Category Archives: System Utilities

Glary Utilities 2.52 – A Free Collection of System Tools and Utilities – In 2 Flavors

imageGlary Utilities Free (last updated Jan. 9, 2013), is a reasonably complete set of system tools with which even a relative newcomer to the computing game can tweak, repair, optimize and improve system performance. Since discovering Glary Utilities years ago, it has remained my go-to application for system maintenance and cleanup.

With a graphical user interface arranged in a clean straightforward manner, you can quickly find the tool you’re looking for: disk cleaner, uninstall manager, secure file deletion, memory optimizer, registry cleaner, duplicate file finder, tracks eraser, empty folder finder; a very convenient feature for those of us who like to test drive new software.

Installation: YIKES!!!!


You can avoid all of the above (strongly recommended), by selecting the Slim Version – no toolbar. Alternatively, choose either of the two Portable Versions as per the following screen shot – no toolbar.


I suspect that there may be users who see the advantages of installing a Toolbar such as the one offered as part of this installation package. Quite frankly though, I’ve yet to meet one. For a taste of my views on Toolbars please see – We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Toolbar!

For users who are comfortable with a “one click” solution – Glary Utilities covers the basics nicely.


Results: running the Standard Version installed on an SSD HD. Scan time – 2 minutes and 8 seconds.


Results: running the Portable Version from a Flash drive. Scan time – 2 minutes and 8 seconds.


Dig a little deeper: The hands-on crowd can dig into the individual Modules and clean and massage their machine to their heart’s content.



Users can even avoid the frustration of having to hunt down a number of standard Windows tools by selecting the appropriate tool from the System Tools menu.


You can comfortably fine tune the application using the clear and precise Settings Menu. While the “Settings” menu is often the last item to be looked at following an application installation, it should be at the top of the “to do list” prior to running any new application. Unpleasant surprises can be avoided with a little prep work – first.

Of particular interest, to those of us who work with files using a “context menu”, Glary Utilities has a nice selection of new items which will be added to Windows Explorer.


There are those who will take comfort in an included “Restore Center” but, a more prudent course to follow is – prior to completing any significant system changes – take the time to generate a manual Restore Point.


Fast facts:

Disk Cleaner – Removes junk data from your disks and recovers disk space

Registry Cleaner – Scans and cleans up your registry to improve your system’s performance.

Shortcuts Fixer – Corrects the errors in your start menu & desktop shortcuts

Uninstall Manager – Uninstalls programs completely that you don’t need any more

Startup Manager – Manages programs which run automatically on startup

Memory Optimizer – Monitors and optimizes free memory in the background

Context Menu Manager – Manages the context-menu entries for files, folders…

Tracks Eraser – Erases all the traces,evidences,cookies,internet history and more

File Shredder – Erases files permanently so that no one can recover them

Internet Explorer Assistant – Manages Internet Explorer Add-ons and restores hijacked settings

File Encrypter and Decrypter – Protects your files from unauthorized access and use.

Disk Analysis – Shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders

Duplicate Files Finder – Searches for space-wasting and error producing duplicate files

Empty Folders Finder – Finds and removes empty folders in your windows

File Splitter and Joiner – Splits large files into smaller manageable files, and then rejoin them.

Process Manager – Monitors programs that run on your PC and stop spyware and Trojans.

Windows Standard Tools – Provides direct access to the useful windows default functions.

Current Version:

File Size: 8.59 MB.

Release Date: Jan. 9, 2013.

System requirements: Windows 8, 7, 2000, XP, Vista. 32/64bit versions.

Languages: 23 Languages.

Download at: Glarysoft


Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Freeware, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, System Utilities

PrivaZer – An In-depth Free PC Cleaner and Privacy App

imagePrivaZer is an extremely powerful cleaning tool and as such, it is not a tool that you need to use on a daily basis. If CCleaner is your daily system optimization, privacy, and cleanup tool, stay with it – it’s  the granddaddy of all system cleaners with good reason. In my view CCleaner is as close to perfect at its assigned task, as a free program can be.

However, if you have a need to get deeper into your system – then PrivaZer (recommended by super user and regular reader Chris A.), is a free application which has been designed to do just that. The “fast facts” listed below will give you a good overall view of  PrivaZer’s capabilities.

PrivaZer, like many recently released privacy tools, should not be run without the user taking time to fully understand the power inherent in this application. Further on in this review, you’ll find a number of suggestions for getting you up to speed quickly.

During the installation process, shown below, you will have an opportunity to choose various installs.


An additional choice you will have is – selecting (or not), to install context menu commands.


I’ll jump ahead here for illustrative purposes. For this test, I selected the context menu install which I’ve shown in the following screen capture. Note, this screen shot shows only one of  the four context menus – “For drives, Storage”.


Prior to the first run (as shown below), the developer has designed the interface so that less experienced users can choose to be guided by a series of recommended actions.


One such recommended action (subject to user input), is shown below.


Once I had made the choices appropriate for my needs (including cleaning any traces in the free space on the Hard Drive) ……..


… the application allowed me the option to continue as planned, or to back out of individual choices. As well, as illustrated below, selecting any specific action will bring up a menu which provides additional information.


For this test, I went “whole hog” which included cleaning up the drive’s free space. The complete task (analyzing the system and cleanup), ran roughly 30 minutes. The developer makes the point, that future cleanup tasks will run much faster.


Fast facts:

With simply one click, PrivaZer is able to clean securely

Internet browsers



Cookies Tor

Cookies Flash

Cookies Silverlight

DOM Storage





Pagefile.sys and Hiberfil.sys files

Use of software


Histories of visited websites, viewed videos, use of software, opened docs, etc


Recycle bin

Temp files

Log files

Invalid Prefetch entries

Indexing service

ThumbCaches, Thumbs.db

Residual traces of deleted files

Free space

File table (MFT or FAT)

INDEX attributes in MFT

USN Journal, etc

The developer provides a short video which illustrates the basic functions of PrivaZer. I highly recommend that you take the two and a half minutes to view the video. Click on the graphic below to go to the developer’s home page.

While there, I suggest that you scout around the page for additional information on this super application.


System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 – 32 bit & 64 bit (tested on Win 8 32 bit).

Download at: Developer’s site.

A complete User’s Guide is available here in PDF format. I highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity.

This application offers a straightforward interface, a ton of options, and it’s free – but, it should only be run by experienced users who have a good grasp of system operations.


Filed under 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Privacy, System Utilities Windows Repair 1.7.5 – A One Click Simple Free Repair Utility

imageWhile freeware maintenance applications are readily available for download (and, many of them are very capable), finding a good, solid, freeware system repair application, suitable for less technically inclined computer users, is always a challenge.

One of my favorites in this application genre is’s Windows Repair – a super all-in-one repair tool which has undergone 30 revisions since I last reviewed it. This small tool has plenty of functionality, including the ability to fix registry errors and file permissions – as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall, and more.

Windows Repair can even restore Windows original settings which have been changed by malware – a common occurrence.

Fast facts – Windows Repair can do the following:

Reset Registry Permissions
Reset File Permissions
Register System Files
Repair WMI
Repair Windows Firewall
Repair Internet Explorer
Repair MDAC & MS Jet
Repair Hosts File
Remove Policies Set By Infections
Repair Icons
Repair Winsock & DNS Cache
Remove Temp Files
Repair Proxy Settings
Unhide Non System Files
Repair Windows Updates
and more…

As the following screen captures show – Windows Repair is not only simply to operate but, it “holds the user’s hand” while working through the repair process.

Note: All screen shots can be expanded to the original size by clicking.


For those users dealing with a malware infected system, the application directs to a number of anti-malware freebies so that the repair process can begin on the right footing.

Previous users will note that both Avast and ComboFix (a specialty antimalware tool), have been added to Step One.


As the application points out in the following screen shot, there’s nothing to be gained by completing a repair sequence if there are errors in the file system.

While the system file check is optional, it makes good sense to run this tool.


Likewise, with the file version checking tool.


Prior to starting the repair process both a System Restore Point, and a Registry backup option, are available.

A quick piece of advice: Never allow an application to make system changes, without creating a System Restore Point first. It takes only a minute, or two.


The updated application dispenses with the old three level system of repairs. Instead, all repairs have been  combined into a single window – as illustrated in the following screen capture.


In the above screen capture, I’ve highlighted a single repair – Repair Winsock and DNS Cache. For the Geek crowd this is a simple repair.

The Geek way:

Go to “Run” in the Start menu (“Search” for “Run” if you can’t see it).

In the Run box, type CMD (doesn’t need to be capitalized).


At the command prompt, (not in the Run box), type – ipconfig/flushdns.


Hit “Enter”, and that’s it. The DNS cache has just been flushed.

Looks pretty simple – if you are a Geek. With Windows Repair, there’s no need to have all the esoteric system info that geek’s carry around in their heads – one click and the job is done.

Let’s take a quick look at repairing a problem I have on this machine – Windows Update is acting a little wonky.

I’ve selected the Repair Windows Update checkbox.


The following screen capture illustrates Windows Repair running the routine.


Time to complete the repair – 14 seconds – not including the required restart. How’s that for speed?


Here’s what regular readers have to say about this super application – based on a previous review.


September 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Excellent program. Just featured it twice in a week because it really saved us. I’m so use to re-registering files or doing fixes it is second nature. We just ran into a computer that the answer and suggestions on the web just didn’t work. The program re-registered over 1000 files and the pc was fixed. Ironically I had worked with it for two hours and remembered your review! SFC and every solution became fruitless.


September 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I just wanted to let you know that my brother talked to me about problems on his computer where registry entries were apparently messed up. He could not open any word documents at all because they were all garbled with numbers and letters.

I didn’t know exactly what to tell him how to fix it and then I remembered you posting this so I told him to download this and try it out. Sure enough after using the registry repair at his computer is back to normal….without a reformat.

I just figured you would like to know. It saved me some headaches

Thanks for posting this.

Using – Windows Repair by (Click on graphic to play video).


System requirements: Windows XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Win 7.

Download at: MajorGeeks

For those users who prefer to carry their utilities on a Flash drive – a portable version is available here.

Windows Repair makes it easy to repair common Windows problems and, its ease of operation should make it ideal for less experienced users.


Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Malware Removal, System Utilities

A Must Have Security Application – Secunia PSI 3.0 Final Release

imageI’ve long made it a practice to treat my Windows machines as if they have already been compromised. No, that’s not paranoia – that’s 30+ years of practical hands on computing experience.

If there’s one thing that experience has taught me it’s this – I don’t know what I don’t know. More particularly – I don’t know if any/some/all of the applications (including the operating system), I run on these machines have critical security vulnerabilities that I’m unaware of. And, yet to be discovered critical security vulnerabilities have been, and continue to be, a constant.

A recent example:

The Flame virus went undetected for two years by every online security firm.

Just today:

Chrome 20 fixes 20 security vulnerabilities

Winamp 5.63 fixes four critical security vulnerabilities

Old advice (beating a dead horse advice) –

“Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched, and up to date. Taking this simply step, reduces the likelihood that malware will become an issue a user will have to deal with – significantly. Cybercriminals use vulnerabilities in applications as entry points and gateways to compromise computers which can give access to confidential data such as passwords, online profiles, and bank details. Attacks exploiting vulnerable programs and plug-ins are often not blocked by traditional anti-virus applications.”

Sounds like good, practical advice – and it is. But as those of us involved in computer security know; this is advice that is not always followed. Some hold the view (including me), that it is rarely followed.

One particular application that I have reviewed and recommended a number of times – that assists users in keeping a system fully patched is – Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) – which constantly monitors a system for insecure software installations.

Secunia is justifiably proud of the fact that there are currently 5 Million users running this free protection application – but, from a personal perspective, I’m shocked at this low number. It should be 500 Million users! What is wrong with people that they fail to understand the advantages of ensuring that their system/applications are patched and up to date?

There’s less reason now, than ever, to disregard the critical advice offered above. Today, Secunia launched version 3 of its free Personal Software Inspector (PSI), with a host of new features.

PSI 3 with its dramatically simplified user interface and intuitive preferences, takes the burden out of updating and patching – and, most importantly, helps users safeguard their computer, and data, against cybercriminals.

The new version makes patching software more comprehensive, automatic, and easier than ever. How simple is that?

How simple is it? The following screen captures illustrate.

On program launch a simple click on “Please run a scan” gets things moving.


A full scan takes no more than a few minutes.


In this test, PSI picked up one application that needed updating. You might think that VLC (VideoLAN), would be relatively safe from being manipulated by cyber criminals. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

In July of last year VLC, when downloaded from other than the developer’s website, came bundled with malware. A reminder as to why it’s so important to download from the developer’s site, or a recognized download service.


PSI automatically, and in the background, downloaded (from the official site) and installed the most recent version of VLC – raising the machine’s score from 98% to 100%.


Fast facts:

Simple User Interface – Dramatically simplified user interface displays the key information that users need to know: scan results, the security status of installed software, and when these programs are up-to-date.

Automatic Patching – With the Secunia PSI 3.0, users receive automatic updates for all software supported by the application. Previously Secunia only provided automatic updates for vendors that made automatic updates available.

Localization – The Secunia PSI 3.0 can be installed in any one of five languages including French, Spanish, German, Danish and English.

Program Ignore Rules – Users have the ability to ignore updates to a particular program by creating ignore rules. This can, for example, be relevant if a user has an application that depends on an older version of another program or plug-in. Users may reverse this selection at any time. Users also have the ability to view the file location and version number of an installed program.

History – Reports about the updates installed and scans conducted can be accessed at any time through the history feature.

Share – A new share link allows users to post a link on Facebook or Twitter feeds, making it easy for friends to try out the Secunia PSI 3.0.

Settings – The settings menu allows users to select whether or not to install updates automatically, and which drives are to be scanned.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista SP 1 or later, XP – SP 3 (32 bit and 64 bit).

Available languages:


Download at: Secunia

Secunia PSI 3.0, by installing the latest security updates that a vendor of an application has released, offers a real solution which helps users avoid becoming a victim of a hacker exploiting vulnerabilities in installed software. Installing this free application should be a no-brainer.

For all the critical “yeah, but” experts who troll the Internet – it’s undoubtedly true that no security application is perfect. However, used properly, PSI 3 adds another layer of effective security.


Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Secunia, System Utilities

Trap Malware With Toolwiz TimeFreeze

Toolwiz CareBack in April, I reviewed and highly recommended, a suite of freeware utility applications – Toolwiz Care. Having tested the application extensively, at the end of the day, it was no great leap in logic to say –  “This application is feature packed, and includes a wide range of tools that an average computer user should find powerful, efficient, and effective.”

One of the components included in this super suite is Time Freeze (recently released by the developer’s as a stand alone application) – a “one click simple” virtual system which, when active, virtualizes the operating system. In other words, a copy of the operating system is generated, and it’s within this “copy” – or sandbox, if you like – that all activity takes place. Keep in mind – the operating system is virtualized, only when Time Freeze is active.

So, why bother running in a virtualized environment, you might wonder? The answer is pretty simple – in most circumstances, there’s no real benefit. In fact, running virtualized may create a slight time lag in system response. There are, of course, particular circumstances in which running a virtual machine offers major  advantages – but, those circumstances (since I’ve covered this aspect numerous times in the past), are outside the scope of this review.

Instead, I’ll focus on the security aspect of running in virtual mode with Time Freeze when connected to the Internet. And, there can be significant security benefits.

Let’s assume, for example, that while surfing the Internet you fall victim to a drive-by download (more common than you might realize), while visiting an infected web site. Running in “real” mode would mean that you now have a significant problem on your hands. You can, if you like, believe that your AV application will protect you from the consequences – but, don’t count on it.

The same scenario, while running in virtual mode, will have an entirely different outcome. Since, in virtual mode – it’s a copy of the operating system which is facing the Internet – all system and application changes are restricted to the virtual environment. In other words – it’s the copy which has been infected. Simply rebooting the system does away with the copy, and with it – the infection.

Toolwiz Time Freeze, of all the virtual solutions I’ve reviewed over the past few years, has to be the simplest. It’s easy to use, non intrusive, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user.

Installation was hassle free – it was just a matter of  following the on-screen instructions.

Since the application place a small toolbar (shown below), on the Desktop – launching the application is a snap.


A quick click on the toolbar and, a click on “Start TimeFreeze”…………



… and, you’re in business.



Backing out of the application is equally as easy. At which time, you will have the option of saving any changes made to the system – or not. Not saving changes will require a reboot.


Fast facts:

Start up system protection. Prevents malicious threats being made and doing harm to your computer. It puts the actual system under protection and creates a virtual environment for system partition.

Simply reboot to restore your system to the previous state.

Don’t reboot to accept all the changes. It will take several minutes to save the changes to your real system.

Folder Protection – Help you to prohibit the changing of files by others.

Helps you to prohibit accessing the protected folders by others.

Protects your files from being infected by viruses or stolen by trojans.

Very easy switch between virtual & real system.

To enter virtual system, no need to reboot computer. To return to real system, just exit System Protection.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8(32 bit and 64 bit)

Download at: Major Geeks

FAQ for Toolwiz Time Freeze

A word of caution: There are no perfect solutions – this application will not protect you against rootkits. Developing safe surfing habits remains your best protection against malware infection.

A further word of caution: Although I’ve had no difficult with this application, there have been reports of system crashes caused by Toolwiz Time Freeze. It’s always good practice to occasionally create a Restore Point – just in case.

This just in: Jim Hillier over at Daves Computer Tips reports the following:

Hey Bill –

I was using Time Freeze pretty regularly to test software for review purposes. I actually stopped using Time Freeze because of persistent issues. Occasionally, after the reboot process, a random service would be stopped. It was no big deal, just go into Services and re-start whichever service had been affected. Then finally, after a reboot, the OS would not load at all. I tried everything to get the OS to boot but no go. I can only assume that this time an essential system service had been stopped. I ended up having to restore a recent image.

So, you may be better off avoiding this application.


Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Virtualization

System Explorer and System Security Guard – A Review on which version of Windows Task Manager you use, you may find that it provides you with usable information – or not. Windows Task Manager is most commonly used to display information on all processes running on your computer, as well as advising you of the CPU and memory usage stats for a given process. Additional selective information on running applications, performance, local area connection and information on users, is also available.

But, back to running processes for a moment. What if you need additional information on a running process – or, processes? How, for example, would you determine which processes are safe if you rely on Windows Task Manager?

Running Windows Task Manager in Windows 8 (a major improvement over previous versions), as I’ve done for the following example, is not particularly useful since the only option is a raw online search. Which, in a real sense, is a hit and miss affair. Give it a try with your version of Windows Task Manager – you might be surprised to see just how cumbersome it is.


Instead, taking advantage of one of the built-in features in the freeware application, System Explorer, is a much more appropriate solution. In the following example, the selected process can easily be checked at VirusTotal, and at VirusScan, directly from within System Explorer.


It’s unlikely however, that you’ll have to take this extra step – since System Explorer has been designed to automatically rate, and provide details on processes that are listed in the developer’s extensive database.


Further information can be obtained by clicking on the “See More Details” link which will open the database reference at the developer’s site, as shown below.


System Explorer is not a one-trick pony since it has the capacity to provide detailed information on Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Add-ons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files. For this review I’ve focused on the security aspect and next up is System Explorer’s “Security Scan” which is easily launched from the GUI.


As you can see in the following screen capture – running processes are checked online against the developer’s extensive database.


The following screen capture shows a small portion of the 808 processes compared against the developer’s database.


Additional information on any specific process can easily be obtained by clicking on the “Details” link, as illustrated below.


One aspect of this application which I found intriguing is the “History” function. Running this function allows the user to view and develop information on currently running processes as well as those process running earlier but which are no longer running.


System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7.

Download at: System Explorer Net

Note: also available in a portable version that is just right for geeks on the go.

System Security Guard

System Security Guard, in a broad sense, is very much like the “Security Scan” built into System Explorer. System Security Guard however, as a stand alone small security utility, is designed to run at system startup and automatically scan running processes. As well, all new processes, as they are launched, are scanned.

The results of the initial run with System Security Guard shown below.


For this review I set the application to run at startup, and the following graphic represents the results following a week or so of automatic running. You’ll note that the application has identified 4 “Threat Files” – which, in reality, is the same file which has been flagged 4 times (each time the application was launched).


The application (CurrPorts), was flagged for good reason since it behaves in a way similar to that of a remote access Trojan. That is – it connects to the Internet in a peculiar way.


For illustrative purposes only, I ran the file against the developer’s database. However, since I use this application frequently throughout the day, I’m aware that this is a safe program.


System requirements: Windows XP, Vista and Win 7.

Download at: the developer’s site.

A big “Thank You” to regular reader Charlie L. for referring me to these applications.


Filed under downloads, Freeware, Malware Protection, System Utilities, Windows Task Manager Replacement

Free ToolWiz Care – The Competition Might Need To Worry

Toolwiz CareYou’ve heard it all before – this application “is a free tool set designed to speed up your PC and give your system full care”, or some variation of this. Occasionally, this statement might reasonably describe a freeware utility application – but, more often than not, hype is the operative word and user expectations are not met.

Toolwiz Care, described by the developers as “a free tool set designed to speed up your PC and give your system full care”, does not disappoint. This application is feature packed, and includes a wide range of tools that an average computer user should find powerful, efficient, and effective.

I’ve run with Toolwiz Care, off and on, for a month or so, and found that by and large, it lives up to the developer’s claims.

Installation is fast and very straightforward. The user may choose selected languages including –  English, Chinese, French, Hungarian, Korean, Polish, Spanish and Russian.


First up is a quick system checkup – the “Checkup Settings” menu will allow you to set preference parameters as shown below. Clicking on any of the following screen  captures will expand the shot to its original size.


On this run, 67 fixable issues were found. I’ll point out that since I normally run a tight lean test machine, I choose not to accept all of the recommended fixes.


Next up, I took a peek at the “Speedup” applet. Again, I’ll point out that this test machine has been tweaked to the max so, you’ll notice that many of the suggestions for improvement will be “skipped” – the application has already determined this. On a typical machine however, I think an average user will benefit.


The Tools menu is most impressive and, having run all of the available tools successfully, I have to give this feature set a huge “thumbs up”. Having quick access to such powerful tools, should be a major advantage for a typical user.


The App Manager provides access to the Uninstall feature (not shown), but what I found most intriguing was, the listing of suggested freeware software for the user’s consideration. As it turns out, virtually all of the suggested software has received high marks, in previous reviews, here on this site.


For those who like to run in a virtual environment while surfing the Internet, the developer’s have kept you in mind with the inclusion of a “one click simple” virtual “Time Freeze” component.


I’ll go offside just for a moment. You may have noticed that an “Eye Care” feature can be selected which is designed to remind those of us who spend much of the day starting at a Monitor, to take a short break. The following screen capture is an example of the 2/3 reminders launched, as I was writing this post.


Finally, if you choose to auto-start this application on Windows startup – the application will place a floating toolbar (see below), on the desktop for convenience.


Fast Facts:

Time Freeze – Keeps your system safe and protect your computer from unwanted changes.

Eyes Care – Protects your eyes with scheduled warning

Virtual Safe – Creates a virtual safe which works like a regular drive where you can store files. The files stored in it are encrypted and cannot be accessed without the right password.

Game Booster – Concentrates every system resource for gaming purpose. It temporarily shuts background processes and other unnecessary Windows services & cleans out the RAM.

Password Manager – Helps you create secure passwords that are extremely difficult to crack or guess. Also it can help you to manage your password, account and other private information.

Password Generator – Creates highly secure passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation symbols.

Duplicate File Finder – Allows you to scan all duplicate files in specified path. You can remove some of them and free up your disk space.

File Undelete – Ensures recovery of data permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin or with the help of SHIFT + DELETE key.

Disk Doctor – Helps you to check your hard disk both in I/O access and file system and give you a full report for the checking.

Disk Cleaner – Cleans your hard disk from temporary files like those in the system temporary folder and the Recycle Bin.

Registry Cleaner – Makes the PC system more stable by cleaning out the bad Registry entries.

Registry Backup and Restore – Helps you to backup or restore your Registry with a simple click

Registry Defrager – Rebuilds PC’s Registry, making the entire system run quicker and smoother.

Privacy Cleaner – Protects the user’s privacy by deleting all activity history and surfing traces.

Fast Defrag – Defragments the hard drive with it’s smart engine, keep the PC running efficiently and prevent the formation of other fragmented files.

Checkup Module – Provides a full report of user’s PC system and allows the user to fix all problems with one simple click.

Startup Report – Provides a easy to read report that shows the start-up time of user’s system. It offers a detailed list of the processes loaded since booting.

Startup Optimizer – Allows the user to disable or delay the loading of any startup entries. It also provides the users with suggestions of standard processes.

System requirements: Windows XP (32 bit), Vista, Win 7, Win 8 (32 bit and 64 bit). I tested this application on Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Languages: English, Chinese, French, Hungarian, Korean, Polish, Spanish and Russian languages.

Download at: ToolWiz Care

Credit where credit is due – a big “thank you” to my good buddy Rick Robinette over at What’s On My PC, for turning me on to this application.


Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Freeware, Software, System Utilities

NoSleepHD Keeps Your External HD Spinning

imageWe all have those “damn, that drives me crazy” moments with computing, I expect. My particular “damn, that drives me crazy” moment, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out is, waiting for the auxiliary Hard Drives (non-OS drives) on my system, to spin up.

Most Hard Drives feature a firmware auto spin down function, independent of the OS, that shuts down the drive after 10 minutes, or so, of inactivity. A primary Hard Drive, of course, can be controlled by adjusting power options in the OS’s advanced power settings menu. But, not auxiliary Hard Drives.

So, dealing with a repetitive non-responsive time lag of 3/5 seconds while my D, or E drive spins up – short though it may be – is annoying. Particularly, since I need to save my work periodically to drive D, or drive E – and, it’s generally outside the 10 minute spin down window.

I found a small (22 KB) free (open source) application, NoSleepHD, which I hoped might solve this annoyance. Despite the fact, that this small application is designed specifically to keep external Hard Drives from entering sleep mode, I gave it a try. Alas, it was a “no go”. So, I’m on the hunt for a freebie application which will solve the “damn, that drives me crazy” daily refrain.

Still, NoSleepHD is a simple, but nonetheless impressive little application, that writes a blank text file every few minutes (selectable 1 to 15) to an external Hard Drive (which effectively prevents the drive from entering sleep mode), which might come in handy for those who run with external Hard Drives.

Here’s a quick overview:

A simple GUI.


Click ‘Info’ tab to view drive information.

Monitor multiple drives by selecting, more drives in ‘Configuration’ tab. (Up to 5 External Hard Drives).

Hard drive monitoring can be stopped if necessary. (Which would allow the drive to go to auto-sleep).

Application can sit in the System Tray or simply minimized.

Auto-run at start-up can also be enabled.

System requirements: All versions of Windows.

Download at: Softpedia


Filed under downloads, Freeware, Open Source, Software, System Utilities

AnVir Task Manager – Free License At Raymond.CC Blog – Save $29.95

imageDelenn13 is a super contributor to the Tech Thoughts community. Not only does she provide good solid practical advice in her comments, but she’s very gracious and doesn’t hesitate to pass on details of super freebie offers she finds.

Here’s Delenn13’s latest free find – and, it’s a very good one. Rather than crafting a post on this I’ll simply run with Delenn13’s comment.

This is a deal you can’t refuse.

AnVir Task Manager is being given away for 7 days at Raymond.CC Blog. This is not the pro but it’s not the free one either. It’s the middle 29.95 version.

AnVir Task Manager provides full set of Windows enhancements that help in every-day work.”


Security & Performance:

Full information about processes, services, Internet connections, drivers, DLLs
the best replacement for Windows Task Manager
Descriptions for 70 000+ startup programs, Internet Explorer toolbars and services
know what is running on your PC and remove what you don’t need
Security analysis of programs behaviour detects Trojans and Spyware, alerts on new startups
keep your computer free from malicious programs
Speed up boot time (Delayed Startup), balance CPU usage, optimize memory
your computer can run faster

Windows enhancements:

Monitor CPU, memory, HDD temperature and load, network, notebook battery and show icons in system tray how is utilized your hardware
Click on title of any application to hide the window to tray, make it transparent, set it ‘always on top’
List of recently used folders in “Open”/”Save” dialogs
Last launched programs and folders in tray menu
XP or Vista can be much more handy

He is giving away the middle version that is in the chart..Compare Editions >> Task Manager Programs, Windows Startup Manager | Windows, St – but you can also get a 30% discount on the Pro, if interested. The info is at the end of the article.

When you go to install, Use the CUSTOM INSTALLATION or you will end up with lots of extra stuff. Somewhere in the middle of the installion, even, it will ask if you want to install the Babylon Toolbar….So be careful.

I have used this before. You will love all the things you can view and do with this program. Also, it would be nice if you left a comment or a note of thanks to Raymond and AnVir.

Thanks Delenn13!!


Filed under Free Full Versions, Giveaways, System Utilities

Comodo Cleaning Essentials – An Aggressive On-Demand Malware Scanner

imageThis past week, Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine’s lead analyst for security, in his article – The Best Free Antivirus for 2012 – included Comodo Cleaning Essentials.  Earlier this year, I took this freebie application for a test run and wrote up my impressions. Curiously, this post had both Twitter and Facebook referrals but, limited response from regular readers.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials is a tough application when used in the fight against malware, and in the event you missed this post, I’ve republished it here.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials

Comodo’s recently released portable Comodo Cleaning Essentials (freeware), is an interesting breed of applications within applications – an aggressive on-demand malware scanner (the core application), combined with several system tools – a variation of Windows Task Manager (Killswitch), and an Autorun Analyzer.

Users who are familiar with Sysinternals Process Explorer will have little difficulty getting down to work with Comodo’s Autorun Analyzer. Or, for that matter, Killswitch – an impressive Windows Task Manager replacement.

For now, I’ll focus on the on-demand malware scanner. All graphics in the following review can be expanded to their original size.

Simple, straightforward, and easy to understand GUIs are the standard – and, Comodo Cleaning Essentials meets that standard.


For my initial test run, I did not hold back in terms of the volume of information the application had to deal with – as illustrated in the following graphic. I should add – I set the selectable heuristics at “low level”. Users may choose to bump up  this setting.



Updating of the database is an automatic process, as illustrated.


Following application launch, my first reaction was – Get It Done! Thirty six minutes in, and memory scanning had not yet been completed. SLOW!


Three hours plus. Yawn – I’M WAITING!!!!!!!!


Waiting still – at the four hour plus mark. At this point I exited the application (2 Million objects scanned), since drive E: is malware free. As well, the 49 threats found by the scanner were all false positives – not a bad thing necessarily. More on this to follow.


Comodo Cleaning Essentials is no slouch at eating up the clock cycles – as illustrated in the following screen shot.


I jumped ahead here a little bit here, and ran a comparable scan with Microsoft Security Essentials which, as you can see in the following graphic, is not a system resource hog.


MSE test run – using the same test parameters.


The MSE scan completed in just under three hours. Keep in mind however – MSE is not portable, and is designed to act as a first line of defense against malware penetration.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials on the other hand, has been crafted as a “real world – everything is messed up” solution. Especially valuable in circumstances where malware has blocked access to onboard AVs.


The false positive issue.

No doubt, warnings and cautions generated by antimalware scanners, can often be a major frustration – time consuming and just a pain in the butt. On the other hand, scanning a HD which has been overrun by malware, demands the use of an aggressive tool – and, Comodo Cleaning Essentials certainly qualifies as “aggressive”. Simply put – you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Autorun Analyzer:

As mentioned earlier, this component is a Process Explorer takeoff – with a number of worthwhile additional features.

The following screen capture (showing all entries), indicates 3 possible unsafe entries which, on investigation proved to be benign. Still, better safe than sorry. So, I take no issue with warnings which prove to be a “false alarm”. I’m all in favor of a “give me the bad news philosophy” – I’ll determine the relevancy of the information provided.



As a Windows Task Manager Replacement, KillSwitch has it in spades. The following screen shots illustrate just a few of the enhancements.


Over the years, I’ve happily been able to convince more than a few readers to occasionally spot check their network connections, using stand alone applications such as CurrPorts.  KillSwitch includes this capability – a very good move in my estimation.


Finally (at least for this report), KillSwitch includes a “Quick Repair” tool which, in the right circumstance, could be invaluable. Sorry, for this review I couldn’t find any items on this test platform to repair.   Smile


Fast facts: 

Classifies the threat level of all objects and processes currently loaded into memory and highlights those that are not trusted

Allows the admin to terminate, delete or suspend every untrusted item with a single click.

On-demand malware scanner quickly finds viruses, rootkits and hidden services

Extremely efficient malware removal routines thoroughly disinfect virus stricken endpoints

Detailed statistics and graphs allow admins to analyze and fine tune system activity to almost infinite levels of detail

Leverages Comodo’s huge whitelist database to accurately identify the trust status of every running process with minimal false positives

Integration with Comodo cloud scanning technology delivers instant behavioral analysis of unknown processes

Powerful system tools provide control over even the most obscure system settings

Simple interface for admins to manage trusted vendors list

Comprehensive event logs provide detailed overview of system activity on endpoint machines

Quick repair feature allows fast restoration of important Windows settings

Can replace the standard Windows Task Manager if required

Another indispensable addition to admin’s security toolkit to complement software such as Comodo Internet Security

Lightweight – requires no installation and can be run right from a USB stick

System Requirements: Windows 7 – 32 and 64 bit, Windows Vista – 32 and 64 bit, Windows XP – 32 and 64 bit

Download at: Comodo

I’m not suggesting that Comodo Cleaning Essentials is the perfect tool (if you find such a tool, please let me know   Smile  ), but, if you’re on the hunt for a lightweight, standalone security application – that doesn’t require installation – Comodo Cleaning Essentials deserves a close look.

A caveat: This application is not designed to be used by anyone other than highly knowledgeable, and well experienced users.


Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Comodo, downloads, Freeware, Malware Removal, System Utilities, Windows Task Manager Replacement