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    Windows Secrets' ultimate utilities list 2015




    BEST UTILITIES

    Windows Secrets' ultimate utilities list 2015


    By Tracey Capen

    Simple, cheap/free utilities are arguably the most important software we install on our PCs. If fact, when Windows users set up a new system, they often start by installing their favorite collection of helper apps. Windows Secrets contributors regularly recommend useful utilities in their columns. Here's our occasionally published list of essential and interesting apps. Feel free to pass the list along to friends, family, and coworkers who live with Windows.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-utilities/windows-secrets-ultimate-utilities-list-2015 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Symantec removed What's my computer doing when I tried to download that program today. I know that virus scanners can sometimes be "overly-ambitious" but you might want to download the same program and see whether other virus scanners mark it as suspect.

    Gary Cahn

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garycahn View Post
    Symantec removed What's my computer doing when I tried to download that program today. I know that virus scanners can sometimes be "overly-ambitious" but you might want to download the same program and see whether other virus scanners mark it as suspect.
    Gary, the software is safe (homepage and direct download link) and useful.

    Symantec have something of a reputation for blocking utilities and other useful products, especially those that might show their own products up. My advice - remove it from Symantec's quarantine and report it to them as a false positive but you may need to dig deep to find out how to allow it to work with Symantec (Norton) active.

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    The newsletter links for EaseUs and Paragon are reversed in the list. At first I thought it was me clicking the wrong link.

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    Thank you for the list of top utilities however I don't believe MetaGeek inSSIDer is free anymore. They've been charging $20 for several months if not since year ago. I liked it back when it was free but not really interested at that price for something I use only when setting up a new router...not even once a year.

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    A few more

    I have tried several password managers on my Windows 8.1 laptop. None is perfect but I would recommend Sticky Password as the best. Also, File Renamer from Sherrod is invaluable with its very flexible file-renaming options. Finally a question: I used to have a simple drag and drop file encryption utility for Windows 7 but I cannot remember what is was called. Any ideas please?

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    There were two typos in this article. "Changes to the ultimate utilites list" and "they no longer rise to the "indispensible" level.". Tracey, if you read these comments please run spelll check before you plublish.

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    Conceptworld Notezilla

    I never see Notezilla by Conceptworld mentioned anywhere, but it is excellent and affordable. Wondered if you had ever tried it? I have tried OneNote and found it unwieldy. The actual note part of it is wonderful, but I find the organizational part of it useless. I want to be able to keep a database of notes, organized in a nesting type folder arrangement, but OneNote is not equal to the task. Notezilla is excellent, not only at keeping "sticky notes" on the Desktop, but also excellent at this organizational database of notes. I keep entire documents in a note. It's much more than a sticky note utility. If you have never tried it before, I suggest you look into it.

  9. #9
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    A great free windows repair tool is tweaking.com windows repair. I repair PC's and this is the best tool in my box. For times when one cannot boot up I use lazesoft recovery suite.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Jerry Rhino For This Useful Post:

    Harvey Houghton (2015-12-18)

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    It appears that Skype (free/paid; Web-based communications) & GWX Control Panel (free; blocks the Win10 upgrade on Win7 and Win8 systems) share the same link. So I can go to Skype but not to the GWX Control Panel... a new link would be nice...
    A former Soggy Sysop from Seattle!
    If it isn't broken by now, give me 5 more minutes!

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justgeo1 View Post
    It appears that Skype (free/paid; Web-based communications) & GWX Control Panel (free; blocks the Win10 upgrade on Win7 and Win8 systems) share the same link. So I can go to Skype but not to the GWX Control Panel... a new link would be nice...
    How about to the Home page, download link on the right side, below the donate icons?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notmyrealname View Post
    I would recommend Sticky Password as the best
    The security of SP is less than I would like, it only uses several thousand iterations of the password to generate the encryption key - I currently use over 5 million iterations at a cost of a few seconds additional opening time on slow devices.

    Using your database on an additional device appears to require authentication of that device via the SP web site. Not a place I want to be if I'm trying to recover my database after a disaster.

    cheers, Paul

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    Just a note that the Avanquest Power Desk Pro utility does NOT work win Win 10. This has been confirmed by Avanquest and, apparently, they have no plans to update and make it compatible. I have long used this excellent file manager/utility and it was with enormous disappointment that I finally uninstalled the program. I have read that only the old Version 7 will work with Win 10, but I have not tried it.

    Regards,

    Harvey

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    Quote Originally Posted by sigrossman View Post
    There were two typos in this article. "Changes to the ultimate utilites list" and "they no longer rise to the "indispensible" level.". Tracey, if you read these comments please run spelll check before you plublish.
    The whole article seems to have been "knocked out" in a hurry.
    The result is pretty superficial in my opinion. For example, the comment about Last Pass gives no justification for the opinion ..."Feel free to continue using it", Edge pdf reader does not replace Foxit, Adobe or similar and under "Hard Drive", Macrium Reflect, Aomei Backupper etc, did not even get a mention, despite Imaging being one of the most discussed issues in this Forum.
    Last edited by Trev; 2015-12-18 at 15:25.

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    3 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
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    I abandoned Avanquest Power Desk Pro several years ago because it took too long to sort and display folders with many files (think C:\Windows\System32).

    I am now using Free Commander XE. It has everything Power Desk had and much more; and it is free.

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    wu_saline (2016-01-22)

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