A lot of the time we, as IT professionals, can get so caught up in finding the latest and greatest new miracle software that we neglect to see what’s right under our noses. For many of us, this has been the case lately and is the reason that so many of Windows’ inbuilt tools are going unused. These are tools that anyone can use, from the teenager at home just discovering their interest in IT, to the bustling IT department of a large international company or even those providing IT support services for SMEs in London. The truth is that these are all simple, but useful utilities and tools that should be present in any IT professional’s arsenal. Some of them you probably know and use already, others you may have heard of once or twice, and still others may not be known to you at all. Read on to find out what they are and how you should be using them.
#3 Sysinternals Suite
More than a decade ago now such useful and basic functions as Process Monitor, Autoruns, RootkitRevealer were introduced to the Windows operating system. In that time it has transformed from a clandestine but undeniably valuable set of backdoor entries into a sanctioned collection of must-have tools. Many IT professionals today can’t imagine what it would be like to go through a workday without these tools and many others included in the Sysinternals Suite. Perhaps the best part about it, aside from its unwavering usefulness and convenience, is that it is completely free, so no IT professional or even hobbyist should ever be caught without it!
HWiNFO32 is a godsend for forgetful computer owners and IT professionals everywhere. If you ever find yourself without such critical knowledge as what kind of CPU is inside the computer you’re working on, whether it supports hardware virtualisation, or how old its BIOS is, HWiNFO32 is the program for you. It can quickly and reliably find the answers to all of these questions and many more. It also monitors voltage and temperature of the internal hardware to alert you if anything is operating outside of the normal ranges. Although there are many programs that perform these functions, few are as comprehensive and easy to use as HWiNFO32 and virtually none that are worth having can compare to its price point (free). Run HWiNFO anytime you’re not 100% sure what kind of equipment you’re deal with and you’ll get all the information that you need without ever having to crack open a computer case.
Recuva will be your saving grace anytime you get a panicked call from someone who has accidentally deleted something that they shouldn’t have. Recuva lets you diffuse the situation and play the hero by “magically” restoring the lost file or files from their computer, flash drive, removable disk, or virtually any Windows-compatible storage media. It does this by scanning the device for orphaned file data and then presenting you with the option of restoring whatever it can find. It can also perform a secure delete operation if you come across a file that would be better off unrecovered.