Top 5 free programs to enhance performance ( Better then Finally Fast☺)

7-Zip/Winrar

7-Zip

7-Zip

7 Zip is open source software. it is legitametly free with no nag message, unlike Winrar.  Most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license. The unRAR code is under a mixed license: GNU LGPL + unRAR restrictions. Check license information here: 7-Zip license.

Winrar is another alternative to the misconception that is WinZip, somehow people managed to think that Winzip is free () and is the default windows unpacking program. Winzip is NOT made by Windows and NOT free. Winrar, can extract/decompress .rar files .zip files and a host of other formats as well. FYI (the rar format provides more convenient multipart (multivolume) archives, tight compression including special solid, multimedia and text modes, strong AES-128 encryption, recovery records helping to repair an archive even in case of physical data damage, Unicode support to process non-English file names ect.)

Archiver Mozilla Firefox Google Earth
161 files
15,684,168 bytes
115 files
23,530,652 bytes
Compressed size Ratio Compressed size Ratio
7-Zip 4.23 (7z format) 4621135 100% 6109183 100%
WinRAR 3.50 5021556 109% 6824892 112%
CABARC 5.1 5131393 111% 7434325 122%
WinZip 10.0 beta (maximum-PPMd) 5277118 114% 8200708 134%
7-Zip 4.23 (zip format) 6222627 135% 8909446 146%
WinZip 10.0 beta (maximum-portable) 6448666 140% 9153898 150%

Unlocker

ever get one of these?

Cannot delete file: Access is denied
There has been a sharing violation.
The source or destination file may be in use.
The file is in use by another program or user.
Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Unlocker is a God sent program,  when you are trying to delete a file that can not be deleted because a process is running.  This can be very annoying and is often the sign of a virus. A virus/trojan could be masquerading as any process, alg.exe, lsass.exe, svchost.exe ect. You may not know which one to end, so that you can delete or modify the file, Unlocker gives you the option to delete the file at startup, rename the file or delete the file immediately.

If the folder or file is locked, a window listing of lockers will appear

If the folder or file is locked, a window listing of lockers will appear

CCleaner

CCleaner is a tool to clean your system of temporary and unnecessary files that accumulate over time. This also includes a rather thorough cleaning of Internet tracks and logs like tmp files, cache, recently used files, history, cookies and more. You can select the items that you want cleaned and also specify what you do not want to delete.  A good trick is if you do not want it to delete your Mozilla cache and saved info, have that program running while you run it.   In addition, CCleaner comes with a registry scanner that scans for invalid references and other registry errors. there are options to start cleaning automatically or from the command line.

WinDirStat

(TreePie is a more lightweight simple software to get a visual view of your hardrive and see what is taking up space)

The more we use the computer, the more our hard disk gets filled with useless stuff like junk files, temp files, old song files etc. WinDirStat is a free program that gives you a visual representation of your hard disk usage. It indexes the hard drive and creates a visual map of each file and also helps you in deleting the file that you don’t need.

It uses tree maps to represent each file as a visual rectangle so you can visualize file distribution across the drive. All the files are coded with a specific and color and you can click on them to reveal file name and even open it in Explorer, copy the path, delete the file. You can also view the folder organization in a drill down interface and get an indication on how large it is. The most noticeable feature is the visual representation of the hard drive with a lots of colored rectangles representation lot of different types of files.

It is  nice software which will allow you to see which is occupying how much space on the hard drive. It is a freeware and works with Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista.

Process Explorer

Similar to Unlocker but more complex. Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded. This program demystifies which process is linked to which application and is also great for tracking down viruses which hide as certain processes such as svchost

pe

process explorer

VLC media player

This media player plays any file you can throw at it, no more issues with video codexs or anything else you got off bit torrent.

Best Free AntiVirus (go to Download.com

best thing to do is only run these if you have a problem, run Antivir all the Time.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware
Spybot – Search & Destroy(lets you know every time there is a change to the registry and asks approval)
SuperAntiSpyware
AntiVir (catches all sorts of stuff) learn to remove antivir nag message here http://www.byteforums.com/thread-2702.html
Malware Bytes( effective against Antivirus 2009 Trojan)

AVG is NOT recommended as it runs to large and slows your comp AND it is the biggest target for virus authors to write malware FOR because so many people have it.

Core Temp

What it does: As the name suggests, Core Temp is a quick and easy way to check out the temperature of your CPU as determined by the processor’s internal probes. If you’re a familiar face at Maximum PC, you’ve surely heard the gang wax about the wonders of the SpeedFan utility. Temperature-wise, the two programs conduct similar readings. The reason I lean to Core Temp, however, is that SpeedFan will sometimes offset the actual temperate of your CPU (depending on the processor) by a hearty 15 degrees. Core Temp gets the reading right the first time, every time–a perfect tool for novice users that don’t know about SpeedFan’s important little quirk.

Download it here!

NetStress

What it does: Although you can use innumerable online tools to give you a decent gauge of your current bandwidth, NetStress is an offline tool that will help you isolate network peculiarities within your internal setup. To gain the most use out of the program, set up your network and run the throughput benchmarking features at a time when you feel your setup is at peak efficiency. Record the numbers. Later, if you start to detect slowdowns or other strange goings-on, re-run the benchmarking application and see how your numbers stack up. Just like Sherlock Holmes, you can begin to isolate the problem to an errant network cable, problematic PC, or router based on the results of your tests!

Download it here!

Nero DiscSpeed

What it does: Curious to know if you’re getting maximum performance out of your optical drive? That’s where Nero DiscSpeed comes into the picture. Although this program is no longer being updated in favor of a new paid-for application (grr), it’s still a great way to analyze your drive’s read and write speeds. For example, it’s one of the best ways to figure out if your 52X burner is actually performing at 40X for some unknown reason–measurements like that aren’t really the kind of thing that an average user can estimate by how the reading or writing process “feels.” Get the real seek times, transfer rates, and other measurements with this helpful application.

Download it here!

HDDScan

What it does: This free application gives you a host of options for checking on the health of your hard drives. Pull up the drive’s S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic information if you’re just interested in a quick scan. If any statistic looks out-of-place or otherwise dangerous, the program will alert you via colored icons on the side of each piece of information. From there, you can conduct more thorough evaluations by using the application to run offline S.M.A.R.T. testing of any drive in your system, even those connected to your PC via USB or FireWire. If you’re concerned about your system’s airflow, the program will even display real-time temperature readings from your drives as icons on the lower-right hand side of Windows’ taskbar.

Download it here!

Memtest86

What it does: It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I have yet to find a more thorough or easier-to-use method for evaluating the health of your system’s memory. Even Maximum PC itself agrees with me on this one. In fact, it’s well worth your time to click that link and read about how you can use Memtest86 to your greatest advantage. If you’re experience blue screens that have seemingly come out of nowhere and they match the qualifications of a typical memory issue (either the PFN_LIST_CORRUPT or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA error messages), run Memtest86 as soon as you can to help you pinpoint the problem.

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9 thoughts on “Top 5 free programs to enhance performance ( Better then Finally Fast☺)

  1. These are not all open source apps.

    WinRar isn’t even free. You are supposed to pay after a trial period.

    And I’m not so sure about Microsoft giving away Process Explorer source code.

    For a good free compresor, go for PeaZip or jZip. The for has an ACE addon to get all your needs covered.

    Not a bad list, but not all open source.

    DM

  2. “This powerful program is your alternative to the misconception that is WinZip, somehow people managed to think that Winzip is free and is the default windows unpacking program. Winzip is NOT made by Windows and NOT free. Winrar, can extract/decompress .rar files .zip files and a host of other formats as well. FYI (the rar format provides more convenient multipart (multivolume) archives, tight compression including special solid, multimedia and text modes, strong AES-128 encryption, recovery records helping to repair an archive even in case of physical data damage, Unicode support to process non-English file names ect.)”

    Winrar is not open source or free just look at their homepage! http://www.rarlab.com/ as it asks you to pay for it.

    7-7ip is open source, free and in my opinion and the benchmarks i have seen better and faster then winrar and winzip. It also has really neat features like HJsplit built in. I used to be a fan of Winrar but 7-zip blows it away!

  3. CCLEARNER is very good program,used it for a long time. UNLOCKER is also a great program! Used it since i first found about it. Highly recommend both these programs. I dislike WINRAR tho’ much prefer WINZIP,( probably because acustomed to it.)

    1. Agrre with Flash Freddy about nag message of ANTIVIR but still good prog. Not had any virus attack since install.

  4. winRAR opens everything but has a real annoying nag message to buy the software all the time.

    Antivira is good except it opens up a full page ad every few hours asking you to buy it’s software. A really annoying nag message.

    VLC is killer and even though it’s the best thing out there it’s still on V 0.99… gotta wonder what V 1.0 will be like.

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