Articles about Know Your PC

AstroGrep is a Windows search tool that should appeal to just about everyone

nerd geek keyboard

Are you tired of the standard Windows search tool? You’re not alone. Its indexing component is difficult to control, and uses too many resources; we’ve found the index can become corrupted for no apparent reason; and filtering the results just isn’t as easy as it needs to be.

Fortunately there are plenty of interesting alternatives around, and AstroGrep is one of the best: compact, powerful yet also simple to use, it’s a search tool which should appeal to just about everyone.

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Repair malware damage with Windows Medkit


While anti-virus packages are fine at removing malware, they’re often less useful at undoing the damage an infection has caused. And so even if you’ve managed to get rid of the initial threat, you might still have problems running Explorer, opening particular files, launching key Windows components, and so on.

Windows Medkit is an interesting collection of tools which promises it can help regain control, fix the Registry and get everything working again. Sounds impressive, especially when you notice that the package comes in the form of a tiny (107KB) download, but can it really deliver? We took the program for a spin.

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Oh the irony -- Microsoft kills Live Mesh but SyncToy lives on


Microsoft chose to kill off Live Mesh, its PC-to-PC syncing service, late last year. Of course we knew this was coming when Windows Essentials 2012 was released without the Live Mesh app as a part of the suite, but  for some reason, the company waited to hold off making the official announcement until a bit later.

The reason for the move is clear -- Microsoft wants customers to migrate to SkyDrive. Although it's unquestionably a great cloud service, SkyDrive doesn't provide P2P syncing like Live Mesh, instead forcing customers to use the cloud as an intermediary. Sounds fine, but it only comes with 7 GB of free storage, or 25 GB if you were grandfathered in as an early adopter.

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Quickly download entire web galleries with NeoDownloader Lite

NeoDownloader Lite

Browsers are fine for displaying content, but not nearly as useful when you want to download it, and this is especially true with web galleries. No matter how simple the collection of images, you’ll still probably have to work them all manually, right-clicking each in turn and trying to figure out the appropriate option ("Save as", "Save link as", whatever it might be).

If you’d prefer an easy life, though, you could forget all the usual hassles and turn to NeoDownloader Lite, instead. While the program has some issues, it’s still a great way to simplify and speed up the process of downloading images from the web.

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Easily remove programs with Anvi Uninstaller

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Anvisoft has released Anvi Uninstaller, a basic tool which aims to help you fully remove unwanted applications.

The program is essentially a free, cut-down version of a module in the company’s Cloud System Booster Pro 2.0, and it’s decidedly short on features and functionality. But, if you’re looking for something very simple and safe, then it could still appeal.

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Save.Me takes clipboard management to a whole new level


It’s no secret that the Windows clipboard is, well, just a little limited. Copy a snippet of text from your web browser, say, and you’ve already reached the clipboard’s capacity: copy another and the first will be removed, lost forever, a real annoyance if you need it later.

There are plenty of clipboard extenders around to try and address this problem, of course. Basic examples might save clipboard text. Most will save text and images. But Save.Me is rather more ambitious, with the program aiming to save absolutely everything: text, images, URLs, files, folders, it’s all preserved for speedy access at a later date.

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How much RAM is your PC using? MemInfo can answer


If your PC’s performance is currently suffering because of a few memory hogs, then a few minutes spent with Process Explorer,Process Hacker, or even just Task Manager will probably be enough to tell you what’s going on.

Those tools can be a little intimidating, though, so if you’d like something simpler – or would just like to monitor your system’s RAM usage all the time -- then you may prefer Cathargo Software’s free and extremely lightweight MemInfo.

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Score 200+ free apps with DDownloads

keyboard typing fingers hands laptop netbook PC

Setting up a new PC can be a tedious experience, as you have to spend an age browsing the web, finding and downloading all your usual tools: Flash, Adobe Reader, CCleaner, Paint.NET, Dropbox, whatever you might use. DDownloads aims to simplify the process, though, by providing download links to more than 200 popular free applications, allowing you to perhaps grab everything you need without ever seeing a browser window.

Small and portable, the program launches with a simple home page which points you at a series of application groups. Click “Windows Starter Kit”, for instance, and you’ll see a list of apps which will come in very useful on most new systems: Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, DirectX, the Visual C++ 2010 redistributable package, .NET 4.5 and the Windows Essentials Codec Pack.

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Meteorite fixes (some) broken MKV files

meteorite comet

If you’ve just spent an age downloading a huge MKV file, then eventually discovering that it won’t play properly is always going to be, well, a little frustrating. To put it politely.

It’s best to resist your immediate urge to shout a lot and break things, though, because there may still be hope. Grab a copy of the free Meteorite and it’s just possible that the program will be able to restore your movie to its full working order.

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Anvisoft releases Anvi Rescue Disk 1.0


Security vendor Anvisoft has released Anvi Rescue Disk 1.0, a free bootable Linux-based environment with tools to help detect and remove ransomware from an infected PC.

And while this isn’t exactly a new idea, the system does have a few welcome touches which make it little more appealing than some of the competition.

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InjuredPixels reveals monitor defects

dual monitors workstation

Buying a monitor online has plenty of obvious plus points, with the wide choice and low prices coming very high on the list. But if you’re making a purchase in person -- maybe you’re buying a second-hand system, say – then you can at least check the display for stuck pixels or similar defects, which could save you considerable time and hassle.

And that’s where the very useful and entirely free InjuredPixels comes in.

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Christmas is over but not gifting -- get Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 for free

hard drive

You’ve spent a long time organizing, planning and preparing, and Christmas is finally here. And it’ll be over all too quickly, of course, but if you’d like to extend the festivities, then maybe we can help. Because after kicking off the latest Downloadcrew Giveaways last week, we’re back, with two more full commercial packages which can be yours for the very appealing price of absolutely nothing at all.

To get started, for 48 hours from midday (GMT) on December 26th we’re giving away full copies of Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013. If you’re tired of overweight, bloated disc burning suites then its feature-packed yet lightweight approach could be very interesting.

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F.lux soothes the eyes by adjusting monitor color temperature

Digital Eye

If your eyes often feel tired after a lengthy session on your PC then one possible explanation is that your display isn’t using an appropriate color temperature. Monitors will be typically be set very high, which may be fine in bright daylight, but is less appropriate for night-time viewing (and may, some suggest, even contribute to sleeping problems).

You don’t have to put up with this, though. Not with a little help from F.lux, a simple free program which uses your location, the date and time of day to figure out your sunrise and sunset times, then automatically adjusts your monitor’s temperature to an appropriate level.

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VirtualBox 4.2.6 delivers many fixes


Oracle has announced the release of VirtualBox 4.2.6, the latest edition of its powerful cross-platform virtualization tool.

This is a maintenance release, and so looks more or less unchanged. But the build does include plenty of welcome bug fixes and other small improvements.

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Our gift to you: O&O Defrag 15.8 Professional for free

Hard Drive

It’s that time of year again, when everyone feels festive and we find ourselves in the Downloadcrew Giveaway mood. This year, we’ve lined up five great software giveaways to share with you. From midday this Saturday until Jan. 4, 2013, you’ll be given the opportunity to grab up to five free commercial packages without having to pay a single cent.

We’re kicking things off with a doozy too – for 48 hours from Saturday December 22nd, we’ll be giving away free copies of O&O Defrag 15.8 Professional, worth $29.95. If your PC feels sluggish, then this powerful defrag tool is just the ticket for giving your hard drives a much needed speed boost.

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