As a follow up to yesterday’s post about the Windows management tool, several people have asked me about what Windows tools I use most often. I, like many technical folks, carry a simple USB key in my pocket and it is packed with the core critical tools I use whenever I run into a support-type issue.
This led me to ask – what’s on your key?
Mine has some pretty interesting stuff. Here is a sample of the contents focused on Windows tools.
I keep an installs directory with some of the basic tools that I need, like to use and would want people to use. It has stuff like:
Cain and Able – you never know when you may need to recover or crack a basic password
Comodo Firewall – I try to never leave a home system without a firewall installed and configured, this one is free, easy to manage and with a quick 5 minute lesson – even basic Windows users can keep it going safely…
Filezilla – a pretty great Win32 FTP GUI
FoxitReader – a quick replacement for the bloated Adobe PDF reader
Genius – an old swiss army knife tool for Win32 that has a ton of Internet and network clients, plus some basic power tools for users
and of course the ubiquitous FireFox, WinZip, freeware Anti-virus and SpyBot Search & Destroy installers!
I also keep some basic tools for troubleshooting, security and analysis:
BinText – a GUI “strings” for Win32
Filealyze – a file analyzer, great for looking at unknown pieces of software and doing potential malware analysis on the fly
FPipe – Foundstone’s port redirector
Scanline – a quick and dirty command line port scanner for Win32 from Foundstone
Various Windows resource kit elements – kill, netdom, sysinternals tools, shutdown, etc.
Of course, netcat, the do it all with sockets tool 😉
winvi – easy to use text editor
whosip and whoiscl – two whois emulators for Windows
a tools simply called Startup – a really easy to use GUI for managing what is starting up each time the system starts and the various users login
Those are really the essentials… I carry a bunch of normal stuff around too, but the basics are here for those quick fix scenarios that invariably start with something like “My computer is acting kinda funny ever since I …”
So, I have shown you some of mine. Now you do the same, let us know what’s on your key that you carry in your own pocket. Use the comment system to tell us all about your own set of indispensable tools!