In the past year and a half or so I’ve repaired over 350 computers. In this series I’m describing the very repair tools that I use daily. If you would like, you can see the entire series by following these links: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 10.1 and part 10.2.
Part 10.3: Continuing what I started in part 10, 10.1 and 10.2, in the next few posts I’ll show you the repair tools that I have on my USB flash drives and tell you what they are used for. At the moment I carry around six USB drives so let’s take a look at some more programs that I have on flash drive #2:
1) Virus Effect Remover: A gifted group of ex-students (Avinash Sachen, John Fensome, and a third who likes to remain anonymous), saw a problem with ALL of the Windows Operating Systems and came up with this one. Virus Effects Remover (V.E.R.), is a tool to help end-users remove the effects of either a live virus, or the effects left-over by a virus, in any Windows Operating System. Instead of having to do a complete reinstall, V.E.R. will repair/fix the important damaged Operating System items, like the Windows TaskManager, RegEditor, MSConfig, as well as the Operating System’s folder options, and Windows AutoUpdate, and many other OS things as well.
2) Undeleteable SafeBoot Key: A very sharp Belgian guy named Didier Stevens came up with this nifty tool. You know how some malware, viruses, etc. mess up your PC so you can’t get into Windows? One of the normal routes would be to reboot to safe mode and attack the problem from there, but how many times has your safe mode been inaccessible? Often malware is written to “clobber” safe mode to protect its existence. This “cool tool” by Stevens will bullet proof your safe mode so it doesn’t get disabled!
3) Take Ownership: This great program has saved my “bacon” several times! Taking ownership of system files or folders in Windows 7 or Vista is not a simple task. Whether you use the GUI or the command line, it takes far too many steps. Thankfully somebody created a registry hack that will give you a menu item for “Take Ownership” that will handle all the steps for you. After you install this registry hack, “Take Ownership” will show up in your right click menu and you’ll be able to access any file or folder. Great stuff!
4) WhoCrashed: Man, this is a great one! Whenever a computer running Windows suddenly reboots without displaying any notice or blue screen of death, the first thing that is often thought about is a hardware failure. In reality, most crashes are caused by malfunctioning device drivers and kernel modules. In case of a kernel error, most computers running Windows do not show a blue screen unless they are configured to do so. Instead these systems suddenly reboot without any notice. WhoCrashed shows the drivers which have been crashing your computer with a single click. In most cases it can pinpoint the offending drivers which have been causing misery on your computer system in the past. It does post-mortem crashdump analysis and presents all gathered information in a comprehensible way. Normally, debugging skills and a set of debugging tools are required to do post-mortem crash dump analysis. By using this utility you do not need any debugging skills to be able to find out what drivers are causing trouble to your computer.
5) Fix IE Utility: A valuable little tool by Raghu Boddu! If you face any problems while running IE, maybe after recovering from a malware attack, and if you find that the Reset Internet Explorer feature does not help you, run this tool to re-register around 89 dll & ocx files, which are required for the smooth running of Internet Explorer. Fix IE Utility has been tested on IE 7, IE 8 and IE 9, on Windows Vista & Windows 7. Before running the utility, make sure that all your Internet Explorer windows are closed. A must tool for your USB flash drive!
Professor Randy says: A computer repair technician without great tools is like milk without cookies! Pointless! Fill your flash drive up with great tools and you’ll have the solution to the problem in the palm of your hand!