Short List of Utilities for Vista

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
.Joe™ Recommended software for Windows Vista.

(Some software is intended for x86 systems. There are recommendations for x64 specific software in this thread. Read the software website and documentation for x64 compatibility. Other software is recommended by contributors to this thread.)

Virus/Evilware/Maintenance

Norton 360 (Recommended by Silver)

Another excellent program that does virus scanning, evilware protection and more. You can visit this website for more information: Best Anti Virus Program - All-in-one Protection - Norton 360 Version 2.0


Virus Protection

AVG Anti-Virus. Recommended by many.

Download a copy here: AVG Free Advisor - Free antivirus and anti-spyware downloads


Spyware/Evilware Protection

Spybot Search & Destroy. Excellent program that checks for many kinds of evilware. Frequent updates make this program a great choice for protecting your system. Download here: The home of Spybot-S&D!

Spyware Blaster, active protection for IE and Firefox. Download here: SpywareBlaster Download


General Maintenance

These programs will help you keep Vista running smooth.

Advanced Windows Care Personal Edition, thanks to pspdude for recommending this software. Has many features to keep your Vista system in top running condition.
Download here: PC Repairs Freeware | Advanced WindowsCare Personal | Free PC Repair Fix Software Service | Computer Cleaner

CCleaner, does system cleanup including registry. Download here: CCleaner - Download

Auslogics Disk Defrag, A great third party utility for defragging your hard drive. Has a visual display of its progress and for a free program does an excellent job of keeping your hard drive running smoothly. Download here: Auslogics - Download Auslogics Disk Defrag

Crucial Memory Mechanic Frees up unused ram, makes the system run faster. Download it here: Iolo Memory Mechanic - Defragment your RAM

Free Registry Defrag I found this utility on another thread. Tried it and it seemed to work just fine. Comes in a x64 version as well. Download it here: Free Registry Defrag

Backup Utility

Backup4all is a well rounded backup utility that is compatible with SP1. You can download a 30 day evaluation version here: Download Backup4all and back up your documents

Vista Ultimate has a built in full disk backup utility. If you own this version, you can image your hard drive to an external USB drive or to DVD's. Very useful in the event of a system failure. Be sure to have your bootable media on hand in the event of an emergency ;)


Data Recovery

(section added by Dzomlija)

We should all be keeping regular backups of our software, but what happens if a drive gets formatted, or a file deleted, that fits between our backup schedules? In most cases, that data is lost, and can cost you anything from several hours to a couple of days to recover.

That's where R-Studio comes in handy. I was able to use it to internally emulate a JBOD array that I lost due to a motherboard failure, and within the space of a few minutes, I was able to successfully recover all the lost data that had not yet been backed up.

It is a truly remarkable piece of software, with options that can be used by all, from novices to extreme power users.

Download it here: Disk Recovery Software and Hard Drive Recovery tool for Windows


Graphics / Photo Tools

We all need a good graphics editor / photo tools utility. Paint that is included with Vista just doesn't cut it. There's a freeware program that has features that compares with expensive commercial software. Paint.net. Is an excellent utility and it's free. Download it here: Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing


Archiving Tools

7-Zip. Will create several formats of archives, plus the ability to open many more. Is a Vista friendly application. Download it here: Download


Digital Certificates

Comodo. You can download and install a digital certificate for signing e-mails and encrypting them as well. S/MIME compatible (Free!). Download it here: Free Secure Email Certificates Secure Email Certificate Email Security Digital Email Signatures


Benchmarking

Geekbench. You can benchmark your system and post your results. Show off your quad core and 4 GB of 800 Mhz Ram! Download it here: Geekbench Result Browser: Index

CPU-Z. Check Memory timings, CPU and Motherboard information. Also handy for looking at your hardware from another view. Download it here: CPUID

GPU-Z. Displays Graphics adapter, GPU and display information, overclock, default clocks and 3D clocks. Supports NVIDIA and ATI cards. Download Here: GPU-Z Video card GPU Information Utility

Encryption

Truecrypt. When you need to protect your data on 32 or 64 bit Vista systems, this is the program of choice. Truecrypt is an open source program and has many features to help you protect your data. More information and download links are here: http://www.truecrypt.org/

If you have a recommendation and would like to see it on the short list, post it in this thread or via PM.

Be sure to backup important data and create restore points before installing any software (from the short list or anywhere).
 
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My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
WinBubble? Thanks, but no thanks!

.Joe, can you please explain to me why you believe PC Tools' Spyware Doctor is such a good program because I must agree to disagree.

I know it's certainly one of the best marketed programs though!

Best regards

Neil
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
WinBubble? Thanks, but no thanks!

.Joe, can you please explain to me why you believe PC Tools' Spyware Doctor is such a good program because I must agree to disagree.

I know it's certainly one of the best marketed programs though!

Best regards

Neil
Neil,

Thank you for the feedback.

I've removed spyware doctor, since the free version has been changed requiring a purchase to clean spyware. (update)

And agreeing to disagree is a good thing. I appreciate your time to post your thoughts here. There are many excellent utilities out there. This is just a personal short list of programs that I've personally tested and found to be useful and am sharing them with the forum group.

If you have used a utility and would like me to include it on my short list, post it here. I can't post them all, because this is a short list ;)

Thanks again Neil for your feedback :)
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

waxace

New Member
There is a lot of good stuff out there.
WinBubble can be used to "Tweak" things, but the average user had better stay clear of it as it will screw up your system (Like Tweak VI) unless you really know what you are doing and not think you do.
I have rescued many computers due to "User Error".
Research before downloading all kinds of useless and/or dangerous software.
Keep your computer free of spy-ware/ad-ware , update your anti-virus, and run some cleaner tools now and then.
Bells and whistles only slow down a unit and although they look nice, you are compromising performance for appearance.......

I have running a few good strong programs for protection however I have quite a few programs in my arsenal that I call upon randomly to screen , scan and confirm a clean safe system. These programs do not run on start-up and are only used when I do the weekly or b-weekly checks.
So far nothing on this new system and only two viruses were detected on my old XP system over 6 years....:cool:
 

My Computer

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
There is a lot of good stuff out there.
WinBubble can be used to "Tweak" things, but the average user had better stay clear of it as it will screw up your system (Like Tweak VI) unless you really know what you are doing and not think you do.
I have rescued many computers due to "User Error".
Research before downloading all kinds of useless and/or dangerous software.
Keep your computer free of spy-ware/ad-ware , update your anti-virus, and run some cleaner tools now and then.
Bells and whistles only slow down a unit and although they look nice, you are compromising performance for appearance.......

I have running a few good strong programs for protection however I have quite a few programs in my arsenal that I call upon randomly to screen , scan and confirm a clean safe system. These programs do not run on start-up and are only used when I do the weekly or b-weekly checks.
So far nothing on this new system and only two viruses were detected on my old XP system over 6 years....:cool:
Waxace,

Thanks for your feedback :)

Your comments about Winbubble are right on the mark. Shouldn't be used by novice PC users, since it can change system settings, something no one should do without knowing what it is that they are changing.

All the others, with the exception of Windows Live OneCare, I only run and use during my weekly tuneups. I agree, that less is more, with regards to adding programs.

Best luck in the future,

Joe
 

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
There is a lot of good stuff out there.
WinBubble can be used to "Tweak" things, but the average user had better stay clear of it as it will screw up your system (Like Tweak VI) unless you really know what you are doing and not think you do.
I have rescued many computers due to "User Error".
Research before downloading all kinds of useless and/or dangerous software.
Keep your computer free of spy-ware/ad-ware , update your anti-virus, and run some cleaner tools now and then.
Bells and whistles only slow down a unit and although they look nice, you are compromising performance for appearance.......

I have running a few good strong programs for protection however I have quite a few programs in my arsenal that I call upon randomly to screen , scan and confirm a clean safe system. These programs do not run on start-up and are only used when I do the weekly or b-weekly checks.
So far nothing on this new system and only two viruses were detected on my old XP system over 6 years....:cool:
I've removed winbubble from this short list, it exists in other threads. The intention of producing this short list is to give forum members easy to use and effective utilities. Both for the novice and experienced user.

I appreciate everyones feedback :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

gspam1

New Member
Are there any Spyware and Registry Cleaners that work with Vista x64? I have only been able to locate 32 bit compatible versions.
 

My Computer

cpemma

Power User
Whilst a proper Backup program may suit, my system for many years has been to duplicate data daily (on shutdown) by copying new and changed data files to a second drive on the basis that sooner or later a HDD will fail but hopefully two drives won't fail together. Being incremental it normally only adds a few seconds to shutdown and I don't need to watch.

Then I do the occasional archive to DVD.

In XP I used the freeware XXCopy in a batch file listing the data folders to incrementally copy, but it's thrown a wobbly with Vista SP1 and won't run unattended, so until the author fixes the Winversion check safeguard, I'm using Vista's Robocopy, the MS recommended replacement for XCopy. Works fine, though lacking the full features of XXCopy.

A bit of the batch file, used as a "Shutdown" icon on the desktop

:: Incremental backup
:: Email
robocopy "C:\Users\Howard\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Mexbro.co (cpm)" "E:\Backup\EMail\Mexbro.co (cpm)" /e
robocopy "C:\Users\Howard\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Storage Folders" "E:\Backup\EMail\Storage Folders" /e
robocopy "C:\Users\Howard\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Contacts\Default" "E:\Backup\EMail\Contacts\Default" /e
:: Docs
.........
.........
:: Shutdown
shutdown.exe -S -t 0
 

My Computer

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
Our thanks to Dzomlija for his contribution to my short list. An excellent data recovery software package that you may need in the future. This is also a .Joe™ recommended software package :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
Dear gspam 1

Regarding your query concerning Spyware and Registry Cleaning programs, may I suggest you consider the following which are all Vista x64 compatible:

Spyware / Malware

Windows Defender
(I'd recommend you keep this Vista basic spyware program enabled)

A-Squared Free - (make sure you download the free version. See link below)
a-squared Free (formerly a² free) Freeware! A2 is a free of charge Anti-Trojan, Anti-Worm, Anti-Dialer and Anti-Spyware Software - optimal protection

Spyware Terminator - free also, but I don't enable the Internet Protection option they call 'Web Security Guard'. I use McAfee's free 'Site Advisor' for that and keep IE's Phishing Filter ON.
http://www.spywareterminator.com/

ESET's Smart Security Antivirus - Includes Real-time Antispyware protection, a Personal Firewall, and an Anti-Spam module.
Antivirus Software - Eliminate Spyware and Adware with ESET NOD32 Antivirus

Registry Cleaners

CleanMyPC Software's Registry Cleaner
CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner - Official Site of CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner

WiseCleaner's Registry Cleaner 3
WiseCleaner.com - Downloads

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Neil
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

gspam1

New Member
Neil:

Thank you very much for the great list of utilities. Have you tried either of the Registry Cleaners yourself and would you recommend either one?

Thanks!
 

My Computer

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
Dear gspam1

Thanks for your post response.

Yes I've used both. CleanMyPC's Registry Cleaner for about six months and in addition to it I also tried WiseCleaner's Registry Cleaner 3 Free a few times recently.

I personally like CleanMyPC's Registry Cleaner. I have never had a problem with my PC after a daily scan and includes options to defrag your registry, enable/disable startup programs, backup and restore etc. I would invest the $29.95 or whatever the cost is now in this program with confidence.

I should point out, however, if you were to ask our beloved Administrator of this site, BRINK aka SHAWN the same question, he likes WiseCleaner's free registry cleaner (he has told me though that he has never used the one I recommended).

There we go gspam1 ... it's your choice. Let me know how you get on.

With Kindest Regards

Neil
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
Dear gspam 1

Regarding your query concerning Spyware and Registry Cleaning programs, may I suggest you consider the following which are all Vista x64 compatible:

Spyware / Malware

Windows Defender
(I'd recommend you keep this Vista basic spyware program enabled)

A-Squared Free - (make sure you download the free version. See link below)
a-squared Free (formerly a² free) Freeware! A2 is a free of charge Anti-Trojan, Anti-Worm, Anti-Dialer and Anti-Spyware Software - optimal protection

Spyware Terminator - free also, but I don't enable the Internet Protection option they call 'Web Security Guard'. I use McAfee's free 'Site Advisor' for that and keep IE's Phishing Filter ON.
http://www.spywareterminator.com/

ESET's Smart Security Antivirus - Includes Real-time Antispyware protection, a Personal Firewall, and an Anti-Spam module.
Antivirus Software - Eliminate Spyware and Adware with ESET NOD32 Antivirus

Registry Cleaners

CleanMyPC Software's Registry Cleaner
CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner - Official Site of CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner

WiseCleaner's Registry Cleaner 3
WiseCleaner.com - Downloads

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Neil
Neil,

Thanks for the contributions to the thread. I appreciate your time to compile a list of x64 compatible programs :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
Anytime .Joe.

The pleasure's all mine!!!

Warmest regards

Neil
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
Hi jacquemartes

Welcome to Vistax64.com!

Yes I did purchase Vista Manager when it was first released for Vista x64, however, I did not continue to use it for very long due to the fact it changed several of my system configurations without permission so I became a bit suspicious of this program so if I were you I'd save your money.

Kind regards

Neil
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

Mr Smiley

Member
Vista Guru
Anytime gspam1 ... anytime!!!
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-920
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
    Memory
    8GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz (4 x 2GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896H-B
    Sound Card
    N/A - On Board via SPDIF
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24" E2420HD
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080p Full HD
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital
    1 x TB Sata
    1 x 320GB Sata
    PSU
    Zalman 1000 Watt
    Case
    Antec Twelve Hundred
    Cooling
    1 x 200mm fan, 6 x 120mm fans, CPU & GPU fan
    Mouse
    Bluetooth Logitech MX 5500 Laser
    Keyboard
    Cordless Logitech MX 5500 Revolution
    Other Info
    2 x Liteon DVD Burners Sata

.Joe

1337 spammer
Vista Guru
Update :party:

Added Advanced Windows Care Personal Edition. A complete all in one utility to keep your Vista system in top running condition. Thanks to pspdude for recommending this for the short list. The program has been tested and approved for recommendation by .Joe™
 

My Computer

System One

  • CPU
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core 2.4 Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0TP406
    Memory
    4 X 1 GB DDR2 Kingston 800 Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Dell 22" Widescreen
    Screen Resolution
    3360x1050
    Hard Drives
    320 GB Internal Main
    500 GB USB External
    160 GB USB External
    2TB USB External
    Internet Speed
    DSL 3MB

silver

Banned
Can't really see the point of what I consider to be extraneous programs, after all one good security suite plus Vista's enhanced security should be more than enough to protect your PC.

The only one I would consider is the Data recovery one, naturally you have to have graphics programs but that personal choice, mine are PaintShop Pro, and PhotoShop.

I've found that freeware while good for the simple things, don't have the full scope for much more intensive work.
 

My Computer

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