Free Windows Utilities Suites

A Windows utility Nirsoft maker offers its suite of apps as a single download with a new application launcher that makes picking and running a utility quick and easy.

The suite covers everything from an application-crash reporter to a Windows updates viewer — over 100 titles in all.

The nice thing about these utilities is that you can load them onto a USB stick and carry them with you. The apps can be run from the USB stick so you do NOT have to install them into Windows to use them. To make selecting and running the apps as simple as possible, the company includes the NirLauncher app, which lists all the utilities in the suite and gives brief descriptions of what each does.

These utilities work on Windows versions from Windows 2000 up to the current Windows 7.

Get NirLauncher here.

Another Windows suite of free utilities is now owned by Microsoft itself. I know, FREE software, from Microsoft, that WORKS!

System Internals or SysInternals Suite has always been a very handy collection of free tools & utilities but now is even more convenient since they have rolled it all up into a SysInternals Suite.

Download SysInternals Suite here.

Always make a backup of your system before any major work or trouble shooting is done.

I have videos on backing up, newsletters where I have nagged you and other posts. If you have any questions, find out about backup here.

Windows 7 Screen Saver Does Not Work – Answer Here

You just got your new Dell Laptop with Windows 7 and you are pretty excited about how cool it looks. So you setup a screensaver, wondering why there are fewer built in choices than with Windows XP, set it for one minute and waited.

And waited.

You come back later and find your Windows 7 screensaver still has not kicked in. While this may not matter because the defaults imposed by Al Gore have the darn thing sleeping, hibernating or screen off, hard drive off, usb devices off, etc. anyway —- wouldn’t you like your screen saver to work?

Well, yes.

Do you have a Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse, which I highly recommend? Unplug the USB dongle.

Voila’, screensaver is now working, yes?

Way to go Microsoft, just brilliant (again).

I Love Microsoft – NOT! – res://ieframe.dll/preview.dlg error

Yesterday I had to work on a workstation that had just been set up with a fresh install of Windows XP professional, Microsoft Office 2000 and Outlook 2003.

After doing all of the updates we ended up passing on Internet Explorer v8 and were left with the “venerable” version 7.

After only two days of using the PC the user complained that she could not print e-mails. What she was getting was script error showing:

line: 2021
char: one
error: unspecified error
code: 0
URL: res://ieframe.dll/preview.DLG

Wonderful, I thought. Well after Googling and checking out quite a number of these suspected solutions, some of which of course recommended uninstalling and reinstalling Internet Explorer, I was able to find the exact message and a fix that worked.

What I had to do was run this command (either from Start | Run or a command prompt):

regsrv32 ole32.dll

and then it worked fine.

Turns out this is a well known problem becomes along with Internet Explorer version 7 no real good explanation just here it is. And on Microsoft’s site they had a variety of suspected fixes but not this one away stuff that I saw.

I love Microsoft – NOT!

I Accidentally Deleted a Hard Drive Partition, How Do I Get It Back?

It can happen.

Recently I saw this question posted by a frantic user:

I was doing some hard drive maintenance and I accidentally deleted the partition on my external USB hard drive. How can I get my partition and data back?

Well, the first thing is do NOTHING to that drive!

While there are free tools available for such things, when it comes to important data I reach for a paid for professional program. There are just too many things that can go wrong.

My choice for recovering a deleted hard drive partition is Acronis Disk Director® Suite 10.0. At $49.95 it’s a bargain for what it does.

How to Get Rid of the Language Bar in Windows XP

That annoying language bar that takes up taskbar space has a tendency to reappear any time you upgrade Internet Explorer or Outlook.

I know NO ONE who uses it, yet Microsoft insists on polluting our desktops with it.

This short video shows How to Get Rid of the Language Bar in Windows XP, and even how to get it back if you do need it.

How to Get Internet Explorer Icon on the Desktop

If you have upgraded Internet Explorer to version 7 you probably found that the Internet Explorer icon is no longer on the desktop. According to Microsoft, that is by design.

If, however, you want it there, here is how to get the internet explorer icon back on the desktop.

What to do with your New Dell Computer

When you buy a new Dell computer, you probably bought it so it would be faster than what you had, right? So why not optimize your new PC?

You may have noticed that it came with a bunch of crap you do not need.

Here is what I remove:

  • Windows Components
    • Fax Service
    • MSN Explorer
    • Networking Services
    • Outlook Express
    • Windows Messenger

(No Reboot is needed, despite the question in dialog box)

Then for applications:

  • Windows Live Essentials (124 MB!)
    • Removes SQL Server CE
    • Sync framework services
  • 3 Versions of .NET??? Why? Load only what you need. Unload v1 & v2
  • Live Sign-in Assistant
  • Live Sync
  • Live Upload Tool
  • Windows Search 4.0 (will warn you about ALL this stuff that won’t work – BS)
  • SilverLight

Get rid of all of that garbage, then defrag the disk. And don’t ever fall for Microsoft wanting to install SilverLight or Windows Live. Windows Live Mail – why would you want that?

My opinion, comment if you agree or disagree.

How To Clean Your PC (Video)

Does your PC make a lot of fan noise?

Does it shut down all on its’ own?

Are you getting BSOD (Windows Blue Screen of Death)?

It could be that your PC is calling for help. Perhaps it sits on the floor, fans sucking in air, lint, dust and dirt, then exhausting only the air (leaving everything else inside it).

PC’s need airflow over clean components to maintain operating temperature within specifications. When the components overheat, you not only shorten their lifespan but you can trigger the safety mechanism in the PC that will shut it down.

Components that get too hot will often malfunction, sometimes causing Windows to go to a blue screen of death (BSOD).

Watch this video and see how you can clean out your PC, extend its life, and even save money (both on your power bill and by not having to buy a new computer).

Another Reason to Turn Off Automatic Updates

(and Not Trust Microsoft)

I have NOT been installing .Net framework 3.5 on the windows computers that I manage.

Why? Because of documented problems with it, another behemoth program to download and bloatware to install, AND, now we find out they are automatically installing an extension in Firefox that CANNOT be easily uninstalled – without telling us about it.

It’s called ClickOnce support for Firefox and it’s supposed to make one’s life easier. But that’s beside the point.

If Microsoft wants to mess up their own software on our PC’s there isn’t much we can do about it, but DON’T mess with Firefox without our permission and then send us to the registry editor to undo it.

You can find a better explanation of it all here.

You can also find the Microsoft .NET ClickOnce Support for Firefox uninstall instructions here.

Dump MSConfig in Favor of Autoruns

You don’t need to wait for Windows 7 to discard MSConfig for Windows startup tuning and application control.

Download Autoruns from the Microsoft Technet site now and use it instead. Autoruns is a vast improvement over MSConfig with about 3 times the number of information tabs and better viewing of the information.

Autoruns is also more valuable for hunting down malware since you can simply right click an entry and search the web for information on exactly what the program is and does.

Do be careful before deleting, though, and I always like to have a current backup of the system registry before making changes like this.

Windows Registry Backup and Restore

How a System State Backup can Save your computer