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Essential Windows Utilities

Here's a shortlist of utilities I think are essential for regular users of Windows-based systems.
Most of these are aimed at keeping your system running cleanly, eliminating problems, or checking the status of hard disk drives or memory hardware.
If you have a suggestion or find a broken link, please use our contact page to let us know.

Maintenance Utilities

  • Tree Size Pro by Jam Software -
    must-have!  Or you can get the freeware version which is simpler but
    still useful.
  • Spyware and 'Trojan' removers: scans system for "ad-ware"
    or "spy-ware"
    that has been installed on your machine
    without your full knowledge and consent.
    • Ad-Aware by LavaSoft
      (friendlier) or
    • SpyBot S&D by
      (catches some things that Ad-Aware doesn't)
    • Power user stuff (not for the faint of heart -- useful if
      you have a serious infestation, though.)
      • Autoruns
      • HiJackThis! by Merijn (
        - very cool power user utility; looks for junk that has been added to your
        system. Also
        many other utilities from this site - You should check them out... 
      • KazaaBegone my Merijn (
        claims to be able to remove all the crap that Kazaa deposits on your
      • LSP-Fix helps
        detect third-party network Layered Service Providers (LSPs)
        which can be used to hijack network communications (LSPs can
        defeat software firewalls such as ZoneAlarm) 

Power User/Developer Utilities

  • Most Sysinternals stuff,
    • Process Explorer
    • Filemon
    • Regmon
    • PageDfrg
    • DbgView
    • Autoruns (under Miscellaneous)
    • PSTools
  • LoSOFT Tools:
    Freeware utilities; one of which (scacl.exe) allows remote management of
    NT/Win2k/XP service ACLs; very useful if you are trying to use Sysinternals'
    psservice or Microsoft's SC.EXE to remotely administer services.
  • RegClean by Microsoft (Microsoft is deprecating this utility)
  • EasyCleaner by Toni Arts(Replacement for RegClean)
  • COM Explorer by 4Developers (Manage ActiveX controls, remove malfunctioning/misregistered controls and other COM objects, etc.)
  • Beyond Compare by Scooter Software (Highly recommended!  Well worth the registration price.)
  • BoundsChecker
  • Gimpel PC-Lint
  • Network configuration:

Basic Necessities

Hardware Testing


*NOTE: All information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only. Exodus Development, Inc. disclaims all liability for use or misuse of the information presented herein or on external web sites. Use your own good judgement, ask an expert first. Proceed at your own risk.