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Software Tools of the Trade

4391696247 41b9d663f9 m Software Tools of the Trade

bits (Photo credit: washingtonydc)

Last week I introduced our new feature “From the Trenches”. This week I wanted to touch upon the tools I use in my “virtual toolbox”.

As a computer technician, one of the many important things to do the job well is to have the right tools.  I don’t only mean hardware tools, such as a screwdriver, jump drives, cables, but software as well. End user issues vary from getting a virus, pop up ads, application issues, to losing documents, software “crashing” and computers not being able to boot up.   What does a tech do in order to help them?

Here’s a list of my favorite (Windows only) applications that help me get end users out of a bind!

1.  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

This is one of the BEST malware and spyware removers out there for Windows desktops.  It’s free for personal/home use, but also offer PRO and  various licenses for small business and enterprise usage.

2. ESET Online Scanner

ESET Online Scanner is great for those situations that you simply cannot launch the built-in antivirus, or download and run another virus/malware removal software.  They offer one scan for free.

3. Hiren’s BootCD

Hiren’s is probably the number one disk that I use when I’m troubleshooting a computer that won’t boot (BSOD anyone?), or that I can’t access upon a regular login to do a virus scan.  This CD image is FULL of useful tools that can get you out of a bind, and recover a system.  You can even set it up to boot from a USB thumb drive, if you don’t have a blank CD or CD burner handy.  Speaking of USB thumb drives…

4.  Portable Apps

This gem is a suite of portable applications that can run off of a USB flash drive.  It comes with it’s own start up menu, and you can download a variety of different utilities that can help if you don’t have rights to install any software onto their machine, but need to run antivirus or a different web browser if Internet Explorer is corrupt.  There is tons of software on there that is useful for everyday use even if you are’t a computer technician.  It’s wonderful for students who need to work in a lab environment but don’t have any expensive software or install rights to get what they need on the workstation.  (Worked for me when I was taking a PHP class, I ran a portable XAMPP web server from the lab machine!)

So in a nutshell, these are some of my favorite tools of the trade, since they have always been available, and mostly for free!

What are your favorite applications?  Do you want to know more about Mac or Linux applications?  Leave us a comment!

-Liz

image Software Tools of the Trade

 

 Software Tools of the Trade

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