Programs to Live By

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I get questions all the time from coworkers and friends on the best software for new computers. The truth is, even if your computer is old, the software I am about to mention is great for machines of all ages! Not only are these programs free, but they are easy to use and don’t normally bombard users with the “need” to purchase a different version. Anyone can download, install and navigate the user interfaces with ease. Enjoy!

CCleaner from Piriform

Piriform comes out with great, free programs all the time and I find them to be very trustworthy. And while they don’t pressure you into handing out money, they do offer a donation box on their web site.

CCleaner is basically the spider web wand to your vacuum cleaner and extension of your arm, if you will. This nifty little piece of freeware will go in and dust away your temporary internet files, history, cookies, download locations, etc. It also has a life saving registry cleaner when your computer isn’t feeling it’s best (I clean with this regularly as well). You can safely uninstall programs, complete a system restore, turn off/on startup programs and wipe your drive if you so desire. To sum up my love for CCleaner, this is your basic must-have for working PCs! Don’t go online without it!

Malwarebytes

This program graces the desktops of PCs I have touched. If you’ve been some of the lucky few, you will most likely find this somewhere on your harddrive. And if you haven’t familiarized yourself with it (for shame!), you better jump on the bandwagon. Those icky viruses and worms that make their way into your personal information aren’t always intended… I believe you. No need to convince me! It doesn’t matter if you stay away from those .xxx domains, you will eventually get a virus during your technical career.

Malwarebytes, simply put, is an anti-malware program. Viruses and the like are categorized as Malware, and this nifty tool will go in and find the toughest buggers, and take ’em out. You can choose from three settings of Quick, Full and flash scans. When it finds something questionable it will prompt you at the end of the scan.

Rkill from Bleeping Computer

I’m sure many of you had the pleasure of experiencing the Windows Safety virus a couple months back… this nasty fiend went in, and turned all of your desktop icons and files to “hidden”, while moving all of your programs to the recycle bin while constantly flashing a window explaining that your hard drive was failing, your registry was messed up, etc. Not only did this happen to me and my husband, it also happened three times.

Rkill was by far our best route when it came to finding the source and getting rid of it, and we tried everything. This simple execution file goes to work upon startup, and works while you wait… simple as that. And while it gets the job done, I wouldn’t write Mom about it without the Unhide tool.

Unhide from Bleeping Computer

If you are familiar with the virus mentioned before, you will understand the purpose and value of the before mentioned program, as well as Unhide. Whether you were able to discover this duo of software during your panic or not, you will be glad to know of it now.

After running Rkill and ridding yourself of that nasty virus, you can safely run Unhide to once again reveal all of the programs, files and images stored on your computer. This again, is a very simple process of prompting the exe. file to run, and letting it go to work. Afterwards, all of your pretty little icons will fill the space of your desktop, and you will need to go in and customize your start menu again.

I’m a nerd of the highest kind. We own more than one form of stationary memory and keep it tied to something close, if not displayed around our neck for the whole world to see. You may laugh at us as we pass on the sidewalk, but remember, storing these vital programs could very well save you and your computer in the future. Be smart, and invest that whole $10 into a sizable flash drive or SD card, and backup the download files to these programs. They could very well bring your PC back from the dead in the future.

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