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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 36616 times)

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

(pinned draft v0.99f, Aug '17)

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 ; )

Here it goes...

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

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

1. Install all essential and optional updates. Ignore and hide Microsoft Security Essentials if it's offered. Decide about Live tools if they are offered.

2. Internet browser.
A) There never was any discussion, even from the earliest builds I'd make Google Chrome the default internet browser.
Sadly, Google disabled many popular web technologies, making some website unusable so we need something new here! Which is very very sad, because the MAIN reason for me to use Chrome always was it's sandbox principles... No other browser is as secure as Chrome.
B) So what to do next? It's up to you, but I'll share my setup with you.
Still 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 Brave as the default browser, to catch all automatically opening websites by local programs.

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

5. 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
IF you don't like all the Avast pop-ups, take a look at 360 Total Security. Enable all shields, I really started to like this program. Especially because of the Toolbox that comes with it... All in all, it has become my default anti-virus, despite the annoying "possible virus found" dialogues... Avast was superior in preventing false positives. On the other side, I have 360 enabled with all engines, not just the default one. 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... For example, Defrag & Check Disk Health should remain ON but 360TS disables them when optimizing the system.
* * Running 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.
* * * Malwarebytes AV

6. Wise registry cleaner (

7. Defrag
* Win 7/8.x? Schedule Microsoft Defrag to run daily.
* Win 10? I trust Windows 10 knows best. Leave settings alone.

8. 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:

NL-only TIP: STACK - extreme cloud storage by (1 TB total) with Webdav support and custom URL! Go here: (you'll have to await an invite). If you have activated your account, go here:,11485.msg31150.html#msg31150 for detailed instructions.

9. 7-zip. Also see Point 2.4!

10. 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 ; )

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 likings!

12. Acronis Drive Monitor: (mirror: .
Be careful when installing: comes with many crapware options... And DO READ my article here:,7955.msg19883.html#msg19883 and even here:,8087.msg20515.html#msg20515 .

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. You need a startup guard to warn you against new programs trying to always run when you start your computer
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 for AnVir Task Manager. The program really is the best to manage startup items on your PC, despite a history of nasty install behaviour. Also, often the GUI looks to be 'crashed'. Give it time, it will always start responding again, but it might take some time.
Set 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: . Also set a Google Alert, this program often is given away in a (more) pro(-ish) version for free. Think
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 seperate program files folder for each user. Things get messy if you don't ;p

15. Advertisement Management and Blocking!
A. On OS level (Windows)
- Ad Muncher. It was the *only* ad blocker that meets my high standards! And it became 100% free! Download: or mirrors here .
IMPORTANT: multi-user systems! Install AM for each user to it's own program files directory. Also, tick the correct options so each user has his or her own settings. Otherwise, AM will only start for the first account logging in.

While AM is (was) THE BEST ad-blocker ever (I never got non-functioning websites or denied access because I'm using an Ad Blocker) it is becoming (slowly) obsolete. Reason? Version 4.x does NOT support httpS websites! Version 5.x was years in the making but in the end it never saw the day of light. AM is looking for investors before they continue work on v5...
- 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 more control and found two extensions...
- 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 two 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 adverstisement blockers... Tested and verified with Test it yourself :)

16. .
* Windows 7/8.x users should read this first:
* Windows 10 users are, for now, not able to run HSM :/


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

1. Add 'Take Ownership' to Context Menu in Windows. Add 'Upload to VirusTotal' context menu.

2. 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

3. 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 :/

4. 7zip works for most. But... To top it all of and be prepared for ANYTHING... Do this: download & install WinRar. XP/Vista/7 do the same for PowerISO.
(downloads: and
FILE ASSOCIATIONS! XP users? First install 7zip, associate ALL file types. Vista/7 users should associate 7zip with all BUT *.zip files. Windows 8 should associate 7zip with all BUT *.zip and *.iso. THEN associate WinRar with NOTHING, except for *.rar files.  XP/Vista/7: associate PowerIso with everything it can handle. Then associate your default media player again for all supported file types... PowerIso might have hijacked some... ;p

5. 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!

6. 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 (and bypass antivirus checks on each and every file...!).
Raymond has a great list to chose from. You will want speed both locally and over the network, but you'll also want file verification and support for bad sectors too (= unreadable parts on the hard disk, usually only for non-SSD magnetic disks).
These are my choices:
* TeraCopy:
* RoadKill's Unstoppable Copier:
* FastCopy:
* RichCopy:
And of course, I should also mention RoboCopy and its clones... Should... ;p


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

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

2. Latest Daum Pot Player English ( Be careful when installing: comes with many crapware options... The program also handles DVD, but is not a specialized dvd player. See point 7, below, for that!

3. For torrents: still utorrent, but only use utorrent 2.2.1. I explained more here:,11042.msg30268.html#msg30268. Short reason: after it got bought by BitTorrent Inc., stuff went downhill. Today I posted about my problems and all I got was a forum ban. Not professional at all. They really don't like you talking about version 2.2.1 - and there's a reason for that! DOWNLOAD here:
TESTING: as an alternative

To search for torrents, I nowadays just use Google with time limited search (use the cache function if torrents are blocked by your ISP). Newbies can also use Bit Che ( to search many torrent sites at once.

4. John's Background Switcher ( You can import my personal favorite settings from \CHeCKDiSK-folder (also see Item 1.9). I have a quick link here: . You'll find over 10k backgrounds. Read more here:,6219.msg30581.html#msg30581
IMPORTANT: multi-user systems! JBS must be installed in a seperate program files folder for each user, otherwise it will only start for the first user logged in. Delay it's start with AnVir - starting the program slows the boot process down.

5. PDF... . Lean mean reading machine :)
Need more?,8595.0.html


7. 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

8. User auto-logon? Use command 'netplwiz':
Win XP (also gives registry settings to do this),
Win Vista ,
Win 7 ,
Win 8 ,
Win 10 .

TIP: If you want to remove password expiration do the following:
       Click on Start's Search button.
       Type: wmic
       Right click found program wmic and “Run as Administrator”
       Now paste this commmand:
                     UserAccount where PasswordExpires=TRUE set PasswordExpires=FALSE
       Confirm change for each account with password expiration.

9. 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 (especially XP) will often not install or update Windows. And that's bad ;p

10. Although Wise Registry Cleaner already has a quick tune up function to speed the general usage of Windows up, one can finetune even more... With Windows SMART Services (XP/Vista/7)! Download the tool here: . You can extract this standalone utility to a folder. Run the program as administrator and chose Moderate for a Newbie friend (and for yourself of course Advanced Tweaks). On Vista, make sure to right-click and start the program as an administrator, or else you will get flooded with little error screens. Use Task Manager to kill the main process when that happens...
You can read in great detail all that is happening, here:
(And Windows 8.x users can use that URL to manually tweak their system.)
Another great tool for a quick 1-look overview and to quickly manage non-Microsoft services is Advanced Service Manager, here: .

11. OFFICE Alternatives
For Microsoft Office Viewers in all languages, go here: .

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.

In general, I first install FreeOffice and associate it with all except .RTF. Then I install the office viewers (prepare for massive updates!) and set them as default for each of their own. I hardly ever edit documents, so in case I need to edit I will right-click and chose FreeOffice (or you can use one of the system tray icons to quickly open the editor you need...)

12. 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: .

13. 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).

14. Screensavers!
* Electric Sheep, a genetic algorithm based screensaver with abstracts (upvote image with arrow up, downvote with arrow down). Optional: don't forget to download the Sheep-pack for extra nice images! . Create a free account, sign in. Set V-Sync to enabled. Set FPS for playback to "3". Gives 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 :)

15. 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:

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

17. Nature background sounds - 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:
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:

18. Help Windows removing a USB drive...

19. If downloading torrents isn't your thing, and if you don't like with Ad Muncher, Popcorn Time might be your thing.
There are many builds... Here a quick overview to get you started!
- install nothing:
- Popcorn Butter: (build.3.10-0 "popcorn is love" beta HEAD 28112167)
- (version 5.x - mirror:
- STREMIO with Torrent plugin enabled has the most potential (but has some problems)

WARNING: Depending on local laws, you will need a VPN to protect your IP address when using torrent streaming. I definitely advise TigerVPN's lifetime subscription.
WHEN you are safe from the Law, you will find these to be awesome internet multimedia players to find, track & play all kinds of tv series or movies.
TIP: if you notice sound slowly gets more and more out of sync while playing movies, try installing VLC Media Player. Its codecs are far superior to Mediaplayer's and Popcorn software actively looks for a VLC installation...


==================== Manual Intervention ====================

0. UUDecode for Windows: extract blocked gmail attachments
1. ADWCleaner: clean up "helper" programs.,8558.msg22099.html#msg22099
2. Junkware removal tool
3. This baby has grown in to a beautiful warrior  ::)
This beauty pretty much does it all... Definitely worth running on a misbehaving computer!
4. 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)
5. Still in trouble? Look here and certainly here!
6. AVZ: untested by me, but it came advised...
7. BCD & multi-boot repair? Read

<expect more details laters...>



~~~ ~~~

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)

NOTE to FUTURE self:

^ also see:
^^ XP users, to prevent nagging for CD, please read here:
^^^^ 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. Also see ^^^?
^^^^^^ 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).^
^^^^^^^ Free Avast Pro Promo? Read this,7619.msg21491.html#msg21491 .
^^^^^^^^,7570.msg22065.html#msg22065 (still researching!)

note to future-self:,8297.msg21105.html#msg21105
More information about bitcoin, altcoin & crypto in general? GO TO

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  • Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
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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 :)
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?

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 :)
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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