Tag: CCleaner

Top free tools for every Windows desktop

  • 1.   7-Zip:Every desktop user needs 7-Zip. While Windows 8 (finally!) added the ability to look into ISO files — you still need 7-Zip to see them in Win7 — Win8’s Windows Explorer still doesn’t support RAR compressed files, which are becoming more common as Mac use continues to rise. 7-Zip also creates password-protected Zip files, as well as self-extracting Zips.

     You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. To download go to 7-zip.org

   2.  CCleaner:

CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your       computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download.

It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully               featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run)

 Cleans the following:

 Internet Explorer
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat files.

 Firefox
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history, form history.

 Google Chrome
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history, form history.

  Opera
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history.

Safari

 Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, form history.

Other Supported Browsers
K-Meleon, Rockmelt, Flock, Google Chrome Canary, Chromium, SeaMonkey, Chrome Plus, SRWare Iron, Pale Moon, Phoenix, Netscape Navigator, Avant and Maxthon.

 Windows
Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files, Log files, Clipboard, DNS Cache, Error Reporting, Memory Dumps, Jump Lists.

  Registry Cleaner
Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more…

Third-party applications

Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google                 Toolbar, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more…

   3.    Auslogics Duplicate File Finder:

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a basic program that allows users to find and delete duplicate files taking                             up valuable space on their hard drives.

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is free. It installs and uninstalls without issues. I recommend this program to all                  users; even those with limited system maintenance experience will find it easy to use.

Auslogic

 4. VLC Media Player:

Simple, fast and powerful media player.

Plays everything: Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams.

Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed:

MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3…

Runs on all platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix…

Completely Free, no spyware, no ads and no user tracking.

Can do media conversion and streaming. Download VLC player VLC

 5. Revo Uninstaller:  

         well and truly uninstalls programs, and it does so in an unexpected way. When you use Revo, it runs the program’s           uninstaller and watches while the Uninstaller works, looking for the location of the program files and for Registry               keys that the uninstaller zaps. It then goes in and removes leftover pieces, based on the locations and keys that the           program’s Uninstaller took out. Revo also consults its own internal database for commonly-left-behind bits, and                 roots those out as well. To download go to Revo Uninstaller

 6. Recuva:

Recuva recovers files deleted from your Windows computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera card, or MP3                                      player. Recuva works on any re-writable media you have.

reuva_logo

If you listen to music on an iPod, Recuva can recover files directly from the iPod’s drive. Even though you can’t                  access files on your iPod directly, Recuva can. You don’t have to worry about losing music from iTunes or your iPod        anymore. To download go to Recuva

  7.  Kaspersky TDSSKiller:

The name may lead you to believe that TDSSKiller kills the TDSS rootkit, but the product does much more simply               because so many common rootkits are based on, or derived from, TDSS. The current version detects and removes             SST, Pihar, ZeroAccess, Sinowal, Whistler, Phanta, Trup, Stoned, RLoader, Cmoser, and Cidox. Unlike most rootkit             killers, this one runs in Windows.

kaspersky

To run the program, fill out the form on the TDSSKiller page, wait for Kaspersky to send you a download link.                       Download the program and run it — no installer, just an EXE. If any rootkits are found, you’ll be given the                               opportunity to Delete/Cure, Copy to quarantine, or Skip each identified interloper.

To download go to Kaspersky TDSSKiller

  8. YTD Video Downloader: 

YTD Video Downloader is a great solution to grab the media you need, straight from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and       60+ other websites. YTD allows you to manage downloads and conversions on the fly.

YTD Video Downloader

      KEY  FEATURES  INCLUDE

  • Video Conversion: With YTD you can convert video media to 9 different formats including WMV, AVI and MP3.
  • Conversion Quality: YTD allows you to convert video files in 5 different qualities.
  • Audio Only: With YTD you can grab a video file and then covert the file to audio-only in an MP3 format.

To download go to YTD Video Downloader

9.  Secunia PSI: 

The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free computer security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in            non-Microsoft (third-party) programs which can leave your PC open to attacks.

Simply put, it scans software on your system and identifies programs in need of security updates to safeguard your     PC against cybercriminals. It then supplies your computer with the necessary software security updates to keep it       safe. The Secunia PSI even automates the updates for your insecure programs, making it a lot easier for you to  maintain a secure PC.

Using a scanner like Secunia PSI 3.0 is complementary to antivirus software, and as a free computer security program, is essential for every home computer.

10. Malwarebytes: 

Malwarebytes is different. The free version is designed to run manually — I run mine once a week. Malwarebytes       picks up all sorts of creepy crawlies that get past AV programs. When combined with the support on the                                   Malwarebytes forum, Malwarebytes is the ultimate fallback for infected systems — whether you know they’re infected       or not. To download go to Malwarebytes.

malwarebytes

Source:  itworld

How to permanently delete files from your computer

How to permanently delete files from your computer:

Windows XP will end its 12-year successful run on April 8th and Microsoft wants the considerable number of users to shift over to more modern versions of its operating system. For full details regarding Windows XP support cycle,  please check my earlier blog article: It’s time to upgrade: Windows XP:

When you  delete any  file or folder  from your computer, it moves to the Windows Recycle Bin. This is easily  recoverable. If  you empty the Recycle Bin, the data still remain on your hard disk? In many cases, deleted files can be recovered with little effort because most computer operating systems will only delete links to the data so they no longer appear to you, but the actual data remains on the disk. Getting access to the deleted data is as simple as restoring the links.

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When you delete files or folders, the data are not initially removed from the hard disk. Instead, the space on the disk that was occupied by the deleted data is “deallocated.” After it is deallocated, the space is available for use when new data is written to the disk. Until the space is overwritten, it is possible to recover the deleted data by using a low-level disk editor or data-recovery software.

SDelete:

To permanently erase files and prevent your confidential files from getting into the wrong hands, Microsoft offers a free command line utility – SDelete (Secure Delete) – that overwrites all the free space to prevent data recovery.
You can use SDelete both to securely delete existing files (replacement of delete), as well as to securely erase any file data that exists in the unallocated portions of a disk (including files that you have already deleted or encrypted).

032914_1155_Howtoperman2.png    SDelete implements the Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DOD 5220.22-M, to give you confidence that once deleted with SDelete, your file data is gone forever. 

Step-by-Step: Using SDelete:

Download the Microsoft command-line tool SDelete. Here’s how to use this tool.

1. Click StartRun > ... , type cmd and press OK or Enter (Return). (Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can just click Start and type cmd in the Windows Search box.)
2. Navigate to where you have SDelete downloaded. For example, if it’s located at C:\cmdtools, type cd C:\cmdtools, and press Enter.
3. Now type sdelete <path to file or directory>, and press Enter, where <path to file or directory> is a standard Windows path. For example, to delete C:\mysecuredata.txt, you would type sdelete c:\mysecuredata.txt, and press Enter.
4. Once they’re deleted, you will receive confirmation that your files or folders have been permanently deleted, and you’re done!

032914_1155_Howtoperman3.jpg

CCleaner:

If you are already using CCleaner, you should know that it contains a Drive Wiper.

 Open CCleaner and go to Tools > Drive Wiper. You can wipe only free space or the entire drive, and you can choose up to 35 passes, meaning data will be overwritten with random strings of binary code 35 times. This very complex overwrite should make it impossible for anyone to restore the data originally saved in this space. When you’re happy with your settings, click >  Wipe and wait patiently.

032914_1155_Howtoperman4.png

Eraser:

 Eraser is a freeware and open source security tool to completely remove data from your hard drive. It can overwrite data several times using randomized patterns of binary code. It essentially is a file shredder.

Eraser is more convenient than CCleaner’s Drive Wiper because it can delete and shred single files, rather than just wiping all free space on a drive, and it is integrated with Windows Explorer (right-click menu). Moreover, Eraser provides you with a host of advanced settings, for example, different file and space erasure methods, the option to replace erased files with other files to allow plausible ‘deniability’, and schedule erasure of files, folders, recycle bin, or unused disk space.

 032914_1155_Howtoperman5.jpg

Whenever you want to securely erase your data, follow these steps.

  1.  Navigate to the files or folders that you want to securely erase.
  2.  Right-click on the files and/or folders and an Eraser menu will appear.
  3.  Highlight and click Erase in the Eraser menu.

Active@Kill Disk – Hard Drive Eraser:

 Active@ Kill Disk – Hard Drive Eraser is a free utility for securely erasing a hard drive. More importantly, this utility adheres to the United States Department of Defense standards (DoD 5220.22M) for hard disk data removal.

Active@killdisk

DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke):

 DBAN, as it is shortened, is a nice little application that lets you completely erase your data.

Download the ISO for your system and burn it to a disk.  Next, pop the disk into your hard drive and boot from it.  This may require you to press F12 at the BIOS screen (the first screen you see when your computer boots up) and choose to boot from your CD/DVD drive.  

Press Enter to run DBAN in interactive mode.

1. Use up and down arrow keys to highlight the drive to wipe.
2. Press the space bar to select the drive.
3. Press M to select the wiping method.
4. Press F10 to begin the wipe process.

Note: if DBAN is unable to recognize your SATA hard disks, configure your system BIOS to use IDE mode rather than AHCI mode.

 Now that you have the right tools for the job, you can feel confident in knowing that your data has actually been removed from your hard disk and will no longer be recovered by anyone (not even by you).

Happy computing!! 🙂

Source: labnol, makeuseof, mini tool-drive wipe, Gizmodo, PC world,

Tips for speeding up a slow PC

Tips for speeding up a slow PC:

Over the time, the speed of computers can decrease. This appears as the system taking more time to respond to a user’s actions like opening files, folders, surfing the Internet and other tasks. Here are a few steps which are helpful to make your machine (especially Windows machines) run faster.

Clean up the Desktop: 

Each time Windows starts; operating memory is used to open your profile. The total amount of memory used will be small. If however, there are several or dozens of files on the Desktop lot of operating memory is used by these files, essentially for no purpose or gain. With less memory available, the computer runs slower because it has to swap out information from operating memory to the hard drive. It does this process (called memory paging) to keep everything the user wants to do running at the same time.

The simple action of cleaning the Desktop will make your computer run faster.

Clean up the disk and registry:

One of the first things to check on a machine that’s running slowly is how much of the hard disk has been used. If there isn’t roughly 10% of the hard disk free, it’s time to clean the HDD. One of the tools I like is CCleaner. It quickly clears out all temp files for you. 

Remove Spyware/Malware:

One of the most common causes of the “my PC used to be fast, and now it isn’t!” complaint is actually the presence of malware. Malware can sneak onto a computer in a zillion different ways and quite often it sits in the background slowing your machine as it sends out spam emails, searches for other computers to infect, works on cracking cryptography, or performs any number of the other nefarious tasks that hackers like to use their botnet slaves for.

Try a different browser:

Different browsers perform differently, and most people spend a lot of time on their Web browser. Some browsers perform well on some but poorly on others, even when they are supposed to test the same thing. The problem with the benchmarks is that what they usually test is not real work performance! While JavaScript is an important part of the modern Web, few Web applications beat on the JavaScript engine hard enough to produce a noticeable impact on performance. If you want to have your Web browser feel more responsive and lively, consider a switch to Chrome.

Add a faster DNS lookup Server:

Most ISPs love to brag about how much bandwidth they are giving you. But they don’t mind letting the rest of their infrastructure slowly get overwhelmed or deteriorate. Among the biggest offenders are the DNS servers our ISPs use. If you want to know why things seem to take forever to start loading, slow DNS servers are often the cause. Consider adding a fast DNS server as your primary DNS server in your TCP/IP settings. Google’s Public DNS server is a great option.

Defragmentation:

Defragmentation is the process of physically organizing the contents of the mass storage device used to store files in to the smallest number of contiguous regions.

Visualization of fragmentation and then of defragmentation

Defragmentation places all parts of a file together in the same place on the drive. It organizes all directories and files according to how you use your computer. After this process is complete, your computer will most likely run faster.

Following precautions should be taken before doing defragmentation:

 Make sure your data is backed up to another medium like pen drive, DVD or external HDD.

 Close all the running programs including virus scanner.

 Assure your computer has a constant source of power.  If you have frequent power outages, you should not use a defragmentation program without a battery backup. Note: If your computer does shut off while defragmenting, it may crash the hard drive or corrupt the operating system, or both.

Steps for Defragmentation:    
  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
  4. Click Defragment.

Improve Your Hardware:

If your computer is slow, it may be because your hardware isn’t getting the job done. How will you find that out? By using the Windows Experience Index, found in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This will show you where your computer is weak, and what you would need to beef up to turn your PC into a screamer.

Go to Start –> Control Panel — > System and Security –> under System click on Check the Windows Experience Index

Use ReadyBoost:

You can speed up the computer with a flash drive. Through the magic of a Windows technology called ReadyBoost, your PC can see a real speed increase. It’s a little-known Windows secret that can help you zip on down the Information Superhighway, or make whatever you’re doing faster.

Note:  ReadyBoost is available in Windows Vista, and Windows 7 Operating Systems.

source: about.com, Wikipedia, Techrepublic,