10 Ultimate Tools for Windows XP

by techtiptom


Originally posted on WIBC.com on 04/17/2009:

1. IZArc http://www.izarc.org/
Not everyone distributes compressed files in the zip format – thankfully IZArc can read dozens of formats (including zip, of course). It’s also handy at creating customized archives, with support for 256-bit encryption, self-extraction and splitting large archives for distribution in manageable chunks.

2. File Shredder http://www.fileshredder.org/
Securely delete files from your hard drive, and cover your tracks by shredding the free space too with File Shredder, a simple, yet effective, data destruction tool.

3. EASUS Partition Master Home Edition http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
EASUS Partition Master Home Edition is a freebie which enables you to not only partition without data loss within Windows, it also boasts partition and disk copy wizards too, making it easy to clone hard drives or quickly back them up.

4. Autoruns http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx
Windows’ built-in msconfig tool is all well and good, but if you want complete control over what starts with your PC, then Autoruns, a free tool from The Artists Formerly Known As SysInternals, is an essential addition to your toolkit. You can delete as well as disable start-up items, plus access other start-up zones too.

5. ISO Recorder http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
ISO Recorder is a fabulous tool which makes it easy to burn discs from ISO images downloaded from the internet, but it’s also able to back up uncopy-protected CDs and DVDs to ISO format too.

6. DAEMON Tools Lite http://www.daemon-tools.cc/home
Tired of constant disc-swapping or hunting for lost DVDs? DAEMON Tools Lite creates up to four virtual CD/DVD drives that can access disc image files (including ISO and IMG) as if you’d inserted the discs themselves. Oh, and it’s quicker than accessing the real thing too.

7. CCleaner http://www.ccleaner.com/
There’s only so much crap that Windows’ own Disk Cleanup tool can handle – if you want a tool that does a more thorough job, CCleaner is that program. Use its Registry cleaning tool with care, though.

8. Free Registry Defrag http://www.registry-clean.net/free-registry-defrag.htm
You can’t rely on Registry cleaners to always get it right when cleaning out your Registry. Deleting so-called “problem” entries is only half the job anyway – Free Registry Defrag won’t delete anything from your Registry, but it will compact and defragment the contents of your Registry files so they perform quicker. There’s an element of risk with any Registry cleaning exercise – visit http://www.support-pcs.co.uk/quicklinx/regrecovery.html before you begin, just in case.

9. Defraggler http://www.defraggler.com/
Most defrag tools will only let you defrag entire partitions or drives; Defraggler lets you analyze your drive and then pick individual files and folders to defragment – perfect if you’re running on a tight schedule.

10. Ultimate Windows Tweaker http://www.winvistaclub.com/Ultimate_Windows_Tweaker.html
Vista users casting a jealous glance at XP’s TweakUI PowerToy can stop being envious: the recently released free app Ultimate Windows Tweaker packs in over 130 tweaks into a single 380KB executable file – no installation necessary.