My old post must be somewhere in Database Limbo. Anyway, I had a request for this and it's better to have an up-to-date list.

This collection has been growing and evolving for a long time. As much as possible, when I use Windows, I will go for stuff that doesn't have to be installed. Also, I have found that some installed software is actually portable! Pick it up and drop it someplace else, and see if it runs. I prefer not to use the Portable Apps version if a program is natively portable. Less bloat, and I don't need the Portable Apps menu. Never liked it anyway. Portable Apps apps in this list are marked with a double asterisk**. No links included for them, you know where to go.

Quite a few of my favorite tools also come in a Linux version [wink wink]


General Useful Stuff:

Firefox** or Pale Moon with ad and flash blocking extensions, so I can research online and dl stuff without having to deal with IE or Chrome
Pale Moon portable download:

Free Commander, so I can dig into the filesystem and do stuff efficiently (except until the 64-bit version goes public it's a little handicapped). Any good, well-behaved portable file manager can save a lot of time over using Windows Exploder with typical default settings.

AkelPad - - terriffic plain text editor, portable, has its own updater. Lots of configs, plugins

Cherry Tree Notes - - Keep all sorts of info organized with or without password.

Easy 7-Zip - - and I carry the installer too

IrfanView, because it's superbly portable and can open a zillion filetypes. - go to download page, find link to "other download sites" at the bottom, go to the bottom of that to find the no-install zip downloads.

Sumatra PDF - - because it does more than just PDF, and its portable.

WSCC - Windows System Control Center - - Best way to update and keep track of Sysinternals and NirSoft suites, more tiny tools than you may ever need. You could get by with nothing else half the time if you have these. I worship Autoruns.



DTaskmanager - - because it is inherently portable and when run as admin can kill almost any process (and shows more than Windows' tm).

Netstalker - - sort of a mini-firewall watchdog. Nothing can get out without permission.



CPUZ - - Everything you need to know about the hardware you're poking into.

LookInMyPC - - has a fancier interface

SIV - System Information Viewer - mega-info, I've known this one since waaaay back

Crystal Disk Info - - gotta check hard drive health

MeinPlatz - - find drive-space-hogs. Check out other handy things at this site.


Cleaning, getting rid of:

DDU - Display driver uninstaller - to clean up messy video card disasters prior to a clean install.

Geek Uninstaller - - because it is a single, all-powerful file and very effective.

JRT - Junkware Removal Tool - can wipe out hellish infestations of browser hijackers and other pestware with no interaction. Lovely, one little file with all that power.

Spybot Search&Destroy**

SUPERAntiSpyware -

ClamWin** - portable AV is a must-have!

BleachBit - - Get rid of the temp garbage

Wise Registry Cleaner** - Because although registry cleaners are one of the least necessary tools, sometimes you do have to do it.


Internet Repair:

MiniToolBox -

Complete Internet Repair -


Hope you never need this but don't lose track of it:

De-CMOS - - - Fix BIOS with no battery-pulling. Shweet. Sorry for horrible download link.


File Recovery:

Wise Data Recovery**

Recuva (free version)

TestDisk -

MailView - - can get email out of several different formats if an email client has gone south. MiTec software rocks.


Installers. latest version, for:

Libre Office
Spybot Search&Destroy
Unchecky (helps prevent some, if not all, bundleware dumps)
Nitro PDF Reader
CCleaner and Bleachbit
...and a bunch of others, variable

The MVPS HOSTS file - - Serious protection for the helpless


There is quite a bit more clutter in my portable arsenal, but these are the big guns and most used tools. If you can't boot Windows at all, you'll need a bootable stick or disk and an external drive or other safe place to back up files before letting Windows fix itself. The Linux Mint install disk runs live, and it's a comfortable environment for rescuing files. I once ran Slax from a disk for 3 days, burning backup CDs, after a weird small disaster in my own computer.

Keeping all this stuff updated is another reason I love Free Commander or any other dual-pane file manager with a file-sync directory compare feature. Once a week or so (ideally) I update my stick from a copy of the whole works on my hard drive, where the individual proggies can be updated as needed. I also carry a twin stick, in case of either potential infection or overzealous AV that zaps my poor little tools. Nir Sofer's password peepers are the most often seen as malware, and goodness knows you may need them when someone has forgotten a password. I have. Be sure you tell the AV to lay off your stick before you start!

Whew. Epic.