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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    United States
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    What are your "must have" utilities / hardware in your PC Toolkit? These are all Windows as I don't use a Mac.

    All software except for Easeus Data Recovery Wizard is free. There may be better alternatives for my choices and looking forward to hearing about them!

    For hard drives:


    Recuva (for data recovery)
    CrystalDiskInfo (to check drive health)
    Easeus Partition Master (for disk partitioning, formatting)**
    Glary Utilities (for disk defragmenting)
    Linux Boot Disk (to check hard drives that aren't accessible with Windows)
    Ultimate Boot CD (DOS commandline utilties)

    **The paid version is required for 10TB+ drives.


    SATA to USB cable
    USB enclosure / Drive dock

    File Management

    Teracopy (for file copying)
    ViceVersa (to compare drives / folders)
    Q-Dir (Windows Explorer replacement)
    Unlocker (to unlock files/folders that can't be moved/deleted.*)
    *Be very careful with this as it's possible to delete critical system files!)

    Non-critical but handy software

    Lupas Rename (for mass file renaming/renumbering)
    Advanced Renamer (not as easy to use as Lupas Rename, but works with Unicode text)
    SetFileTime (to bulk reset files time/date)
    NewFileTime (not as easy to use as SetFileTime, but works with Unicode text)
    Inforapid Seach & Replace (to search and replace text within multiple files at once)
    VVV Virtual Volume Viewer (to catalog and view hard drive and optical disk directories/folders offline)

    Easeus Data Recovery (May allow recovery of formatted HDDs. I started recovery on a disk, but given the time required, I just restored from a backup.)
    Last edited by lingyi; 6th Sep 2018 at 14:30. Reason: Additional info
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  2. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
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    I don't know alternatives well but have very good experience with

    mini-tool partition wizard Free edition
    Bulk rename utility (it is not easiest program for renaming, changing atributes etc. but can almost anything) So for what you mentioned more software is all in this one.

    There is tons of useful software but it needs more categories
    for example MSI afterburner, honeyview, Bandizip and much much more.
    Also forgot to mention Keepass, for me invaluable piece of software.
    Last edited by Bernix; 6th Sep 2018 at 14:33. Reason: renamer to rename mistyped added keepass
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  3. Here are some amazing Windows utilities.

    Acronis*True*Image*Home 11.0
    Best backup software. Does both file and image backup

    Indexes offline and network drives. I can see what is on my 30+ disks, even when they are sitting in a closet.

    Bulk Rename Utility
    The ultimate file renaming tool. It even supports regular expressions which, if you can figure out the syntax, can do pretty much anything.

    Ace Utilities
    It has some of the same things as the more popular CC Cleaner, but also finds duplicates and provides several other useful disk cleaning functions

    FileBoss 3
    Great file management utility, although there are dozens of good solutions in this category.

    Already mentioned, but I give it another vote.
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  4. – WinDirStat => to analyze the size of files and directories on any storage volume
    – DoubleKiller / AllDup => to remove duplicates (DoubleKiller fails to scan files with Unicode characters in their name, but I use it more often as I prefer its streamlined yet powerful interface ; AllDupe is kinda cluttered but has very useful features missing in DoubleKiller)
    – SynchronizeIt / FastCopy / Robocopy => to copy files or synchronize directories and preserve all timestamps (very rare on Windows) (Robocopy is a CLI utility, usually included in Windows and readily usable, but it doesn't hurt to have the small .exe in a toolkit – that way you're sure of which version it is –, along a few ready-to-use scripts, considering the amount of available switches)
    – WinMerge or WinMerge2011 => to compare directories and individual files (it's good practice to always thoroughly compare a copied directory with the source directory before deleting the source)
    – Bulk Rename Utility (already mentioned above) => very thorough renaming utility, I use it when I can't do what I need with Lupas Rename (I prefer the interface of LR which is less cluttered, and BRU has a bug which shifts the timestamps by two hours when a renaming operation is cancelled, I signaled it to the author so it may be corrected in a future revision)
    – Total Commander => all-in-one file management utility
    – LockHunter => alternative to Unlocker (which has had the reputation of being embedded with crapware in recent years)
    – Macrium Reflect => alternative to Acronis True Image (which has the reputation of becoming increasingly cluttered in recent versions)
    – Hard Disk Sentinel => to check storage devices (works also with SSDs despite its name), commercial but more complete than HDTune or CrystalDiskInfo
    – TestDisk & Photorec / R-Studio / DMDE => for data recovery when Recuva is not enough, R-Studio and DMDE are commercial but rich in features and very efficient
    – HandyRecovery 1.0 => alternative to Recuva, for simple cases of data recovery (an advantage is that is updates the recovery tree during the scan, and lets you browse it, so if it has found the one file you're after you can stop the scan instead of having to wait until the end, but the free 1.0 version is quite old and Recuva is usually more efficient)
    – Roadkil's Unstopable Copier / IsoBuster => to recover data from damaged media
    – WinHex => hexadecimal editing
    – MD5Checker / md5deep (CLI) => to check files integrity, create lists of MD5 checksums
    – OSFMount / Daemon Tools => to mount volume images
    – TeamViewer => for remote assistance

    By the way CHKDSK is a native Windows tool so I don't get why it's mentioned among utilities to be included in a “PC toolkit”...
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  5. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
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    Total commander is for sure great software, but doubt it become free. 37 Euros isnt cheap as well.

    Edit Also useful software is MSI Afterburner and Riva tuner statistic server. Not sure if it fits PC toolkit category

    Last edited by Bernix; 27th Nov 2018 at 14:47. Reason: Edit
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  6. Total commander is for sure great software, but doubt it become free. 37 Euros isnt cheap as well.
    Well, I've used it for years and there's just a nag screen at startup... It has great features but it must be said that its interface is quite ugly...
    FileBoss which has been mentioned is definitely commercial, but has some great features missing in TC (searching for files with long path names for instance – some years ago I was looking for a dedicated utility to perform that task, and ended up installing FileBoss just for that feature, as none of the standalone tools was as efficient and convenient).
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  7. Member
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    Jul 2007
    United States
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    Recommended giving Everything a try

    I should have listed this in my OP. This does a great and fast job of indexing and searching, well Everything! Filenames only. On the fist run it takes a while to create the index, but after that it automatically adds any new drives or files. It even supports unicode, critical for my use.

    You can search for partial or full filenames. The only very slight negative is that it presents results immediately once you start typing, but it's so fast, by the time you get to the third or fourth letter, you've it's probably listed your file!
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  8. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
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    i cant suggested it but Glary utilities (you know, i think it is made in China so not fully trust in this) but there is fast search as well and working really fast. Lot of utililities in one, but as i said. China... But have to say, it helped me several times. When registry was problem. All that program like Ccleaner and simply every apps can become dangerous at some point.

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