.  If you have multiple users (like kids) using one PC, this software may help you keep your sanity.

I am not going to get into all of the capabilities of the Comodo Time Machine; however, I highly recommend that you read the “User Guide” [ Click Here ] before you make the decision to use the software. Personally, from what I can attest thus far; Comodo Time Machine is a great innovation and is what the Windows restoration should be.

Why should I use Comodo Time Machine?

  • Easy to use – even beginners can quickly create system snapshots with a few mouse clicks
  • Provides instant and comprehensive system recovery after virus or spyware infections
  • Instantly reclaim your machine after devastating system crashes
  • Rollback the changes to ALL your documents – not just changes to system files and the registry
  • Boot-up console allows you to rollback even when your system will not boot to Windows
  • Test new software and network configurations in the knowledge that you can quickly switch back if problems develop
  • Completely remove unwanted software installations without the need to uninstall or clean the registry
  • Flexible restore options allow you to mount and browse snapshots to recover individual files or folders
  • Right click on any file or folder to synchronize it with a snapshot version
  • Schedule regular system snapshots to ensure highly relevant restore points
  • Network administrators have another way to quickly fix user or software problems
  • Libraries, Internet cafes and other publicly shared networks can schedule a total system restore at the end of each session

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Vista (32 and 64 bit)
Windows XP with service pack 2
or higher (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2003
(32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2008
(32 and 64 bit. Except Windows Server 2008 Core)

Minimum Hardware:

Intel Pentium III Processor or higher
128 MB RAM

Free disk space:
4 GB (minimum) / 10 GB (recommended)


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Glary Utilities Pro – Valentines Day Promotional Giveaway

Bill Mullins’ over at Tech Thoughts has graciously brought to our attention that Glarysoft is promoting a Glarysoft Valentine’s Day Giveaway for their all-in-one utility, Glary Utilities Pro.  They are giving away 500 licenses each day (for the Professional Version) from Feb 12 to Feb 14, 2010 to celebrate Valentines’s Day.


Folks, Glary Utilities is a great software package that will assist you with maintaining your PC (fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC). Do not miss out on this opportunity. Go to Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts for further details, before it is too late.


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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#46)

Geek Squeaks’ are links to articles, that are presented weekly, here on the blog to give recognition to the author’s who are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  The articles you see were randomly selected and were recently created within the past (7)-seven days.  I encourage you support these blogs (and sites) by becoming a regular visitor.


Big Geek Daddy
Resize Pictures for Email with a Free Image Resizer

Freeware Pharmacy
NotePad ++

Free PC Security
PC Tools Firewall Plus V6 – Free

Simple Passwords Remain Popular, Despite Risk of Hacking –

Tech-for Everyone
Another Way To Install A Program On A Netbook
Native tool to install Windows 7 from flash drive

Know How Likely You Are to Get Audited

Crazy World of G
Media Monkey

thePC Security
Free Data Recovery from HDD, USB Flash Drive, Memory Card – DiskDigger

AKS-Feel The Change
Scan and Fix Windows XP/Vista Problem Online

Carol’s Vault
Spliter Cell: Conviction delayed again from February to April 2010
How to Remove AntiMalware Defender

Teck~Line Lounge
Screenpresso Free Alternative For Snagit (Windows)

Plato On-Line
Beware of Browser Fingerprinting

Evilfantasy’s Blog
System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7
for x64-based  Systems (KB947821)

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Computer Infection? – Search Engine Links Might Be The Culprit

Recover/Restore deleted files or delete files forever with FileWing

TTC Shelbyville
Control Two Computers with One Mouse and Keyboard

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6 Best Free Password Managers

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Philips DC315/37 – A Portable iPhone/iPod Speaker
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Grundig GUFSDTR500HD Freesat DTR review

TuneUp Blog
Performance Check: How 200 New Programs Slow Down Your PC

Canadian Tech Blogger
Top 5 Best Desktop Computers

Internet Security Blog
Folder, File Manager Utility for Multi-Pane Drag & Drop – QDir

A What’s On My PC Relic
Get better lighting for your computer…


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System Explorer – A FREE Task Manager

image System Explorer is FREE task manager program that provides detailed information about the operating status of your PC and is an excellent tool to include in your tech toolbox (portable version available).

Task Manager programs, such as System Explorer, are applications that typically provide detailed information about the stability of your computer (such as performance and running applications, processes and CPU usage, commit charge and memory information, network activity and statistics, logged-in users, and system services). Typically we get to the Windows Task Manager by hitting the “CTRL+ALT+DEL” hotkey combo.  Most users typically go to the Task Manager in Windows to halt programs that are not playing well.

System Explorer is like the Windows Task Manager, but is a whole lot more…  Things that you can do with System Explorer are:

  • Task Management
  • Startups Management
  • System Performance Monitoring
  • Internet Explorer Addons Management
  • Services Management
  • Start applications faster with System Explorer Launcher
  • Force start idle system tasks to cleanup and speedup system
  • Optimise physical memory usage
  • Reveal malware or viruses in your system
  • Network Connections Monitoring
  • Processes Management
  • Search faster with System Explorer Launcher
  • Make System Report
  • Check File Security
  • Screenshot


    Detailed informations about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files.

    Easy check of suspicious files via VirusTotal or Jotti service.

    Easy search details about file/process via online databases.

    Launcher (“New Task…” dialog) with integrated AutoSearch and AutoCompletion.

    Action History for monitoring processes activities.

    Performance graphs for monitoring usage of system resources in time.

    System Snapshots for easy finding of system changes.

    System Report builds rich text report containing major informations about your System.

    Multilanguage and Plugins Support.

    Version 2.0 brings brand new user interface and Windows 7 support.

    **NEW** Security feature with online File Reviews.


    OS: Windows XP,Windows Vista or Windows 7


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    Defragmentation the Smart and Lazy Way

    I have found, from personal experience, that most people do not take the time to perform routine computer maintenance and will resort to paying someone to do it when there PC is crawling at a snail’s pace.

    image One of the most important components to maintaining your PC is to perform a disk defragmentation, at least once a month. When files are written to your hard disk they are typically not written as one unit, as you would think. Instead a file can be broken up to fill the empty spaces that are available on the disk; and, as a result the file(s) are not of one unit, but scattered about. In the end a noticeable degradation in the load time of files and programs occur and additional disk space is allocated to store the file pieces that ultimately affects the performance of the computer. When you run your defragmentation utility, the defragger will ultimately move the file pieces closer together and contiguously (the pieces are adjacent to one another and will appear to be connected).

    There are numerous defraggers out there that are more powerful than others (from a technical standpoint) that offer a variety of defragmentation methods; however, you  have to be savvy enough to understand those methods and what you ultimately want to achieve. Again, the everyday computer user does not understand the various methods and really do not care. They just want their PC to run efficiently with minimal fuss and intervention.

    A solution that I recently have been testing (and have been impressed with) is a FREE program called Smart Defrag by I call it the lazy man’s defragger.  Why? Well, you simply install it, select the drive(s) you desire to defrag, select Auto Defrag, and the program does the rest.


    When you are not using your computer (and it goes idle) Smart Defrag automatically, in the background (unseen to you), commences defragging the drive you selected. If you feel that Smart Defrag is causing an interference, which I did not personally experience, there are slider settings that you can adjust under Auto Defrag. For example I used the default settings where Smart Defrag will pause when my resource usage exceeds 20 percent. I also have Auto Defrag set to engage defragmentation after 5 minutes of the computer being idle. The first time you use Smart Defrag, I suggest you do a manual defrag first to get everything in good shape. After that, Smart Defrag will do the rest for you.

    Smart Defrag is Windows® Vista™, XP, 2000. and Windows® 7 READY!


    Key Benefits (from the developer, IOBit)

    Extremely Easy to Use

    Install it and forget it. This powerful, free defragmenter works continuously, automatically and quietly in the background on your PC. Its intuitive interface makes Smart Defrag the ideal utility for complete computer dummies.

    Exceptionally Efficient Defragmentation

    Smart Defrag has the world’s fastest defragmenting engine. It’s been specially designed for modern, large hard drives, so it eliminates long waiting times.

    Optimize Disk Performance

    Smart Defrag doesn’t just use simple defragmentation. It also streamlines your file system, places the frequently used files and directories into the fastest area of the disk, enabling your computer to run at top speed with the most stability.

    Always-on to Work Automatically

    Smart Defrag works automatically and quietly in the background, so it continually and constantly keeps your computer fragment-free.

    Data Safe and Reliability Guaranteed

    Smart Defrag uses the commercial-level standard to move data and does not damage any file in your disk. Besides, unlike other “Automated” Defragmenters, Smart Defrag does NOT constantly perform analysis and defragment, which does damage your hard drive and shorten its life. Smart Defrag has a “Safe Intelligence” technology that can assure the health of your disk by deciding When and How to start defragmentation.

    Free Defragmenter Forever

    Smart Defrag is 100% freeware. Download, use, and update it absolutely free for your personal computers, business or enterprise servers –– it won’t cost you a penny.


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    FREE and EASY Powertoy Image Resizer

    Many Windows XP users are probably familiar with the Powertoy Image Resizer you downloaded as an add-on that allowed right-click image resizing functionality in Windows Explorer. This very popular Powertoy was primarily designed for Windows XP with no further development to support Windows Vista or Windows 7. This Powertoy utility enabled you to single or batch resize your pictures by simply right clicking on the picture(s), selecting Resize Pictures, selecting the scalable size, and then OK.  Magically the scalable size of the picture(s) would uniformly be resized; thus, the file size would also be reduced (or increased).  This is very useful when sending pictures via email, or posting on the web, where you want to reduce the scalable size and the file size of the pictures.  It is also useful if you are taking numerous pictures and you want to reduce the size for storage or archiving.  Frankly, today’s cameras take pictures that literally are megabytes in size and this can add up when you are archiving all the pictures you take.

    If this Powertoy was developed for Windows XP, is there an alternative (similar) solution for Windows Vista & Windows 7?

    The answer is yes.  I recently located and was introducted to “Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows” which is a clone (replica) of the original Windows XP Powertoy Image Resizer.  The cool factor to this clone resizer is that it is being developed as open source software product, that is FREE and will only get better as the development progresses.

    If are someone that is into taking pictures, Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows is definitely an image utility you want on your PC.




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    Protect Private Information and Save Energy with this FREE Utility

    In today’s world; businesses, healthcare providers, government agencies, banks, etc… go to great lengths to install internal safeguards to protect our privacy, our accounts and our personal information. What they sometimes neglect to take into account  is one of the most very basic “visual” aspects of data protection that is right in front of our noses; AND, that is the computer monitor.  Next time you walk into your bank, business, or healthcare provider I will guarantee that if you look around you will see personal data displayed everywhere; often within eyeshot range. Repositioning the monitor from public view or installing monitor privacy filters often resolves this problem; however, this may not be possible in all circumstances.  Another solution involves the use of specialized software that will blank the monitor screen for you.

    If you are looking for a FREE utility to easily blank the screen on your monitor to prevent eavesdroppers from snooping, and will actually save you money, then you may want to take a look at Monitor Off Utility.

    Now you can tell your monitor to immediately go into energy saving mode with the click of a button. Monitor Off Utility is a free program that allows you to take control of your monitors built-in energy saving features. You can setup your own custom keyboard shortcuts or setup a shortcut on your desktop or system tray. The utility supports multiple monitors and is very flexible. It even allows you to use a command line interface if you want to incorporate the utility into your own scripts.




    Stand-Alone Version:
    You can download a stand-alone version of the program that you can run off your USB flash drive without installing it.

    Adjustable Delay:
    Adjust the number of seconds the program waits before shutting off the monitors after the user initiates a monitor power off. During this delay period the operation may be cancelled.

    Screen Saver Activation:
    This program will also allow you to activate your screen saver at will.

    Lock Workstation:
    If you would like, the program can automatically lock your workstation before turning off the monitor(s).

    You can configure a custom HotKey to turn off your monitor(s) or to start your screensaver.

    Tray Access:
    You can quickly turn off your monitor(s) from the system tray.
    Tray Icon

    Online Update:
    Keep Monitor Off Utility up to date with the click of a button.


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    Powerful Unit Converter for FREE

    Converber is one of those utilities that you should have on your computer (or flash drive) for those instances where you have to make unit conversions.  Converber is a very powerful and feature enriched program that outshines the competition (see comparisons). Instantly get conversion results from one unit of measure to another unit of measure.

    Converber is a unit converter. It is a powerful software utility that will help make easy conversions between 1324 various units of measure in 38 categories. Converber converts everything from length and force to flow and temperature.


    Features include:

    • Gives immediate access to all categories or single category
    • Favorites menu to bookmark your frequently-used conversions
    • Currency rates…updated daily
    • Inline calculator(*/-+^ and more)
    • Automatic updates
    • Quickly search the unit list and immediately see results
    • Step backwards or forwards through the most recently used conversions
    • New! Toolbar for faster mouse operation
    • Single or multiple preference file(s) for different users
    • Shows either common units or ALL units
    • Converts as you type, so no convert button is required
    • Includes equation editor to add your own custom units
    • Allows you to select/unselect the conversion file(s)
    • Can change the number of significant digits of the output
    • Option to select decimal-point precision
    • Option to select scientific notation only
    • Extensive number formatting
    • Inverts selected units with the quick swap feature
    • New! Status bar to display the current category
    • Converts left-to-right OR right-to-left
    • Runs portable/stand-alone using no dll files or registry settings
    • Remembers last window position and size (if desired)
    • Offset correction for meter value compensation
    • Comes with extensive help file
    • Supports transparency
    • Supports a multi-language user interface
    • And more


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    A FREE PC Optimization Tool

    Maintaining a PC can be a daunting task, especially when you are unfamiliar with the utilities that are available to accomplish those tasks.  I recently came across a PC optimization tool, called “Perfect Utilities”, that is new one to me.


    I am usually cautious when it comes to utilities that claim to fix or optimize your PC;  BUT, after kicking the tires around on Perfect Utilities, I think app could end up being a contender in the system optimization and maintenance category. The first thing that set well with me is that the interface is clean and easy to navigate. The second thing was that this optimization tool is bundled with over 20 tools (see below) to clean, optimize and speed up your system performance. The third thing was that many of the cleaning options available provided a rescue option in the event a problem occurred.

    As with any utility such as this, you are making system modifications (that generally are safe); however, things can go bump in the night if you do not have some knowledge of what you are doing.  Also, when exploring each of the utilities bundled in Perfect Utilities, be sure to explore the menu options.  For example, the Perfect Disk Defrag provided numerous disk defragmentation options. Overall, I will be kicking Perfect Utilities around and watching its’ development.  I’m hoping for a portable version of this app, as well.


    Publisher’s Description:

    Perfect Utilities system suite is a simple and easy-to-use freeware which will optimize your PC and fix computer problems like slow speed, blue screen, deadlock errors and other annoying problems to maintain system stability and security, keep your PC running smoother and improve its overall performance. Perfect Utilities combines more than 20 system optimization and cleaning tools in one bundle and offers an attractive and easy to use interface that organizes all tasks into categories and provides graphical statistics whenever possible.

    It is easy to use Perfect Utilities, anyone can easily use Perfect Utilities to enjoy its powerful functions only by clicking on the button of “Start Scan”, “Repair All” and “Clean” etc.

    Support Platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7.

    Perfect Utilities combines the following modules:

    Perfect Disk Cleaner
    Quickly find and wipe away all the garbage files

    Perfect Registry Cleaner
    Detect, clean, and repair
    invalid Registry entries and errors

    Perfect History Cleaner
    Clean online activity tracks
    and protect your online privacy

    Perfect 1-Click Maintenance
    Support to quickly maintain
    your system with one mouse click

    Perfect Task Scheduler
    Schedule your maintenance tasks
    that take place automatically

    Perfect Disk Defrag
    Defragment your disks and
    improve computer performance and stability

    Perfect Memory Optimizer
    Clean, optimize, and free
    up your computer’s memory

    Perfect Shortcuts Fixer
    Fix the invalid shortcuts from your system

    Perfect Duplicate File Finder
    Trace and remove the
    unintended duplicate files

    Perfect System Control
    Organize and manage your Windows settings

    Perfect BHO Remover
    Remove BHO(s) you don’t want to keep

    Perfect Startup Cleaner
    Manage program execution at Windows startup

    Perfect Auto Shutdown
    Schedule your computer
    for shutdown at a specified time

    Perfect Process Manager
    Manage currently running programs

    Perfect Uninstall Manager
    Uninstall programs you don’t need anymore

    Perfect System Information
    Provides comprehensive information on your computer

    Perfect Windows Tools
    Provides an easy way to launch Windows Tools

    Perfect Registry Backup
    Back up and restore the Windows Registry

    Perfect Registry Search
    Search the registry by specific wildcard

    Perfect Undelete
    Recover deleted files on
    NTFS, FAT32, FAT16 and FAT12 volumes

    Perfect File Shredder
    Delete files securely, ensuring that
    they cannot be recovered later

    Perfect File Splitter
    Split any type of file into smaller pieces

    Perfect EXE Protector
    Protect any Windows executable file with a password


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    Utility Launcher – A convenient launcher for your clean-up and maintenance programs…

    Utility Launcher is a small program that is used to make your computer maintenance routines a more streamlined process. This is one of those little apps that I have featured on here before [ click here ] and fell in love with.  Following my first write-up of Utility Launcher, the author contacted me and was leaning toward not developing the app any further; HOWEVER, I was very glad to see some new recent enhancements to Utility Launcher (e.g. Version 2.0 has a much improved List Building/Handling capability as compared to the previous version).

    Many people have installed on there PC’s various types of security software, defrag utilities, disk maintenance utilities, etc.; HOWEVER, the problem is that these program still require periodic intervention on your part to help keep your PC in tip top shape. Let’s face it, most people do not take the time to keep their PC’s in shape.

    Utility Launcher is one of those “diamonds in the rough” that makes your maintenance routines a much more enjoyable and organized (step-by-step) process. The most technical part is initially setting up the application to create the list of your maintenance and security software; HOWEVER, following that setup process, it is well worth it.  To the author (JFB) , keep this app going! – [ GET IT HERE ]


    Publisher’s Description (and Instruction)

    Utility Launcher is a convenient launcher for clean-up and maintenance programs. You can place up to 20 utilities under a single (1) desktop icon, so they can be accessed and run quickly. This is the utility program that I use regularly to run my arsenal of third-party clean-up and maintenance programs. Version 2.0 has a much improved List Building/Handling capability as compared to the previous version. [download: 1.2 MB]

    Once un-zipped, place the program folder “Utility Launcher 2.0” (which contains the Application and RunTime files) anywhere you like.  Open the folder and make a shortcut to the “Utility Launcher 2.0.exe” application. Place the shortcut on the desktop.  You should then be ready to go.

    The use of UL is fairly obvious. Click around a bit to see how things work. The only “technical” thing that you will need to know how to do is “navigate” to the program(s) that you wish to add to UL. Also, (this is a less tecnical point)  when you are using the “Utility List Handler” (Menu > Utility List Handler) to build and/or modify a Utility List, you will need to click-on/highlight an item before you can manipulate (add, remove, move, etc.) it.  That’s about it…

    This software is Homemade Freeware.  It comes with no guarantees of any kind.  I use it everyday; it should work fine…


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    Manage open application windows on the fly…

    This post is geared more toward the techs out there that like those customization and tweaking utilities. Ease your control over foreground processes and windows now with Process Manager for Windows. With Process Manager for Windows you can perfrom the following operations on any application by just right clicking on them on the taskbar.

    • Kill
    • Change their Priority.
    • Always on Top.
    • Minimize to tray
    • Hide
    • Hide others
    • Change Transparency.
    • You can Hide All Open windows ,
    • Unhide them all in one go,
    • You can even hide the PMW icon from tray.
    • You can control which menu’s you want and which menu you do not want.

    Process Manager for Windows

    Process Manager for Windows is under ongoing development by a young software engineer who is devoted to getting it right. According to the developer’s site, there are more features to come. If you have any questions or ideas to improve Process Manager for Windows, I encourage you to visit “Aarif’s Blog About Windows Tweaking”.


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    PC Cleaning, Repair, Protection & Optimization – All in one package…

    Managing various cleaning, repair, protection and optimization utilities on our PCs can be quite a task. Some people fail to perform these tasks at all; or they only perform one task and not the other. To help solve these problems, I recommend a program called Advanced SystemCare Free by IObit.This program is designed in such a way that it serves as a multi-tasking “one click approach” to protecting, repairing, cleaning and optimizing your PC.  You may also know this program’s predecessor as being called Advanced WindowsCare.  I periodically run this program on my PC to keep it in shape. I always  find a noticeable positive difference in the performance after running the program.  You can get Advanced SystemCare Free by clicking on any of the links in this article.  IObit also provides a Pro “paid” version of Advanced SystemCare that  unlocks enhanced features in the free version.  You can view testimonials (reviews), from users, at CNet [ click here ].

    Advanced SystemCare

    Advanced SystemCare Free



    Enjoy That New PC Feeling Again New!

    Powerful Hard Drive Defragmentation New!

    Next-generation Registry Clean and Optimization New!

    Defends PC Security with Extra Protection Improved!

    Quick and Extensive Clean-up for Hard Drives Improved!

    Speeds Up PC Performance and Internet Access Improved!

    Fixes Multiple System Errors Improved!

    Extremely Easy to Use

    Safe and Free


    Comparison Sheet (click the picture to enlarge)


    NOTE:  A similar or comparable maintenance utility that is also “FREE” is Glary Utilities.  An added bonus with Glary Utilities is the portable version  that is available.  You can read more about Glary Utilites, here on the blog by [ clicking here ]


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