All of the programs listed here are either free to use or provide free trials of the software.
- Avast! Avast! Antivirus Home Edition is free to use, however, the Professional edition is available for a nominal fee on a yearly basis. Click here for pricing.
- Kaspersky Kaspersky is an Antivirus utility which provides a free trial with other services that are available for a nominal fee.
- SpySweeper This spyware program will scan your computer for a fee.
- Spybot Search & Destroy Free spyware program with the option to donate. Donations are not required for full support.
- AdAware AdAware provides a free adware scanning utility, though premium versions are available.
- CCleaner CCleaner is a free-to-use program that provides registry cleaning and cache clearing. This utility is free to use, though the software manufacturer does appreciate donations (which can be provided through their website).
- Latest Version of Internet Explorer It is recommended that users update to this software as it is embedded within Windows and cannot be fully removed. However, it is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security that users utilize an alternate browser such as Firefox or Opera.
- Firefox Firefox is an open source browser which can be utilized for free.
- Opera Opera is free to utilize. Premium support service is available for a nominal fee.
- Google Chrome Chrome is another free browser. This is one of the newest additions to the browser family, and it is already receiving a large fanfare. The program is very lightweight (meaning that it can run on slow computers just as well as on newer computers), stable, and the best part for most people is that it even updates itself automatically so that you do not have to. All you need is an Internet connection!
- Thunderbird Thunderbird is an open source email client which can be utilized for free.
- Open Office Open Office is an open source office suite which can be utilized for free.
- Nero Nero provides a free trial with a full version which can be purchased through their website.
- 3dMark06 3dMark from FutureSoft provides full video, CPU, and memory testing, and provides an end score which can be compared to similar models of computers to benchmark a system. 3dMark06 provides a trial version with a full version which can be purchased through their website.
- Memtest86 Memtest86 is a memory (RAM) diagnostic tool. This file needs to be burned as an image to a CD. Once the CD has burned, simply boot to the CD, and Memtest will begin testing automatically. This program is free to use, and can help to diagnose many of the toughest problems ranging from the notorious "Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD) through video based problems.
Windows Vista has a built in Memory Diagnostic Tool that can be found by clicking on the start bar, then clicking in the 'Start Search' field, and finally, begin typing the words "Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool". As you type, the search results will narrow down to your result. Click on the file above, and follow the simple instructions to begin the test.
- OCCT OCCT is a powerful benchmark that tests both the memory (RAM) and the processor (CPU). OCCT is designed to be installed in Windows. Once installed, simply run the file, and start the test. This can be used to track down hard to find freezing issues as well as some "Blue Screen" issues.
- Prime95 Prime95 is similar in function to OCCT in that it tests both the processor (CPU) as well as memory (RAM). This can be used to track down hard to find freezing issues as well as some "Blue Screen" issues.
- Bart Stuff Test (BST) BST is designed to test a single volume on a hard disk (hard drive; HDD). The test can be installed in Windows. BST can be used to test for hard drive reliability. If you are experiencing hard drive based errors, it is generally recommended that you first try the manufacturer specific hard drive tests seen below.
Hard Drive Diagnostic Tools
The following tests can be used to diagnose hard drive based issues such as occasional lock ups, crashes, or times in which Windows does not shut down properly. Please write down any errors that may occur during these tests as they may be crucial to the diagnostic process.
- Western Digital Data Lifeguard Data Lifeguard is designed to be burned as an image to a CD. Once the image has been burned, simply put the CD in the drive, and follow the on screen instructions to begin the testing process.
- Seagate Seatools The Seatool utility is designed to be burned as an image to a CD. Once the image has been burned, simply put the CD in the drive, and follow the on screen instructions to begin the testing process.
- Hitachi Drive Fitness Test (DFT) This Drive Fitness Test is designed to be burned as an image to a CD. Once the image has been burned, simply put the CD in the drive, and follow the on screen instructions to begin the testing process.
- Hard Disk Sentinel This utility will test all hard drives in the system, giving a comprehensive report for each drive.
The software listed here is recommended by Cybertron International, and is in no way supported or funded by Cybertron International. For technical support relating to any of the pieces of software on this list, please contact the software manufacturer directly.