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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 14:33   #1
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Tech support: The must-have software thread

Right, this is a thread to help everyone posting in the Tech Support forum, particularily for the people with system problems.

Before posting a thread up, it's worth having a run through all your drives with a decent AntiVirus program. AVG is a good one, as is Avast, as well as a search through any manufacturer-related knowledge base/support pages for info on your problem.


If your problem is hardware-based, there are lots of good programs out there to help you.

For the big, all-in-one, solution (and a mainstay of many a tech support person's kit,) try UBCD. It's full of really useful apps for helping to diagnose many different problems, and includes HDD diagnostic tools for most brands, as well as stress testing programs.

Another useful app is memtest. UBCD (usually) has several different versions of this to test. If you're having strange hardware problems, then memtest should be your first port of call.

I'm open to suggestions and additions for this thread, but please make sure the program has a free version available.
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Old 16th Sep 2008, 00:17   #2
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Apart from anti-virus, check your system with a malware program; Adaware 2008 Free and Spybot-S&D are good.

Startup Manager will show and control what programs are running in the background, not all may be desirable.

Speedfan will give the temperatures of CPU, hard drives, graphics card, and a few other things that may be causing problems. Don't worry about the voltage readings it gives, for voltage diagnostics an accurate meter is a must.

HWinfo32 is another free system information utility, if you don't know just what's inside your shop-bought PC this might tell you.
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Old 17th Sep 2008, 16:34   #3
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Cpu-z and Gpu-z are also really useful information gatherers if you don't know what you've got.

For those of you with laptops out there, Notebook Hardware Control is a brilliant program, with allsorts of useful info and tools.
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Old 30th Oct 2008, 03:10   #4
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Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (http://www.malwarebytes.org/) is the best program of it's kind I've ever seen. It's fast to scan and will usually get everything.
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Old 29th Dec 2008, 21:34   #5
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DH Mobility Modder - for those of us with notebook GPUs that go officially unsupported by ATI, this will modify the installation files of standard Catalyst downloads to bypass the restrictions that used to keep us from using anything but OEM-approved drivers (which get updated, what, twice a year if we're lucky?).

Comodo Internet Security - By far the best combination of power, versatility, and resource-light I've ever seen in a firewall, let alone a full security suite.

K-Lite Codec Pack - Okay, so it's not a program per se, but it's still the most useful media download I've ever encountered. It's a huge step up from having to deal with a second media player (VLC) whenever you have a codec problem. Everything is included, multithreaded support is great, and it's being constantly updated, added on, and generally kept fresh.

Unlocker - Wait - you mean I no longer have to completely exit a process to mess with a file it thinks it's using? Holy crap. Just... holy crap. Why this isn't built into Windows is beyond me.

nLite and vLite - Mess with the Windows installation files before you burn it to disc (XP and Vista, respectively). Want SATA drivers integrated into XP for a fresh install on a SATA drive? Done. Want to take out components you'll never use to lighten Vista's installation footprint? Simple. Want to fill in the crap it would normally ask you on prompts - CD key, date/time/timezone, workgroup/domain, etc. - so you can really leave it unattended? There's a whole page just for that.


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Old 9th Jan 2009, 16:52   #6
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Quote:
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{Software}
May be useful programs, but this thread is for tools & diagnostics to aid trouble-shooting.
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Old 9th Jan 2009, 17:23   #7
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Fair enough. Programs not applicable to system diagnostics or software irregularities have been removed.

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Old 27th Apr 2009, 15:13   #8
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ILL just run off the list of tiny programs Ive put in a folder ive named "rough diamonds"

this is all the free/shareware stuff thats WORTH having and not too shabby either! no links unfortunately but ill put the executable name so you can google them ...

cdbxp_setup_4.2.3.1110 (3.1MB) "CD BURNER XP" - fantastic DVD/CD burner program thats free and as good as anything ive used from NERO

Haihaisoft-Universal-Player-EN (24.4MB) "Haihaisoft Universal Player" - Simply the best freebie Ive found so far- plays everything including Realplayer files .MOV files VOB files etc etc the thing really is universal! I actually use it more than a hugely expensive PowerDVD ultra I have!! I only use PowerDVD U for HD-DVD now.

Paint.NET.3.36 (1.5MB) "Paint.net" - absolutely brilliant yet again. Not quite photoshop CS but damn close and a damned site less costly!! yes its free Good for all your photo/editing needs this one and open source i think so more to come in terms of filters and addons

ahh got to go unfortunately so ill run off the rest of them in the list later , but these few should be usefull for now
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 09:42   #9
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I work at a pc repair shop, and UBCD & Hiren's boot disc are our #1 must have discs.
I also use speedfan more frequently on laptops lately as well.
I do realize this is a software & utility thread, but loose connectors and dirty/clogged heatsinks are an easy/quick thing to check.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 09:50   #10
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ProcExp - this is THE most useful, free troubleshooting tool I've ever found.

Its a vastly more powerful replacement for Windows Task Manager, allowing you to see individual file and DLL handles in use by a given process, processes sorted by tree, I/O utilisation (so your hard drive is thrashing and you aren't sure what - this will tell you).

The first thing I do when I'm told someone's PC is running slow is bang this on and see what's misbehaving
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Old 25th Aug 2009, 21:53   #11
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Furmark: Stresses GPUs, doesn't work on SLi

Prime95: Stresses CPU and RAM

LinPack/Intel Burn Test: Stresses CPU and RAM

AMD Overdrive: Gives more control over and information about AMD systems than most BIOSes

RealTemp: Most accurate temperature monitoring software for Intel Core CPUs
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 16:17   #12
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LinPack/Intel Burn Test: Stresses CPU and RAM
I prefer Linpack/LinX over IBT because LinX is a GUI opposed to the CLI IBT.

Oh, and Linpack BURNS your CPU!
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 13:54   #13
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http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download the ISO, burn to disc and boot from it. It'll allow you to stress test most components, as well as other testing utilities and bits
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Old 12th Dec 2009, 23:49   #14
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Tech support The must have software thread

When I worked on the tech bugs, I found out many problems with tech_leakage. The conclusion was that should have been removed. But since I left, nobody took care this problems.
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Old 5th Feb 2010, 14:58   #15
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Cpuid hardware monitor
Core temp

Both free and always on my desktop.

Also don`t forget the integrated command prompt , where you can use the likes of chkdsk <--check disk and also fix problems , there is also a multitude of cmds to type in there.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 20:56   #16
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http://www.ubuntu.com/
Make a live CD or USB.
Useful if you want to make sure its not a hardware problem (well if your currently running Windows).

Also allows you to access you files and use computer as normal until you have time to fix the cause.

Also very good to delete adware, sometimes they run when windows starts, and some programs can not delete them.

HiJackThis - generates an in depth report of registry and file settings from your computer

CCleaner - Cleans your pc from junk (temp files, etc)
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Old 10th Jun 2010, 07:46   #17
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i would strongly recommend CCleaner . keeps your systems junk and waste out of your way.
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Old 5th Aug 2010, 12:45   #18
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Sorry if someone already posted this, but as a techie in the IT industry, I find that I use the latest Hirens more than any other tools.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 21:44   #19
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 19:46   #20
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Very useful, but I wonder will it work in Windows-7?

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