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441 specific download links ! Website updated 2016-03-13.

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1. Full-featured programs
Most popular:
Internet: Firefox, FileZilla, FlashGet
Documents: Open Office, 7-zip, XYplorer
Programming: Visual Studio Express, EasyCode, InnoSetup, Notepad++
Scientific: Scilab, LTSpice, Femm
Design/Media: Pixia, Media player classic Home cinema, CDBurnerXP
Communication: Skype, PuTTY
Antivirus: Avast!, Spybot-Search & Destroy

2. Light programs and utilities
Most popular:
Light programs: Wise, Agent Ransack, Metapad, WireNote, Tardis, X-Shot
Utilities: TweakUI, SafeXP, CCleaner, Process Explorer, OllyDbg, FreeRAM XP Pro, Whois, SIW

3. Updates and components
Runtimes/Frameworks, Service Packs, Development Kits

Other links:

4. Links page
Links to other engineering pages of interest (materials/magnetics engineering, electronics, computers and software). Also links to search engines, travel sites, translators, and miscellaneous pages.

5. Speedups page
Tips on how to speed up a Windows system.

6. M16C microcontroller page
Renesas M16C/62 instructions, assembler directives and special function registers.

7. Semiconductor components page
Discrete semiconductor types and data.

Full-featured programs

Internet Explorer web browser version 7 and 8 for Windows XP, SP 2 and 3, and Vista. Includes a pop-up stopper and a phishing filter. To view ftp content as folders, the ordinary Windows Explorer has to be used (also required for active mode ftp). It doesn't include an e-mail client, download Windows Live Mail for that. Or use Mozilla Thunderbird below. For Vista, SP2 with platform upgrade, or Win7 there is IE9. For Win7 SP1 and Win8 there is IE10 and IE11. To speed up downloads much (and to be able to download/resume download of files over 4GB), use FlashGet. To remember and protect login and form details, use AI RoboForm. The most used IE add-on must be Flash Player. There is also the Shockwave Player for games and animation. IE7 contains a disabler/uninstaller for ActiveX addons.

Firefox web browser. Version 1.5 or above has good file handling (file-program associations). Includes a pop-up stopper. Firefox version 10 or above are required by banks. It doesn't have any ftp upload feature, use FileZilla for that (it has secure transfers, connection keepalive and drag and drop - version <3.1 is required for W2K), or use the FireFTP plugin. No mailer is included, use Mozilla Thunderbird in case you need one (it could have problems with account names including the @ character). To increase the speed of file downloads, use the FlashGot addon. To add Javascript debugging, editing, profiling and DOM viewing support, use the Firebug addon.

Open Office Complete office suite for free. It has good compatibility with the Microsoft Office file formats, with the exception that only Excel VBA macros can be run (with 2.4 or 3.x and the "Option VBA Support 1" code line). The VBA emulation is not complete, and scripts run slowly. Java can be included in the download, and is needed for VBA support. To get colourful document templates, try Office Templates at Microsoft. The maths editor in OpenOffice is quite good, but it cannot give TeX output. To process TeX/LaTeX files, use MiKTeX, the Led editor and the Latex Help e-book. If you want a standalone WYSIWYG HTML editor instead of OpenOffice Writer/Web, you can consider Kompozer , but the OpenOffice link handling is superior. To check links in HTML pages, use Xenu's link sleuth.

PDF-Xchange Viewer is a fast loading PDF reader. Its main functions are free and the free mode can be set on installing. To convert any format to PDF, use CutePDF (acts as a printer). To convert in the other direction, use Wondershare PDF to Word Converter Free. To import and edit a PDF document, use the PdfImport extension to OpenOffice 4. Only a few pages can be imported at a time, use the PDFill tool to extract pages. Edit in OpenOffice Draw and save as PDF. PDFill PDF Tools is a tool to extract pages from pdf files, requires Ghostscript (below). GSview is a viewer for plain postscript files (ps,eps,epsf,epsi) as well as PDF, it needs AFPL or GPL Ghostscript as a back-end (can be downloaded from the GSview link). PCLReader is for viewing PCL/PRN/HPGL files that are produced if you print to a file on a PCL printer. Microsoft E-book reader is needed to read books in E-book format. There are many free E-book download sites, examples are Project Gutenberg and Free Computer books (also for mathematical and technical literature).

7-zip is a good freeware file archiver with support for most formats . Supports zip, rar, cab, bz2, iso (for browsing/extraction) and 7z files (the strongest compression there is). Shows the correct access time of files in contrast to Windows properties pages. Fast file browsing and copying, can browse regular folders and MSI files (IZArc can't), good net path support, Norton/Explorer-style interface. Updating of files in an archive with folders is easy with drag and drop (IZArc needs a similar folder structure to update such files). The drawbacks are that it hasn't any file search tool and file moves are interrupted by open files (like the ordinary Explorer, use TeraCopy to handle this better). 7-zip has versions that work on Windows 98.

XYplorer is a file manager with tabbed browsing, previews, good net path and file searching support. Shows the correct access times of files. Can show size of folders in columns. The last free version is 5.55. A small problem could be that Paste shortcut and Undo don't exist (shortcuts to files have to be created with drag and drop or Copy Path and New Shortcut). A typical use of the program would be as a second file browser where system files are shown. Another (completely free) file search tool is Agent Ransack.

Visual Studio Express Completely free developer studio. Mostly for .NET apps, no direct MFC or ATL support. The visual designer is only for .NET/Windows Forms programs. The link is to 2010 and 2008 versions (.NET 4 and .NET 3). The 2012 and 2013 versions are here and here. The 2005 version (.NET 2) is a rare download (here is Visual C++ 2005 Express and here it is in ISO form). The service pack is more available, as SP1. The iso version contains Windows Installer 3.1, MSDN Express, and SQL Server Express also. The iso says it requires XP SP 2, but it can be installed without it with a small registry change. To be able to compile Win32 GUI programs, download Windows SDK, use the last download link on the 2003 R2 SDK page to get the MFC/ATL libraries. To get a visual resource editor, download ResEdit (requires XP with a service pack), or use XN Resource Editor. To download the .NET frameworks only, see below.

Easy Code is a good Windows assembler development environment with a visual designer, looks much better than its webpage. Add the MASM32 assembler and linker (the link is to a package with an adapted editor, Masm 6.14 (ml614.exe) without editor is here). You could need library file to include file converters, they are here.

Kpit GNU tools is a free development environment for Renesas microcontrollers.

Source Navigator is a tool for graphically depicting and navigating in a large programs call trees, symbol references etc. Includes a code editor. Has support for several languages.

Notepad++ is a complete text editor (and completely free), with good syntax highlighting of coding languages, saving of editing sessions, synchronized scrolling, multiple views and zoom of texts, plugins for spelling, HTML and command line integration. The code function listing plugin is quite unique, since it can follow and display the function the cursor is currently in. The alternative editor would be PSPad (also completely free) with a lot of language support, spelling, HTML, code explorer, rare command line integration and many more features integrated directly, without the need for plugins.

WinMerge Differencing and merging tool for Windows. There is also the possibility to edit files directly in it. For binary files, it displays if the files are alike or not, but with no details. To difference Word documents, use DiffDoc (trialware). WinMerge can be used to find out if files are exact copies of one another or not, but for bulk duplicates finding, use DoubleKiller For binary files detail comparison (and editing), use AXE.

Pixia is a paint program in Photoshop style, with fast graphical tools and effects. Text input is quick to integrate with graphics. It has scanning ability. Another paint program in Photoshop style is Paint.NET. It includes a download for .NET 3.5 SP1. If you want a Deluxe Paint style paint program, use Ultimate Paint . To view and convert images between many formats, there is IrfanView . Inkscape is a vector drawing program that can use the SVG file format. Good complement to the paint programs. Inkscape can import and edit single PDF paqes. Ipe is a postscript figures editor, that can be used for inclusion in Latex or PDF documents. Download both the 7.0.10 win zip file and the 7.0.0 dependency package and unzip the dependencies into the main package directory.

InnoSetup is a very effective alternative for making installations, free even for commercial use.

Scilab is a free Matlab-like matrix calculation program with quite powerful graphing and scripting. Sage is a Maple-like infinite-precision symbol manipulator for computer algebra and differential equations.

WinPLT is a 2D plotting program, with possibilities to edit graphs and add text (etc) after data has been imported. Since it is developed for the chemical science, it has lots of provisions for chemical formulae and structures. KyPlot is a 3D plot program, with functions for data processing and statistics. The link is to the last free 2.0 version.

FreeFEM is an advanced program to solve partial differential equations with the finite element method. Femm is a fairly user-friendly FEM program specialized for magnetics problems.

LTSpice/SwitcherCADIII is a free Spice circuit simulation program, especially for switched mode power supplies, but many more applications are possible. Linear Technology circuit element models are here , or as a library here. Circuit element models from other manufacturers: Siemens / Infineon Philips/NXP ( BJT, FET, RF, diode, NXP ), ST ( opamps, diodes and transistors ), Motorola/ON/Freescale ( RF, opamp, BJT, MOS, diode ), Harris/ Intersil, HP/Agilent/Avago, Fairchild, National ( opamp/ zip, library, Comlinear ), TI ( zip, library, Burr-Brown), Analog devices, Maxim ( opamp, library) Microchip, Diodes Incorporated/Zetex ( Zetex library older, Zetex newer, Diodes zip). A high-frequency transformer simulation (and core selection) program is available from Epcos (independent of Spice). There is also a Spice library for Epcos inductors, varistors and thermistors. Ansoft designer SV is a circuit simulator and electromagnetics solver for high-frequency designs. Component S-parameter data for such simulations can be accessed here, for several manufacturers.

FreePCB is a free PCB layout program, it can use the on-line (java) autorouter FreeRoute with the aid of FpcROUTE, included with FreePCB. It has support for 16 copper layers. If 6 layers or less is sufficient, a free alternative is PCB123 . It has autorouting, autoplacement and a large parts library.

DAZ studio is a 3d modelling program with a free download. Sketchup is an architectural oriented 3D CAD program. progeCAD Smart! is a 2D CAD program with AutoCAD commands and file format. Through it, an ALE block library can be downloaded with 10000 parts. It is free for non-commercial use.

SeerMusic remixer/synthesizer for Windows 98 only. SoftStep Basic is a free MIDI sequencer. Quartz Audio Master (freeware version) is a sequencer/composer that has scoring ability.

MagicScan v4.3 Free scanning program for UMAX SCSI scanners on XP. v4.3 is the harder one to get hold of. VistaScan 2.43 for W98 is here . You can also do standardized TWAIN scanning in Irfanview, for example. SimpleOCR converts scanned documents into text documents.

VirtualDub is a video capture program with simple editing functionality. Jahshaka is a video editor to complement with. It also shows what can be programmed using cross-platform GTK and OpenLibraries.

Virtual CloneDrive Good ISO file mounter. Links the ISO (or bin/cue) file to a disk letter, and allows access to individual files within it with Explorer or the command prompt. It also makes it possible to run programs, that normally requires a CD inserted, without a CD, freeing up the tray for other work. VCD can create iso and mds CD images, but CDBurnerXP is better at it.

Cobian backup for scheduled, differential, compressed backups of many files. One can also use the Google Drive for storing 15 GB.

Media player classic Home cinema is a fast media file/DVD player. It doesn't contain DRM (Digital Rights Management / Media licensing) like Microsoft players. To be able to play Quicktime and Real media (including plugins for browsers) and other formats, download K-Lite Mega Codec Pack , it contains Media player classic also. When playing back Quicktime with DirectX, 24 bit colour mode must be used for the graphics card. K-Lite Mega Codec Pack requires DirectX 9.0, for 8.0 download the parts of the package : Mediaplayer classic Home cinema 1.0.11 (it is in particular needed to directly play back VOB files and streaming Real Media), ffdshow (tryouts rev 2322, last version that runs on W98, for the Flash format and others), Flash splitter and DirectShow ogg/flac filters (to be able to play flash and flac in Windows Media Player with ffdshow), and Haali media splitter to be able to play back mp4/3gp (look under Recommended Solution at this link). More components are Quicktime Lite 2.9.0 and Real Media Alternative Lite. Ffdshow is good also for brightening video and boosting volume above what is normally available.

CDBurnerXP is for burning CD:s and DVD:s. It is necessary on Windows XP, since XP doesn't have built in DVD burning capability. It is also good for creating data CD images, even for CD:s with large number of errors. It might need ASPI dlls, and it also requires .NET 2 or higher. It doesn't work on Windows 98. To convert AVI/WMV files to DVD format prior to burning, use Avi2DVD. To convert in the other direction, use Leawo Free DVD to AVI Converter . In case Avi2DVD doesn't work on Win7, use Video to Video converter. It is possible to convert to a mpeg2 file, and then burn it as an SVCD with cdrtfe. To convert CD music tracks to files, use Audiograbber . It can convert to WMA with high bitrate (like Windows Media Player) and to MP3 with the LAME encoder (is included in codec packs). Audiograbber uses the "cddb" function for downloading song names/"media info".

Google Earth satellite picture viewer and travel planner. Requires a fast web connection. There is Google Mars too.

Stellarium planetarium for simulating and viewing the sky very realistically.

Picasa photo organizer for viewing, modification, e-mailing and making (web) albums of images.

Skype IP telephone.

FlashGet Fast web file and torrent downloader. Light but quite feature-rich, works directly with Internet Explorer, and for Mozilla there is the FlashGot addon. FlashGet contains a Site Explorer for downloading web sites, but it could be a little incomplete. Complement with HTTrack to download complete web sites.

PuTTY is an SSH (secure shell/telnet) client for Windows.

Cygwin/X Free X-Windows server for Windows to interact with a remote Unix host (or the local Cygwin system). Something to try to configure using the cygwin environment is Xfig , a gnuplot/latex figures editor (Xfig is included in Cygwin). X-Server commercial alternatives : X-Win32, MI/X (cheaper). There are indications that PuTTY could be used with X-Win32 LX (free version of X-Win32) to get a good, completely free X-windows connection (but PuTTY needs to be configured properly then).

Slackware - Run Unix directly on the PC with this Linux /GNU/KDE distribution. The default office package is Calligra. Additional packages can be downloaded from Slackbuilds. Vim is the Vi editor, which is particularly suiting for doing configuring work in Linux/Unix terminals (and in telnet windows). Download it for Windows to learn the basic keystroke commands. There is a plug-in VimOutliner that brings folding to Vi for better code overview. Slax is a light Linux distribution that can run directly from a CD. A so-called Live CD for doing maintenance work on the harddisk system. The most important modules are ntfs-3g and FUSE ,that brings full NTFS access to Linux. There is a possibility to run Slackware on Windows by using the free VirtualPC 2007 , using the right tips.

Windows PE is a preinstall environment, a kind of Live CD to boot a computer into, to analyze an offline main system. To get PE3, first download the WAIK, burn it to DVD, and install it. Then follow these steps to make the PE disc. You could perhaps need to add drivers to the PE image, do it with the WAIK dism tool, explained here.

Avast! is a virus scanner with on-access, on-demand and on-boot scanning. It has antispyware, basic rootkit detection and PUP (possibly unwanted programs like keyloggers, remote admins and hacktools) detection. It has behavioural protection (process detection without signature use) and a settable heuristics sensitivity. It also has an email scanner and a lightweight intrusion detection system. It has a web scanner, and it is important to cleanup the previous antivirus installation to make it work. Use an uninstall utility from the previous antivirus maker, and check that all AV drivers are removed from the Device manager/Hidden devices. Avast can be set to perform unattended scans with autoremoval of viruses, but the boot time scan has to be attended though (and viruses in RAR archives are detected, but aren't removed). It works on W2K, XP any/no service pack, Vista/7. The low service pack OS:s are the ones requiring the most protection, so the fact that Avast! can be used there makes a lot of sense. It is also good to have a virus scanner working while updating to a later service pack. Avast! requires a simple, free, registration once a year. To complement with a standalone on-demand virus and rootkit scanner, Sophos virus removal tool can be used. To get a free rescue system for removing rootkits/viruses from non-bootable systems, or systems that you prefer not to boot, use Aviras. Use RUBotted (requires SP2) to check if the machine is used for spamming. To get a sandbox for testing noisy or viral software, download Returnil system safe. Most free antivirus programs don't run on server systems, use Microsoft Security Essentials, with these tips .

ZoneAlarm is a firewall. It doesn't report the connections in detail, but instead it shows the traffic in the tray icon, and it doesn't ask for DNS connections for already allowed programs. It generates large log files in the Internet Logs folder. A Microsoft network is usually set up as a trusted zone. To get a detailed view of the traffic to/from the computer, use TCPView, or use the Kerio firewall. A complement to Windows firewall is needed because the Windows firewall doesn't have outbound protection. If there is a need for a complete intrusion detection system, use Snort. Snort requires WinPcap.

Spybot - Search and Destroy On-demand spyware scanner. Slow, but quite accurate. Also contains a startup editor (like W98 msconfig) that works for W2K/XP also. The startup editor is not as complete as Autoruns, but it adds checking in system.ini for program starts. It also has a convenient ActiveX uninstaller, that otherwise only exists in IE 7. A complement is Spywareblaster that stops ActiveX-spyware from entering the system. Also stops tracking cookies (but not for IE5). Works with Mozilla browser, too.

Sysinternals suite contains many tools for computer maintenance, including Autoruns, Process Explorer, TCPView and ProcMon for example. Autoruns is a startup programs lister that is very complete. Lists DLLs and drivers that are run on system startup also. Process Explorer is a detailed process manager, shows cpu time, DLLs and file handles opened by processes. Is able to kill individual threads of a process, and some processes that the ordinary Windows task manager can't kill. TCPView monitors the TCP/IP connections. Good for checking system connections and firewall performance. To get TDIMon (a discontinued tool) to view and log TCP/IP activity on the transport layer, you can go here (if you need a complete network protocol capturer/analyzer, use Wireshark ). ProcMon is a process, file and registry activity monitor and logger. Works on XP SP 2, for earlier versions Filemon and Regmon must be downloaded separately. Other interesting programs are Movefile and Pendmoves to set up file moves at reboot, VolumeID for checking the soft serial number of harddisks, SDelete for deleting files completely and Contig for making files contiguous (nonfragmented) on the disk. PageDefrag defragments the pagefile and registry files (not done by the ordinary Windows defragmenter). LiveKd enables more functionality from Microsofts kernel debuggers. RootkitRevealer is a program to reveal viruses/spyware that hides themselves from virus/spyware scanners. Also useful to find "extra hidden" files. RootkitRevealer is a scanner only, to view rootkit hooks and stealthily loaded drivers, use RootkitUnhooker .

Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools About 130 tools for advanced use and system administration, including a DVD image burner tool and Robocopy (a robust and exact copier - in contrast to the crippled Xcopy in W98).

Light programs and utilities

Off By One Very light, independent, web browser. No Javascript or CSS. For systems low on memory or to get a very fast loading.

LeechFTP Fast and light FTP transfer program, especially for multiple uploads/downloads, with Keepalive to hold the connection open. Doesn't support secure transfer modes.

Miniget is a very small file and torrent download program. WinX Youtube downloader is a clean video downloader.

FreeBASIC is, in fact, a good BASIC editor/IDE and compiler compatible with QuickBASIC. SmallBasic is a free .NET Basic environment (there exists another SmallBasic, this is the link to the MS version).

Z80 ZX Spectrum emulator for DOS/Windows. Other free alternatives are ZX-32 (also contains some games) and Unreal Speccy P4 0.38.2 (newer). Contains all roms needed. Make copy of ini for P4 version. Use Numlock to speed up loading. Browse settings with Alt-F1. Disable tape autostart if problems with tzx loading. Press F3 to select tape, press f7 to start tape. To make tzx files from tapes, use maketzx. Use wintzx to play back tzx files for loading into a real machine (or playtzx for loading from Android). Two sites for games and info are Demotopia and tzx vault.

PFE Programmers editor. Fast, C support only, some integration to the command line. A more modern editor, but still quite light and fastloading is Programmers Notepad . It has good highlighting of mismatched brackets, code folding, text zooming, Unicode, support for many languages and integration with compiler tools.

FreeSpell a spelling programfor any environment. Looks bad, but the spellcheck is good. WordWeb is an English dictionary and thesaurus. If you don't like it, try The Sage.

Wise v. 7.9 is a calculator much more powerful than the Windows calculator (does formulas and graphs). Version 7.9 doesn't work on Windows 2K3. Wise 5 is here (works on W2K3) but I suspect this web page could contain spyware ! Wise has a plotting function also.

Agent Ransack is a good file searching utility, much better than Windows XP:s search companion and required on Vista/7 with its crippled search function. It can be used as a "searching file manager" on a large system where moving between folders is impractical. Includes a test tool for regular expressions (search expressions). Drag and drop of shortcuts to found files doesn't work, but shortcuts can be created with right-click Send To Desktop (or Copy and Paste shortcut).

TeraCopy is a program that monitors large file copy operations in Windows Explorer. It allows for speedup and pausing, doesn't stop the whole operation on a single transfer failure, and produces a summary of how successful the operation was with retransfering options.

Metapad Very fast notepad replacement. Support for Unicode, UNIX files, unlimited file size, has a transparent window mode (for XP), drag and drop editing (but no column editing), hyperlinks and fast launch of external viewers. Printing to HP pinters has been proven to be a problem, though.

WireNote is a program to manage notes and alarms. Can encrypt the notes and works in multiuser environments. It shows the day of the month in the system tray, complementing the time shown by Windows.

EasyXML XML viewer and converter to HTML. Has support for scripting.

Tardis sets the time of the clock (needed for W98 that has no time service). K9 on the same site can be used to synchronize clocks on a LAN. If the clock is too wrong, Tardis can't set it, check the time here instead.

Tweak UI (XP , Win98 ) Makes many good settings available, especially for speedup, that are quite hard to access otherwise. Fails to start on Vista, even in compatibility mode. For XP there is also a right-click menu item called Open Command Window Here that can be downloaded from the same location. It provides quick access to the command line for the clicked folder. For XP without any service pack, one must use TweakuI 2.00 . A complementing program to TweakUI is TuneXP to make sure the harddrive is using DMA, and to speed up IRQ handling. A program that can do hard services tweaking is XP smoker pro free.

TCPOptimizer is a program to increase the speed of the Internet as it appears in programs (IE in particular).

SafeXP is an easy (and completely free) program for changing XP settings and disabling unnecessary services. Speed up and secure the system at the same time (although it is a little conservative).

CCleaner is a program to accurately clean out unnecessary files and registry data, and to speed up the system. It also includes a startup editor, a cookie manager, and a system restore point cleaner. The registry cleaner should be run several times for best effect. To clean temporary files from all user accounts and additional system locations one can use System Ninja. To do deeper registry cleaning RegSeeker can be used (the only completely free registry cleaner I have found for W98). It works for XP too, can store registry key favourites, and has a quick tweaks page. To do scheduled registry backup, use - Registry backup. You can do registry restore in safe mode (with the app) and with a command script in the recovery console/repair your computer boot option. You can also use a Windows PE or other live CD to copy the registry files into place from the backup location. To copy registry files and other opened files while Windows is running, it is possible to use Shadow copy that uses the Volume shadow copy service. To unlock opened files for viewing, rename or regular copying, the Unlocker can be used.

Mizo XP themer to apply visual styles to old programs.

X-Shot screen capture program, installs itself in the system tray. Virtual Magnifying Glass is a screen magnifier. Good for reading small text or checking designs. Includes a colour info tool, but Color Cop is better for that purpose.

PathCopy A program that installs right-click commands for copying paths (and URLs) from objects in Windows, that can be very long.

JR Split File splits large files to fit on floppies or whatever. A batch file can be generated for joining the pieces back.

ToddlerKeys locks the mouse and keyboard, and darkens the screen, until QUIT is typed.

Keyblaze typing tutor is a program to practice typing, with pattern training, ordinary text training and speed tests. Results are given with problem letters and words. One can also import texts to practice on.

FreeRAM XP Pro is a program to free memory and view memory consumed by processes. Actually it's necessary on Windows98 systems, because it can warn before systems resources are used up, allowing the user to close some applications and avoid crashes. Also has a nice tray icon showing number of MB RAM left.

IconsExtract efficiently extracts the icons in programs contained in folders (or single programs for that matter). IrfanView can extract icons in programs (but not bitmaps). To edit such resources, use XN Resource Editor.

Space disk usage analysis. Efficient tool for finding where the disk space is wasted (30-day trial).

DoubleKiller finds duplicate files on your disks, either by checksum or bytewise contents. Another program, that sorts the files according to file type, is Duplicate File Finder .

Total Uninstall is a program to monitor software installations for later complete removal. The link is to the last freeware version 2.35. Free Uninstaller is a fast program that allows for multiple uninstallations at once. Microsoft Install Clean-up is a tool to remove registry information about badly uninstalled programs, so that reinstalls can be made.

nLite is a program for integration of Windows XP with updates and drivers into an unattended installable. It also allows for customization and removal of components. To download updates without unpacking in any form, the Windows update downloader is needed. Update lists for the system (XP, Vista, Office) has to be downloaded first. For Vista, vLite must be used. At The Software Patch , there is an overview of Windows and Office updates. Check for locally missing updates by using SIW. You can also use Windows/Microsoft update to download updates to the \Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder.

Taskbar Shuffle is a program that allows the organizing of the taskbar buttons with drag and drop. Jump Keys Pro (21-day trial) allows for fast access (by hotkey or menu item) to windows for those cases when you have very many windows open. It can access MDI child windows also. Winsize is a program to maintain window positions (on Windows98). Good when using several non-integrated tools for a project. There is a new “version” of Winsize for XP (etc) called Winsize 2 . You can add windows to be managed by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Z and then edit its window parameters in the “Special Parameters” dialog.

Fast Explorer can add and edit Explorer context menus. Shell extension viewer is a tool to examine the installed context menu extensions in Windows. FileTypesMan is a tool to edit the right click actions for different file types. Especially necessary on Vista and 7 that don't have the FileTypes tab in Folder Options.

Audioactive player light, high fidelity mp3 player with playlists and song names database connection ( freedb ).

To recover information from damaged CD:s, use IsoBuster. It is free for iso format CD:s, but not for recovery of UDF/PacketCD format CD:s.

Proxy+ Small (but good) proxy to route internet traffic to other locally connected computers (also by direct cable connection). Remote Access windows component must be installed, even though a dialup connection is not used.

Network Scanner from SoftPerfect is an easy scanner for looking for computers in IP ranges. SoftPerfect also has a free firewall to download.

AW IP Locator for trying to locate the geographical position of an IP address.

Whois good domain name registration info lookup program that can (and will) query any Whois server in the world. (Just don't press the enter key, it will close the application). Nsasoft has several other free net and sys tools here.

SIW System info for Windows. Good tool to get info about the whole computer: HW, SW, net, processes, forgotten passwords/serial numbers and external IP number. Also the Keyfinderthing Lite is available to retrieve forgotten serial numbers. SIW is not free for commercial use, use System Explorer then. It also displays opened files in a more restricted/useful sense. To get more process details, use Process Explorer. To get a more hardware-oriented sysinfo tool, use CPUID PC Wizard 2010 . It has benchmarking functions also. For more details on core hardware, use CPU-Z, GPU-Z and HDDScan.

CrystalDMI Gets BIOS information and images by the DMI (desktop management interface).

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor is a linux cd image that can be booted from to do password changes (etc) of NTFS Windows installations. If the files are extracted (with 7-zip), copied to a USB key, and the included program syslinux -ma e: is run, the key can be booted from.

XP security console is a program that lets the user edit policies even on Home editions that lack the group policy editor.

Partition Wizard is a partition manager that can resize partitions (including the boot partition after starting in a single task environment). A free tool that works on Windows server (only) is AOMEI partition assistant lite. The free versions don't include the merge partition function. Partition Wizard lets the user edit the partition type id. This can be useful after detecting hidden/lost partitions (such as recovery partitions) with Partition Find and Mount . Partition Wizard can copy partitions and Find and Mount can create and open partition images, but DriveImage XML can copy/image the partition that is currently booted from (even onto itself) using shadow services, can split the image into CD-sized parts, and can copy to USB disks in its raw mode.

For a boot manager that also can do partition work, use BootIt NG . It is trialware but it won't stop doing the boot managing. To use the NT bootmanager, the bootpart tool can be run to create boot.ini entries, bootsectors (even for Vista), DOS bootsector files and system files (use the below bootdisk to boot to DOS first then). Extensive bootsector and MBR work can be done with TestDisk below (from DOS or Windows).

Bootdisks for Windows, my choice is the Windows98 SE OEM one. Can be used also when the disk label it boots from is C: if line 10 in setramd.bat is changed to that path, and line 10 in autoexec.bat also. Make non-hidden (with XYplorer) so that it can be copied to the ramdrive (will be the drive before the CD). To extract the bootdisk, use WinImage . To format a USB key, and place the system files from the bootdisk correctly, use the USB disk storage format tool . To get NTFS read and write support from the command line, add Avira NTFS4DOS . It will overwrite the config.sys and autoexec.bat files with its install wizard, so the bootdisk files (except the already placed io/msdos.sys and should be copied afterwards. Long filename support for FAT disks can be added with doslfn (m), and for CD-roms with SHSUCDX at the same site (doslfn must be loaded after shsucdx). Use a free version of doskey to speed up the command line, and the FreeDOS mouse driver for mouse support. To browse NTFS long filenames, copy/undelete files, recover/rebuild bootsectors and image/find/undelete partitions (even on GPT “64-bit” disks), use TestDisk . It can also recover files from sessions on CD-R:s. To image a disk into CD/DVD-sized pieces (possibly both compressed and containing only occupied sectors) use PartitionSaving . It has a file and image browser also, the file browser is superior to TestDisk's. It can do imaging onto the same partition that is being imaged. To save to CD-R, use cdrecord (mkisofs -r -o temp_file input_file, cdrecord -v dev=0,0,0 -data temp_file). Cdrecord requires an ASPI driver installed before the cdrom driver in config.sys. An ASPI driver for IDE drives can be downloaded from the same location as cdrecord (msdos-bin). For USB drives, the usbaspi_2.27x driver can be used. The Panasonic usb cd-rom driver complements that. The download page for usbaspi 2.27x also contains a driver USBexFAT for USB mass storage. To use USBexFAT for USB keys, the drivers might need to load late so the system files can be copied to RAMdisk first, then use loadsys to load (and unload) drivers. Usbaspi might work better with an EMS manager, like Jemm . Jemm switches to protected mode, which could affect other programs. Big HDD Win 98 patch can be used to get scandisk and format/fdisk versions that work on harddisks greater than 127 and 64/137 GB. XMSDISK is a RAMdisk that can use up to 2 GB RAM as a disk in DOS, so that excess RAM actually can be used, for temporary CD burning files for example.

DOSbox to improve DOS compatibility on 32-bit, and to make it possible to run DOS programs on 64-bit OS'es.

KernelEx Windows extension program to allow Opera browser 11.64 and Flash player 9 to run on Windows 98. Other things to consider when updating an old Windows 98 system is the Big HDD patch in the bootdisk section above, the NUSB USB 2.0 drivers, the Paragon NTFS driver, and the ACITS LPR remote printing utility.

Tokiwa DataRecovery is a tool to undelete files. It isn't folders-based and also has a file wipe option. Yet another undeleter that runs on Windows is Recuva. The safest way to recover files is to boot to DOS (with the bootdisk above for example) and run TestDisk.

Diskeeper version 10, 15-day trial of this very fast and complete disk defragmentation program. Version 10 still runs on W98. There is a completely free version of this program, but it is not more efficient than the ordinary Windows defragmenter (in fact, the Windows defragmenter is the same). For XP and Vista, there is Defraggler that does efficient defragmentation, it can defrag free space and move large files to end of filesystem as well. PageDefrag defragments the swap and registry files at boot time.

HDDScan is a program to read out harddrive identity info and S.M.A.R.T. parameters and to execute drive tests. It is for XP SP2 and Vista/7. Victoria is a HDD info and test tool for DOS/Win98. It has a defectoscope, one can move the disk position while checking, and it has functions for bad block repair. Version 3.3.3 is in english.

UPX packer for executables. Will halve the size of the EXE.

Hexit is a binary file hex editor that runs in the command shell window. It can do simple, but good, binary file comparison, with allowance for editing. It also can disassemble the file, a bit inaccurately but very fast. It is totally free. For a not totally free alternative, that is designed for Windows, there is AXE . It doesn't include a disassembler, but it has binary data file format analysis capability instead. The comparison function is more complete (like a text differencing tool). It can edit memory areas and huge files up to 2GB.

PE Explorer is a disassembler that works statically on executable files. The disassembler is quite slow, but accurate. It also can extract graphical resources from executables. It is a 30-day trial. An alternative is to use XN Resource editor for resource extraction/editing (it has a visual dialog designer also). WinID is another tool that can capture resources dynamically, off the screen rather than from files (besides that it gives windows, controls and process info).

OllyDbg is a free Windows debugger with good exception handling, analysis (decompilation hints), and memory disassembly and editing. It works well on Vista. To complement, there is GoBug which is free for Windows 32-bit. GoBug has fast searching and nice memory promenade features, but lacks the memory editing capability.

WinSpy II is a user interface debugger. AutoDebug is a debugger/tracer that lists the Windows calls made by a program, rather than machine code instructions. The free download is a bit crippled. Advanced Process Manipulation is a program for writing extensions to existing programs.

Dependency Walker is a utility to list the dll modules a program is dependent of.

Fire Lite Small on-demand virus scanner.

Kerio firewall The firewall version 2.1.5 is very light, and very easy to use. Vulnerability is higher though. Another slight drawback is that it keeps the harddisks from spinning down to reduce heat (but modern Windows installations don't anyway).

Pop-Up Stopper Free blocks Internet Explorer and Messenger pop-ups. Use for IE 5/5.01. An alternative is Agnitum Outpost Free which is a complete, light firewall, with good web support. It reports the connections in detail and has preset settings for the most common applications. The real problem with it is that it doesn't work with Microsoft domain logons (although it works with network shares).

Bazooka Scanner Very fast spyware scanner. Removal is not really provided or guaranteed, and accuracy is lower (but complementary). The Kephyr site also contains a program database (with 13500 entries) to check what your startup programs do.

Malicious Software Removal Tool To remove viruses if they got through and prevented the startup of the regular antivirus programs. There could also be a need for repair of the damage the virus made. Then use Windows Repair (All in One). A convenient program to remove adware-installed shortcuts and toolbars is AdwCleaner. Sometimes the system (Internet Explorer in particular) works better if .NET is removed. A complete removal is easily done with the dotnet cleanup tool. Reset the IE settings afterwards. The Google search engine can be set from this official reg entry. The GDI resources can be increased with these reg entries. The IE root certificates can be reinstalled from here (direct link).

Updates and components

Winsock 2 classic Windows socket (Internet support) update.

Tvicport is a driver for the parallell port, so that it can be directly accessed from an application program.

XML 6.0 SP2 (W2000 SP4, XP SP2), 6.0 SP2 (XP SP3), 4.0 SP3 , 3.0 SP10 (W2000 SP4), 3.0 SP10 (XP). These include the XML parser itself. A list of earlier XML parsers is here . XML software development kits XML 3 , XML 4 , XML 6 , Word 2003 XML , Open XML .

Wnaspi32.dll for CD burning applications. ForceASPI is an alternative.

UDF Reader 5 is a driver for reading UDF/PacketCD format CD:s. It is a rare download. UDF Reader 7 update can be installed once the earlier version has been installed. To control whether the UDF Reader is active or not, use the RoxioUdfReaderControl from Nero/Ahead.

Vector Graphics ActiveX component for programming rich vector graphics functionality.

WMA/WMV Microsoft codecs, even for Windows media player 6.4. LAME is an exe/dll codec for high bitrate mp3 decoding.

WinHlp32 is required to view old-style help files on Windows Vista.

Dat files virus definitions as (large!) dat files or superdat (sdat) files for MacAfee/Dr.Solomon virus scanners.

Windows 2000 high encryption pack , Internet Explorer high encryption pack (for W98 IE 5/5.01).

VB 6 runtime redistribution pack (alternate location here , a little older). VB 5 runtimes are here . VB 4 here . If you lack an MS ocx-file, it can be found in these downloads. comdlg32.ocx and mswinsck.ocx could be of special interest (alternate location).

Windows script to run script program files.

Spool 1.2 to spool files diectly to printers.

VCL 5 runtimes.

VC++ 6 runtime redistribution pack. Includes mfc42.dll, atl.dll, oleaut32.dll and msvcrt.dll for example. Comctl32.dll could be of special interest (alternate location – originally shipped with IE5). It is possible to search for DLLs at DLL help and get info on versions and shipping package. At DLL dump dlls can be downloaded individually. There are also links to OCX and INF files.

VC++ 6 processor pack exists to get added instructions for the latest processors. Masm is distributed with it.

VC++ 2K13 redist, VC++ 2K12 Update4 redist, VC++ 2K10 SP1 runtimes/redist, VC++ 2K10 runtimes, VC++ 2K8 SP1 runtimes, VC++ 2K8 runtimes , VC++ 2K5 SP1 runtimes , VC++ 2K5 runtimes . An alternative to download runtimes separately is to download Visual Studio Isolated Shell, it contains both .NET and VC++ runtimes : VS Isolated Shell 2013 (7 SP1 and up), VS Isolated Shell 2012 (7 SP1 and up), VS Isolated Shell 2010 (XP SP3 and up).

DirectX 9 graphics and sound runtime/redistribution pack. DirectX 10.1 is supplied with Vista SP1. To get it to run on XP, follow these instructions. DirectX 9, 10 (Vista) and 11 (Vista SP2 / 7) runtimes can be downloaded here For DirectX 11 on Vista SP2 a platform upgrade is necessary. There are also software development kits: DirectX 9 SDK , DirectX 10/11 SDK . The SDK:s include the runtimes. There is also Direct2D introduced with DirectX 10. The SDK is in the Win7 SDK.

OpenGL extension viewer to check the OpenGL graphics support on your (or other) system(s). The dll files opengl32.dll and glu.dll are supplied with Windows. opengl32.lib and glu.lib are supplied with Visual Studio or Masm. gl.h and wingdi.h (for WGL functions) are supplied with Visual Studio.

GDI+ redistributables for that class-oriented graphics interface.

.NET Framework for running/distributing .NET applications: .NET Framework 4.5.1, .NET Framework 4.5, .NET Framework 4 (.NET 4 Update is here ), .NET Framework 3.5 (it includes .NET 3 SP1, 3.5 SP1 is here it includes .NET 3 SP2 and .NET 2 SP2, the only way to get .NET 3 SP2), .NET Framework 3.0 (.NET 3 SP1 is here ), .NET Framework 2.0 (2.0 SP1 is here , 2.0 SP 2 is here , .NET version 2 requires Windows Installer version 3), .NET Framework 1.1 (1.1 SP1 is here ). Development kits for .NET are bundled with OS SDK:s.

WTL is the Windows Template Library that extends ATL It is not really an application framework, but rather a UI library.

Qt cross-platform application framework, available as open source with a GUI designer, but no Visual Studio integration as in the commercial version. GTK+ is an open source GUI toolkit/library, which was originally for UNIX/X, but is now cross-platform. Mono is a .NET framework / platform for Linux.

Rico is a Javascript framework for building web sites with or without the AJAX philosophy. It is based on and includes the Prototype framework. Also includes server-side plugins in .NET and others.

Adobe AIR is a cross-platform runtime system for web applications/ActionScript. The SDK for it is here.

Windows Installer version 2 ( 98 , NT ) redistributables for running MSI installation packages. Here is a FAQ for it. Version 3.1 (for 2K/XP) is here . Version 4/4.5 here. This could be complemented with Windows Installer SDK or MakeMSI to create and update MSI files.

Intel INF Update utility contains chipset driver information files for Series 900, 3 - 5 chipsets, with IDE/SATA, PCIe and USB. The actual PCI/IDE/USB drivers are Microsoft's. The actual Intel AHCI SATA drivers can be downloaded here. fix_hdc is a command line utility to run from a PE environment to fix the hard drive controller driver of a non-bootable system. It can also be used to switch from IDE to AHCI drivers, see this. On Win7 there is fix_7hdc.

Microsoft UAA driver 1a for the HD Audio bus. It requires XP SP 1 at least, to install on RTM (SP0) or SP 3 use the registry change noted earlier on this page ( here ). On XP 64-bit and W2K3 SP1, it requires another hotfix, follow these instructions.

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for the 945 Express chipset. Drivers for other chipsets can be downloaded from the following list, after clicking the chipset name, then Research & Investigate, then Software & Driver Resources, then Chipset information and downloads. For other peripheral drivers, one can generically use Majorgeeks, Softpedia,, and for downloads. There is also the possibility to download large packs of drivers directly, at To get info on which drivers are required /dated, there is an online tool called DriverIdentifier (it can also propose drivers for download, and resolve names for unknown devices). A tool that doesn't require an Internet connection is Hardware Helper , it can give the product name of installed boards. A tool that can be run from a DOS bootdisk is NSSI.

Visual Studio and Office service packs: Visual Studio 2013 (12) Update 1, Visual Studio 2012 (11) Update 4, Visual Studio 2010 (10) SP1, Visual Studio 2008 (9) SP1, Visual Studio 2005 (8) SP1, VS .NET 2003 (7) SP1, VS .NET 2002 (7) SP1, VS 6 SP6, VS 6 SP5, Office 2010 SP1, Office 2007 SP2, Office 2007 SP1, Office2003 SP, Office XP SP3, Office 2K SP 3, Office 97 SR 2b. Free Visual Studio 2K5 Tools for Office 2K7 is here. The compatibility Pack for Office 2007 is here (conversion from/to Office 2007 file formats).

XP SP1 (rare direct download, part1 and part2 ). This is Service Pack 1a, released beginning of 2003, with the MS Java virtual machine removed. It introduces 48-bit LBA harddisk addressing, allowing larger than 137 GB harddisks to be fully used. It contains USB 2 drivers (usbehci.sys). Usbehci is also needed for installation of Intel chipset drivers. SP1 could also be used as first step to installing SP3 since that one cannot be installed on a machine without a service pack.

XP SP2 (direct download). Service Pack 2 contains a generic bluetooth driver, and support for Enhanced SpeedStep power management (including a power schemes command line tool powercfg.exe). Furthermore, the service pack contains the Security Center. SP2 can be installed on an XP machine without SP1.

XP SP3 direct download (must be installed on a machine with XP SP1 or 2). Other OS service packs: 7/2008 R2 SP1, Vista/2008 SP 2 (direct download, needs SP1 to install), Vista SP1 (direct), 2K3 SP1 , 2K SP4, (includes latest service pack for IE 5.01), NT4 SP6, W98 Service Pack (for W98 "first edition", included in SE). For an overview of updates since the latest service pack, see the section on nLite. .NET and XML service packs are in the above sections.

Windows SDK full download of Windows software development kit for XP SP2. Others: Win8.1/.NET 4.5.1 SDK, Win8/.NET 4.5 SDK, 7/.NET 4 SDK, 7/.NET 3.5 SDK, Vista/2008/.NET 3.5 SDK, Vista/.NET 3 SDK, W2K3 R2 SDK, W2K3 SP1 SDK, .NET 2 SDK, .NET 1.1 SDK. The .NET SDK:s don't contain the framework runtimes. DirectX, Windows Installer and XML SDK:s are in the above sections. Installer and DirectShow SDK:s are included in W2K3 R2 SDK.

WDK Windows driver kit. Debugging tools for Windows contains Kd (kernel debugger) and Windbg (the MS symbol server is here, not browseable - or download here if you want to have it offline). LiveKD enables more functionality from Kd and Windbg.

Windows update is a site that installs an ActiveX control for downloading Windows update files. The Automatic update service wuauserv and the BITS transfer service must also be running on the computer. Microsoft update is a site that installs another ActiveX control to also download Office and runtime updates as well as Windows file updates. Once the Microsoft update control is downloaded, the regular Windows update site cannot be accessed.