Im sure this has been done before, in fact Ive often found the best stuff on threads just like this, but I'll risk the flames and give you a nice list of rough diamonds for you all to try out and hopefully enjoy using....They are particularly great to put onto a new PC build if the person who is buying it/ using the PC is new to it and needs a good suite of usefull software without extra outlay. I only decided to post this after a recent virus infected my laptop (this is my desktop) and i had to get some spyware/malware protection pretty quickly and didnt want to pay for the first program i found only to find out it isnt any good for my needs (like i did when i bought spy-doctor a year or so back and barely used it once!) ok first up the free to use Virus, spyware, adware checkers free for home use: AVG 4.8 Avast! anti-virus is still imho the best of the free ones and it beats many of the paid for types too! I'd score it 8/10 overall. AVG 4.8 Download page Malwarebytes Anti-Malware A recent find, Superb removal tool which solved the problem i had with my laptop, it was a virus which cleverly shut off online live protection by avast or symantec virus checkers! meaning you could remove them but your protection stayed off and it just reinfected the machine! nasty little iintruders!! gone now though gladly malwarebytes download page SUPERAnti-spyware Another recent find which seems great so far and found a few trojan type programs the others missed (including many online checkers i tried) SUPERANTISPYWARE download page Next we have MEDIA gems, things like DVDRW burners and universal AVI/DVD players can either be expensive, like PowerDVD Ultra or if they are cheap they usually dont work too well in my experience. The only player ive bought and never had regrets paying for was the DivX Pro suite I bought for about £18 or so These free to use software programs are both superb and work better than most of the supposedly "professional" programs for sale: CDBurner XP This is just brilliant so far, Ive been using it for everything and it for me, is the best ive used. I used to have Nero which i loved but it crashed a lot and seemed to fail quite a few burns unless i did them at slower burn speeds (of 2X or 4X max) which i always blamed on the discs i used (cheap ones). Since i have used "CDBurner XP" though they have been absolutely fine!, even burned at full speed (8X?), try it out yourself, youll never use windows mediaplayer again: cdburnerxp download page Haihaisoft-Universal-Player This has to be the bargain of the century. Ive always struggled to find the right players for the many many different types of format our AVI's or DVD films come in, often trying to convert one format to another just to be able to watch them, and mostly failing or discovering the codec i need costs more money etc. I think its all a huge rip off when we just want to play the video whatever player we use. Ive bought PowerDVD Ultra(needed it for HD-DVD playback) and Divx amonst others in the past and they have all been pretty hit and miss with what they will play and worse they dont always work that well with sound sinc problems or refusal to recognise and play files. This little program seems to play 90% of what i attempt to play on it and its a damned site more likely to play something you can see from a corrupted video file than other players which seem to just say "no way hose" and stay blank. haihaisoft-universal-player download page Lastly a few other programs to cheer you up. Do you love the way photoshop and others allow you to manipulate your jpegs and bitmap pictures but shy away at the extortionately high prices this sort of software asks for? I know I am, I love photoshop whenever I have used it (at work too) but i just cant do anything other than a trial with it because its priced way above the use I would get from it.Some versions are hundreds of pounds and that is a complete rip off if you ask me.Anyhow here: Paint.net Photoshop for the light of wallet. At last photoshop type manipulation for free!! check out this program as its something special I think, I think its a sort of open source type program too inviting others to add more and more to it as it grows. This is the way of future software i think. Im considering donating to the people who gave me this purely because i want to see more of their type on the web. paint.net Download page SpeedFan 4.38 Great too for those of us who like to overclock or benchmark their system, or just like to see temps are ok and fans are working ok. SpeedFan monitors voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. It can even access SMART information for hard disks that support this feature, and show hard-disk temperatures if that's supported. SpeedFan fully supports SCSI disks and can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature). At the lowest level, SpeedFan is a hardware monitor software that can access temperature sensors, but mainly it can control fan speeds (depending on the capabilities of your sensor chip and your hardware) according to the temperatures inside your PC, thus reducing noise and power consumption (so it actually is better than Free ), cant be bad!! cnet download page for SpeedFan (sorry dont know the official download site addy) Ok, I hope this fills in some gaps for you for programs you want to be able to use, but are fed up paying for I know I was glad to find them so hopefully you will be too.