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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: Devnullius's Choices: a list of default programs to keep your PC running well :)  (Read 126006 times)

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v2.10, December 2021

I always install the same programs for my friends, but once in a while I forget one or two temporarily or even forever ;p

Planning to do this for a long time, I decided to add a (long) list with (free) software I like and a short description when needed. Might take me a few months years ; )

So here it goes... Devnullius's Latest Choices: a list of default programs to keep your Windows 10 PC running well, 2021 Edition!

(Windows XP / Vista users, please go to my old archived article:,8202.msg30480.html#msg30480)

(Windows 7 users, please go to my old archived article: for some tools not included in my post 2019 drafts.... And Windows 10 users might find some older tools still of interest to them.)

(Windows 7 and Windows 8 users should have updated to Windows 10 by now. It still can be done for free, the old upgrade deadline was but a symbolic one...!)^^^^^

==================== MUST HAVEs ====================

Really. Do it. NOW! Don't forget to register...!!!

2. Internet browsers
There never was any discussion, even from the earliest builds I'd make Google Chrome the default internet browser. Sadly, these days pretty much all browsers are Chromium based and Google has slowly become evil when it comes to your privacy. While I'm still stuck to Google Chrome for my day to day routines, there are other options available. Some with independant tech, others as highly tweaked Chromium clones. If privacy is of concern, only FireFox seems to be your real friend. I don't like FireFox! But I really, really, REALLY should...!
So what to do next? It's up to you, but I'll share my setup with you. I still use Chrome for day-to-day activities and browsing. Opera for all my video wishes and Firefox / Edge as backup browsers if something doesn't work in those two. And I set cryptocurrency-based Brave as the default browser to catch all automatically opening websites by local programs. It's the only browser that I set NOT to re-open last opened tabs as the program starts.
IF YOU WANT TO KEEP IT SIMPLE: Edge already is installed by default and it has become a nice browser to use. Yes, Edge.

3. Internet Browser Security
I strongly advise you to also install Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free. This program used to be free with limited functionality. Version 1.09+ has become part of their Pro suite, though a beta still is available for users whom register.
IMPORTANT: multi-user systems! MBAE must be installed for each user in its own program files directory, otherwise only the first logged in account can use it.

4. Internet Browser Privacy
Unless you are willing to install ad-blockers, I strongly advice you to install DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension. It will block hidden trackers lurking everywhere.

5. Cloud Security (with optional ClamAV shields)
Immunet: Also works on all Windows Server versions. This is mostly for unexperienced Home users. Advanced users might get annoyed by the many false positives triggered by cracks and warez etc.

6. Antivirus
* Home users should use this:
* * Avast Home antivirus ( You might want to read this first, before installing. By default, you get many 'demo' versions installed... With constant reminders! ^^
* Geeks could use this:
* * 360 Total Security (or even 360 Total Security Essentials)
IF you don't like all the Avast pop-ups, take a look at 360 Total Security. Enable both Avira and Intel shields if you like to be paranoid. It has become my default anti-virus, despite the annoying "possible virus found" dialogues...
* Freaks
* * Tech-lovers could install both... Avast has a Passive mode if you are afraid of conflicts between the two. I'm hard-core and I enable Avast's Active protection while simultaneously running 360 Total Security.
* Windows Server
* * Baidu Antivirus
Looks like a professional AV and I install it on my Windows Servers... Baidu is one of the few that will work (for free) on Windows Server OSs.
UPDATE JUNE 2021: tried installing it on Windows 10, but it seems that Baidu software isn't updated any longer and it won't install on the latest Windows 10 versions. I'll remove it completely once I confirmed this holds true for Windows Server too.
* Got nothing else??
Sure. This 2021 list looks good to me:

Some details...
Avast is superior in preventing false positives. Yet, with 360 TS I feel safe and less annoyed by interruptions :) One disadvantage is that you need to manually check for updates of the program version: that won't upgrade automatically. And DO TAKE A CAREFUL LOOK which services get shut down after 360 'optimized' your system... For example, Defrag & Check Disk Health should remain ON but 360TS disables them when optimizing the system. See more on this in item 13. Anvir Task Manager below...

TIP: if you are as annoyed with Windows Defender, don't be annoyed any longer! GO TO

7. Add 'Upload to VirusTotal' context menu. Direct download:

8. Defrag
Starting with Windows 10 I trust Microsoft knows best. Leave its default settings alone. Contrary to popular believe, SSDs still can benefit from defragmentation, so don't start disabling it completely. But truth be told... In these days with the big HDDs and even SSDs, defragmentation has become less of a concern. As long as your disks are below 60% capacity, don't bother! But IF you insist... Puran Defrag is a nice all-rounder.

9. While Windows 10 already gives you OneDrive Cloud Storage, I strongly advise you to install pCloud Drive too! It has lots of features, including a sync folder, 20GB & auto-backup / import other cloud storage solutions! Sign up HERE: (If you have a free pCloud account, after 6 months of inactivity, it will be permanently deleted, along with the files inside.)

10. 7-zip. Also see item 3 about WinRAR in the next chapter!

11. Cleanup! by Steven Gould (and not that crap CCleaner!! If only for it does NOT clean ALL user accounts. Cleanup! can, if you set the right options). Set option to scan all users. Use my CHecKDiSK scripts and Task Manager to autorun and clean whenever a user logs on. It slows your start down and it also wears your harddrive down; in return you get a clean system and most importantly: you might remove malware that just started to infect your machine and did not get time yet to start themselves...
Advanced tip: in the last tab, enable Temporary Files but remove the "*.chk"-line... You don't want to delete recovered files ; )

12. Download Acronis Drive Monitor NOW. It will check Windows & SMART logs and notify you as soon as the earliest signs of SSD or HDD damages appear.... (mirror) .
You also might want to read Hard Disk Tools and HardDisk Sentinel Standard vs. Acronis Drive Monitor (free).

13. Uncheck that check-box!
User tip: UnChecky ( - if you don't need all those bonus tools you get offered, or even hate them... Try this little gem ; -)

14. AnVir Task Manager as a startup guard
By default, Windows 10 users now have an easy way to disable regular programs that have added themselves to the auto-start programs of Windows. You can easily disable programs in the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del).
You need a startup guard to WARN you against new programs trying to always run when you start your computer. A popular choice is WinPatrol. I have a family lifetime license, and do not like it. It's old-fashioned and at moments annoyingly dumb :(
My personal preference by far is AnVir Task Manager. The program really is the best to manage startup items on your PC, despite many programs reporting or blocking it as "unwanted" software... :( Also, often the GUI looks to be 'crashed'. Give it time, it will always start responding again, but it might take some time.
Set its options to only show HDD icon (WITH temperature notification). Other settings can be left alone. Only use it as a startup guard (also guards your browser's homepage). See: . Optionally, set a Google Alert to get the pro version; this program often is given away for free. 
Not all is paradise though! Like I said, a big disadvantage is that the custom user interface mostly seems to crash and not respond. Wait a little, it will start reacting again. Learn to live with it ;p It is definitely a program to get - hdd temperature monitoring ++ startup manager. For CPU throttling, there are better (non-free) programs. For now, leave CPU managed by Windows.
IMPORTANT: multi-user systems! If you have multiple users, you need to install AnVir to a separate program files folder for each user. Things get messy if you don't ;p

AntiVirus NOTES: once you have installed all programs and the antivirus programs and have it clean and optimize your system, DISABLE both Avast & 360 TS for an hour. ONCE DISABLED you can start AnVir Task Manager and go to the quarantined list (bottom). There, you'll find a few essentials that got disabled. Usually, those items have an icon. Check them. Enable things like defragmentation, hard disk health checks and more. Some programs still think these are the Windows 95 years... We know better. Even AnVir itself might be prevented from auto-starting. With both Avast and 360 TS shields disabled, you can safely enable it again to always start when you log in. Once all is enabled, you can enable the AV shields. They won't disable it again (until you 'fix' your PC again!).

15. Advertisement Management and Blocking!
A. On OS level (Windows)
- DNS based solution: (not tested: I expect slow browsing due to slow DNS responses).
B. So I started to look at extra ad-blocking tools that hardly ever 'corrupt' websites (access denied or other problems). The Ad-Muncher developers advice uBlock Origin. It's a good all-rounder (pop-up blocking + ad-blocking + annoyances blocking).

I like to add two more extensions...
- In the browser I use for videos (Chrome / Opera / FF): Popup Blocker (strict)
- Chrome / Opera / FF: AdGuard AdBlocker (the Windows program is NOT free, the extensions are... I never install Fanboy's filters, because I like to share tweets. For a list of filters I do install, take a look here).
With these 3 extensions added, I have a good all-round protection against ads WITHOUT (hardly) any notifications that I'm not allowed to do something because I'm using advertisement blockers... Tested and verified with
Test all other websites for yourself, because this WILL give problems if you visit lots of (illegal) websites. Disable AdGuard and uBlock to test a website or open the website in another browser if you suspect a web-page is not working well because of it.

16. IObit Uninstaller ( BE WARNED: every update / installation has an almost invisible little check box to install other iobit crapware. DO NOT INSTALL THOSE! Even better, train AnVir to always remove certain helper-programs. Iobit Uninstaller itself is clean and good though, even when removing their own products Xd! It's just those annoying extras they keep pushing :/ Feel free to Quarantine it all with AnVir Task Manager.
Note to self: gives supposedly better uninstaller alternatives. I should check them out.

==================== REALLY SMART TO INSTALL TOO ====================

1. PDF...
Strictly spoken, you don't need a tool for PDF. That said, I still like to install this lean mean reading machine!
I disapprove of Acrobat Adobe Reader because it's so often hacked, and slow. STD Viewer also reads PDF files, without the risk on virii ;-)
Need more, like editing PDF?,8595.0.html has a whole discussion about it. For example, you could use Ableword  or TEST 3StepPDF Powefull PDF Processor and let us know if you liked it...? ; )

2. Screensavers should be essentials too...!! :)
* Electric Sheep, a genetic algorithm based screensaver with abstracts (upvote image with arrow up, downvote with arrow down). Optional: don't forget to download Sheep-pack 1 and pack 2 for extra nice images!^^^^^^ Set V-Sync to enabled. Set FPS for playback to "3", which will give the nicest results, I feel :)
* The best OpenGL screensavers from One of them, Helios, really stands out I feel. I like it with these values: Ions=32. Animation speed=8. Ion size=100. Camera speed=1. Emitters2. Blur=24. Attractors=5. Limit=0. Feel free to tune a bit to your likings though :)

3. 7-zip works for most. But... To top it all of and be prepared for ANYTHING... Do this: download & install WinRar.
FILE ASSOCIATIONS! Associate 7-zip with all extensions EXCEPT *.zip and *.iso. THEN associate WinRar with NOTHING, except for *.rar files and any archive formats not yet assigned.

4. Burning CD/DVD on Windows is a pita. Especially with many burners, it can take hours to create a dvd, if succeeding at all. The solution is free and simple: Even has some ISO conversion tools. Enjoy!

5. Watching Local Music and Video Files
- VLC plays it all...
- ... but Daum Pot Player English plays it prettier ( Be careful when installing: comes with many crapware options... The program also handles DVD, but is not a specialized dvd player. See point 5, below, for that!
NOTE to FUTURE self:

6. For torrents: if you insist on utorrent, only use utorrent 2.2.1. I explained more here. You can still download it. These days I'm using qBittorent.
I'm also TESTING Tribler, which offers built-in TOR anonymity and works with Token Rewards for uploading and downloading.

To search for torrents, I use Bit Che ( Bit Che searches many torrent sites at once. Recently I also started to use Jackett. It looks complicated for beginners, but I made an easy walk-through, here:

7. Watching TV Series & Movies Online
I wrote all I know here: - definitely worth a read, if I don't mind saying so...
NOTE to FUTURE self:

==================== REALLY SMART TO UNINSTALL TOO ====================

This article will show you some powershell commands to remove most of the bloatware you don't want:

==================== IF YOU LIKE THE DETAILS ====================

1. Schedule it to empty your recyclebin automatically every 30 days (or as often as you like).

2. Backgrounds
A. If you are not in a hurry, you can slowly start collecting and saving all the Microsoft Spotlight & Bing backgrounds into 1 folder and use it with Windows Slideshow. More instructions, here:
B. If you like to start with a huge collection of images, download my archive and;
- use John's Background Switcher (smart)
- use Windows Slideshow (cumbersome, technical know-how needed)
C. Make your own archive by ripping websites. Go to Chapter "3. Setting Windows Slideshow" has even more instructions for using Windows Slideshow.
D. (BEST OPTION) Install Bing Wallpaper ( - a link will be given in the Windows Background Settings.

3. DVD Player...I think I finally solved this one! Wondershare Free Video Player. ^^^^ It *is* discontinued again, but you can still download it from here

4. User auto-logon? Use command 'netplwiz':
Win 10 .

5. Power options! Go to control panel and manually set the details to your liking. BUT make sure that Start Menu Shut Down does NOT go to sleep, but actually will power down your pc / laptop. Same goes for closing the lid!! On laptops, leaving sleep or hibernate on is dangerous - the laptop still produces heat. When in a closed off environment, your laptop might overhead (hard drive damage or more!).
The main reason for forcing an actual shut down when you're done with your computer instead of sleep mode, is that updates will be installed this way. A computer (laptop) always going to sleep mode will often not install or update Windows. And that's bad ;p

6. OFFICE Alternatives
For Microsoft Office Viewers in all languages, go here: Support halted in 2017!.

For actual Microsoft Office alternatives, which allow you to EDIT documents...? From,8399.msg21457.html#msg21457 , I chose SoftMaker FreeOffice ( One catch: I've seen systems where file association during setup wasn't remembered. You can start every program and re-associate from the menu options. That works.

7. OFFICE and Gmail: tvhgooglemapi
If you want to use the "email" button in Microsoft Office but only use gmail and don't like Outlook, you must take a look at this:,11012.msg30196.html#msg30196. Gives download page: .

8. Image editing: 2 programs that complement each other very well to cover all basic tasks one might wish for...
* Paint.NET:
* Photo! Editor from (download:
Bonus: has some smart features for mass-editing:

9. DAMN NFO Viewer: if you download warez, you will like this .nfo viewer :)

10. Help Windows removing a USB drive... If you installed 360 Total Security, you don't need extra software: USB removal is already included with 360 TS.

11. CHecKDiSK scripts, also by Devnullius: .
* Extract to folder and put CHecKDiSK folder in the root of your system drive (usually C:). Make sure to read °°°°°°°° RUN ONCE °°°°°°°°°°.txt file! ^^^
* Vista/7/8/10 users can import^ the tasks from c:\CheCKDiSK\Windows\System32\Tasks-folder and only need to adjust windows user name (and maybe adjust frequency of scheduled disk checks).
* See,8077.msg20485.html#msg20485 for more background discussions about my compress.bat script...
- CHecKDiSK-folder contains more .bat-scripts, tailored for specific needs, languages and drives... Adjust to your liking's! Windows 10 always needs "English", even is your system locals are set differently.

Install the extension The Great Suspender for your browser...! It puts tabs to sleep  :-X

13. Centralized Chat Client
Meet Franz!

==================== THINGS YOU WON'T NEED... ====================

(... but might like!)

1. IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREE graphic viewer:

2. LightShot is the fastest way to take a customizable screenshot:

3. Add 'Take Ownership' to Context Menu in Windows.

4. Unlock locked files. Unlocker 1.9.2 *used* to be the best program to unlock files. Sadly, they aren't doing a good job since Windows 8.x/10. So without a lot of testing, here are some tools that should do a proper job on Windows 10...
- MalwareBytes FilesASSASSIN
- IOBit Unlocker (be aware of crapware extras!)
- LockHunter

5. Copying Files and Folders
Copying files and folders still is a complicated thing on Windows, especially when the source has damaged sectors. Even when the disk is fine, you need extra tools if you prepare to copy a lot of files: Microsoft apparently never bothered to fix their horrible explorer performance... Which is ironic because the fastest performing local file copier is made by a Microsoft employee...  :-X

Raymond has a great list to chose from. And you can find a more recent overview here. You will want speed both locally and over the network, but you'll also want file verification and support for bad sectors (= unreadable parts on the hard disk, usually only for non-SSD magnetic disks) too. That said, for local files I stick to FastCopy these days... Still have to pick a network copier.

6. Very rarely one needs to (re-)create an iso image. PowerISO free evaluation is fine for almost everything, except writing / creating iso images. Then, you will encounter limitation in size etc. Solution for those instances is,8671.msg22546.html#msg22546 (Jihosoft ISO Maker Free).

7. Download manager
I strongly advise against it, because it always causes problems at some site... Yet if you appreciate REAL FAST downloading... Get EagleGet, currently the best free downloader. READ THE FINE-PRINT! I would NOT like them to use MY IP address for 3rd party ADVERTISEMENTS! Be warned!!

8. Nature background sounds (TIP) - hidden gem: constant relaxation :) The trick is to put the volume on barely noticable. It shouldn't be in your face, but in the background.
In the options you can chose a custom sound folder to add extra sounds. They have a lot of soundpacks which you can download them from their website or from my mirror link, all in 1 convenient package:!AtYB3xpdMJMPag4EnuhIWMTNEKI?e=JSZ6q7.
IMPORTANT: multi-user systems! Aura must be installed in a separate program files folder for each user, otherwise it will only start for the first user logged in. Starting the program slows the boot process down.  Disable the program start in its options. AnVir won't work here! In Task Scheduler make a custom task to start Aura.exe for each user (with each user's account!). Make sure that all 3 action fields are filled in like this:
- program="C:\Program Files\Aura Username\Aura.exe"
- parameters=gstart
- path=C:\Program Files\Aura Username\
You can use Task Scheduler's options to delay the starting of each task (after a user's login event). I usually put it at around 15 minutes delay. This way I know the PC is done booting when I hear the birds singing...  :angel:

9. Audio CD Grabbers
An unverified list of 4 audio rippers that support FLAC, MP3 and artwork + tags. Most will support volume normalization too.

==================== Manual Intervention / ====================

1. Another great tool for a quick 1-look overview to manage non-Microsoft services is Advanced Service Manager, here: .
2. UUDecode for Windows: extract blocked gmail attachments
3. ADWCleaner: clean up "helper" programs.,8558.msg22099.html#msg22099
Download from
5. This baby has grown in to a beautiful warrior  ::)
This beauty pretty much does it all... Definitely worth running on a misbehaving computer!
6. If that fails, or if you are looking for even more problems, try this one: AutoClean from (still testing this one, but it too is very complete)
7. Still in trouble? Look here and certainly here!
8. AVZ: untested by me, but it came advised...
9. User tip: (untested)
10. BCD & multi-boot repair? Read
11. For Windows Update Troubleshooting:
12. On older systems, the file "C:\$Extend\$UsnJrnl:$J:$DATA" can become extremely fragmented and really big. Even Puran won't be able to help you here, best you can do is to delete it once in a while. This is reasonably safe to do with the following command:
Code: [Select]
fsutil usn deletejournal /n c:



~~~ ~~~
 say 'hey Devvie' or be blocked ♥

Conare nullius momenti videri fortasse missilibus careant
All spelling mistakes are my own and may only be distributed under the GNU General Public License! – (© 95-1 by Coredump; 2-014 by DevNullius)

^ also see:
^^ I've seen many systems where Avast + Chrome == Slow Loading Web Pages. IF you find loading pages to be too slow, re-run Avast setup, chose custom setup and remove Web Shield. All will be better.
^^^ First, in elevated command prompt: %SystemRoot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe /sageset:60. THEN change chkdsk time-out value: chkntfs /T:3 (Entering 0 (number zero) will give you the default 10 seconds to cancel chkdsk).
^^^^,7570.msg22065.html#msg22065 (still researching!)
^^^^^ - this even works for illegal versions (but prevents you from re-activating your license in case it's ever needed).
^^^^^^ Put the sheep in C:\ProgramData\ElectricSheep\content\mpeg
More information about bitcoin, altcoin & crypto in general? GO TO

Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare... So why not get the real SCForum employees to help YOUR troubled computer!!! SCF Remote PC Assist

Samker's Computer Forum -


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  • Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    • - Samker's Computer Forum

Of course!  :thumbsup:

CCleaner "reviewed" by SCF Community:,1133.0.html

Also, my recommendations:

- Panda Anti-Malware USB Vaccine:,4274.0.html

- Some FREE AntiMalware (*sticked):


Topic is sticked (from Yesterday)!  ;)


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:down: Anyone proposing CCleaner to me again - or even in an article I might read - will be nuked from internet forever!  :down:

Be warned...  >:(

WAR!  >:D

:) Devvie

What CCleaner ?!

I do not know any CCleaner... :-X



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:up: better :>
More information about bitcoin, altcoin & crypto in general? GO TO

Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare... So why not get the real SCForum employees to help YOUR troubled computer!!! SCF Remote PC Assist

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What about SpyBot Search & Destroy?


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What about SpyBot Search & Destroy?

NEVER on a system of mine. Why would you need it anyways??? Did you *read*  what I posted...? Study it - you'll be safe. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm doing this for 15 years... ;p


Devnullius :)
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What about SpyBot Search & Destroy?

I also like Spybot S&D... :thumbsup: ...but you will see that Deevie has its own rules.  ;)


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I also like Spybot S&D... :thumbsup: ...but you will see that Deevie has its own rules.  ;)

Hence the title... Devvie's choice :>

Sorry guys: but program just ain't good. Many false positives, horrible performance. Big no no.


Devnullius :)
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